The Remnants of Early Manufacturing in Seneca Falls

The largest remaining building of early manufacturing which was done at Seneca Falls in the mid 1800’s is the Seneca Knitting Mills which was started in 1844 by Harrison Chamberlain (click here). It sits across from the Seneca Falls Harbor Park, and in its current condition, it looks like it is waiting on the mercy of the elements.

Down stream from the Seneca Falls Harbor Park is an area known as the Flats. It was in this area that there were a series of rapids and the various mills which were located here could use the rapidly moving water for power. A monument to Norman S. Gould  who was the president of the Gould Pump Company from 1907 – 1964 sits near the site of the original Goulds Pump company which was started by his grandfather Seabury S. Gould Sr. who cast the first all-metal pump. The Goulds Pump Company was taken over by ITT Technology in 1997.

Also nearby is the statue of three ladies – I’m guessing that one of them is Elizabeth Cady Stanton who was one of the organizers of the 1848 Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention and lived in Seneca Falls during 1847 to 1863. Unfortunately there is no marker near the site of the statue.

The NY State Barge Canal was constructed in Seneca Falls in 1915 along the Cayuga-Seneca Canal and required the demolition or relocation of 116 industrial buildings and 60 homes. The flats were then flooded to create the canal and the flats area became known as Van Cleef Lake. The NY State Barge Canal never gained prominence as a major carrier of freight out of the region as the railroad had already come to Seneca Falls. Most of the freight was being carried on the railroad and the NY State Barge Canal was almost obsolete before it got started.

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, but no falls in Seneca Falls!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Karcy

    I had no idea how to appaorch this before-now I’m locked and loaded.

    1. jrBupp

      There’s a great story to tell about early manufacturing in the Finger Lakes. And that story would include a section about Ithaca Guns.


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