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Session 1: July 16-22, 2017

Session 2: July 23-29, 2017

Director: Jose R. Torre

Over the week we will visit the Broad Street Aqueduct and High Falls–Brown's Race Historic Districts; take a packet–boat ride on the Erie Canal; visit the Frederick Douglass Project home at the Rush Rees Library, University of Rochester; the Talman Building where Douglass published the North Star; Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony's gravesites; the Susan B. Anthony House and Museum; and the Seneca Falls Women's Rights Historic National Park.

The 800 plus foot Broad Street aqueduct was first completed in 1823 but failed; the aqueduct currently supporting Broad Street above was completed in 1842. Along with the "Great Embankment", a one–mile long earthen embankment supporting the canal over Irondequoit Creek in Pittsford and the locks at Lockport, the aqueduct was one of the great engineering marvels of the day.

Rochester aqueduct, 1890 Rochester aqueduct, current day

Please see Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor and Historic Erie Canal Images for more information.

High Falls and Brown's Race are open–air archaeological sites developed for industrial power in the first decade of the 19th century. It was High Falls on the Genesee River that brought Nathaniel Rochester to the region and since then Rochesterians have exploited this natural wonder to drive machinery, generate electrical power or for entertainment. High Falls was also the site of falls diver and mill worker Sam Patch's famous dive to his death in 1829, a mere month after his nationally acclaimed (and far more successful) jump from Niagara Falls.

Historical Image of High Falls Ad for Sam Patch's ill-fated jump from High Falls

Please see The City of Rochester High Falls-Brown's Race Historic District for images and information– and a great walking tour.

For our four–hour packet boat ride on the Erie Canal we will travel with Corn Hill Navigation, a local company dedicated to Erie Canal voyages.

Map of the Erie Canal

First completed in 1825, the 363–mile canal represented tremendous challenges overcome through ingenuity and hard work by pick and shovel navies (the actual canal diggers), bankers who found the money, engineers who overcame technical difficulties and politicians with a powerful dream.

Please see Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor for more information.

The sites associated with Frederick Douglass include the Talman Building, the Frederick Douglass Project at the Rush Rees Library at the University of Rochester and his gravesite at Mt. Hope Cemetery.

Frederick Douglass's gravesite

For more information see Talman Building Audio-Visual Tour, The Freethought Trail's History of the Talman Block and The University of Rochester Fredrick Douglass Project.

Mount Hope Cemetery

Because of the large number of abolitionists buried there, the National Park Service has designated Mount Hope Cemetery a stop on the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

The cemetery has intrinsic value to our workshop beyond its buried reformers. The idea of a picturesque cemetery accessible to city dwellers as a green space was part of the many reforms of the period. The picturesque was part of an aesthetic that dominated Anglo–American landscape gardening and architecture for decades and was part of the culture of feeling– put simply, the cemetery, with its winding paths, landscape and plantings, was designed to evoke sympathetic and sentimental feelings, reforming human beings and creating mutual empathetic bonds. Mount Hope Cemetery is the burial site of Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony.

Susan B. Anthony's gavesite

For more information see: Friends of the Mount Hope Cemetery.

The Seneca Falls Women's Right National Park is the site of the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention. Here Elizabeth Cady Stanton and numerous other reformers, including Frederick Douglass, issued a radical manifesto for women's rights, including the right to vote. Elizabeth Cady Stanton's home is also on the park grounds. Originally a mill town with factories filled with women workers, Seneca Falls is an excellent site to reflect on the relationship of political power, labor and women's activism.

The Declaration of Sentiments in the July 28, 1848 issue of the North Star

The Seneca Falls Women's Rights National Park is a one hour trip by coach from Rochester. The Park also includes the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Home and the National Women's Hall of Fame.

Susan B. Anthony House, in the middle of the Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood, was home and office to the women's suffrage reformer for more than 40 years until her death in 1906. Anthony originally came to Rochester in 1845 with her family. They were part of a large contingent of Quakers that settled in the region and were active in temperance, abolition and women's rights.

Susan B. Anthony house

Director: Jose R. Torre
Please email all questions to