Interpreting the Histories of Seneca Falls, the Woolen Mill, and Its Workers in the New National Women's Hall of Fame

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This thesis examines the histories of the Village of Seneca Falls, the Woolen Mill located there, and the workers of the Woolen Mill in order to explore the interpretive possibilities available to the National Women's Hall of Fame (NWHF) when they rehabilitate the Woolen Mill site as their new museum. The work begins with a look at industry, settlement, and transportation in Seneca Falls in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. Chapter 2 investigates the history of the Woolen Mill, its owners, its site, and its manufactured products, particularly in the ways it relates to the industrial development of the Village. Chapter 3 examines the demographics of the Woolen Mill workforce in the late-nineteenth and early twentieth century. This chapter analyzes the workforce data as part of the Village's social history, an area the National Women's Hall of Fame Museum could interpret on a larger, more detailed scale than any other museum does in Seneca Falls at the present time. Finally, Chapter 4 relates the history of the NWHF and their rehabilitation project as it stands in the spring of 2008, while also describing the Woolen Mill site and resources available for the project. This work seeks to illustrate the connective threads of the histories and show the steps being taken by the NWHF to rehabilitate the Woolen Mill site. The NWHF has an opportunity with their new museum, not only to expand upon their own collection and exhibits, but also to interpret these histories in a new way, both to the Villagers and to the heritage tourists that visit Seneca Falls.

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Seneca Falls, New York; rehabilitation; woolen mill; National Women's Hall of Fame


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dissertation or thesis

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