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By: Ash Murray, Public Relations Manager for Tour Cayuga

Each year, women’s history is honored throughout the month of March — a time of celebration, remembrance and gratitude. Here in Cayuga County, we sit upon a rich history of powerful and influential women, whose impacts are felt around the country: Harriet Tubman, who traveled thousands of miles in the course of her lifetime to free enslaved individuals from the south and who cared so deeply for her community. Frances Seward, who valued education and who believed so strongly in abolition that she opened up her own basement as a stop on the Underground Railroad. Emily Howland, who worked as an educator for women and formerly enslaved individuals and who fought for peace and women’s suffrage.

As we near the end of Women’s History Month, we urge residents and visitors alike to dive into the depths of Cayuga County’s history and to embrace the stories of its influential women. Through events, celebrations, and year-round destinations, we honor their legacy.

Harriet Tubman’s chosen hometown — Auburn — is where she chose to settle down and live the last 50-plus years of her life as a free woman. But her activism didn’t end when she purchased her land. Instead, she built one of the first care facilities dedicated to assisting elderly Black individuals, worked alongside other influential women in the area, and so much more. With tours offered at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, Tubman’s property is the perfect place to learn more about this amazingly powerful hero.

Visit the historic home of William and Frances Seward — the U.S Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and his wife, advisor and counterpart. A free thinker, Frances Seward supported and furthered the women’s rights movement, provided shelter to freedom-seekers on the Underground Railroad, and forged a friendship with Harriet Tubman. Guided tours of the museum help visitors navigate the many fascinating aspects of the beautifully preserved home, which houses one of the largest original collections in the United States. Enjoy masterpieces of American art, as well as special exhibitions in both the home and the museum’s garden.

Two sister sites just down the road from one another in the Sherwood Equal Rights Historical District, Opendore and the Howland Stone Store Museum tell the stories of the Howland family, whose influential daughters were nationally recognized philanthropists, suffragists and abolitionists. These sites share their stories, as well as the stories of the entire suffrage movement through historical artifacts, banners and more.

To learn more about events and festivals in the Cayuga County area visit the events page, check back often this page is updated daily.