By Gary Randall, Historical Society President
The Florida Historical Society will be honoring William Henry Seward’s life on Sat., May 16 from his birth on May 16, 1801 in Florida, NY. The presentations will start at 9:30 a.m. with a wreath laying at his monument at 53 North Main St. in Florida NY.
Guests will then proceed to the S.S. Seward Institute cafetorium. In the entrance to the school, they will view paintings, depicting many aspects of W.H. Seward’s life, by first and fourth grade students at Golden Hill Elementary School. They are part of a “Village Wide Art Show” that has been displayed in numerous local businesses since Fri., May 11, set up by Mrs. Risedorph, Music teacher and Mr. Camia, Art teacher.
Inside the cafetorium, there will be tables displaying years of the Seward family history, in particular W.H. Seward and his numerous contributions to the creation of this country, a model of the Seward Birthplace and models of the Monitor and the Merrimac, ships that fought each other at Hampton Bay in the “Battle of the Ironclads” in the Civil War.
The program will begin with the Pledge of Allegiance led by Mayor Daniel Harter, and presentations will include a message from Assemblyman Karl A. Brabenec. A power point program will be shown of the Golden Hill Elementary School’s 4th Grade Historic Walking Tour through the Village, including the Seward Monument, Veterans’ Memorial, Seward’s Birthplace, Fire House, Village Hall and the Seward Family Cemetery Vault. The tour was attended by teachers and their students and led by members of the Florida Historical Society.
Another Power Point presentation shows what Mrs. Rowan’s seventh grade United States History Class learned from a virtual tour of the Seward House Museum in Auburn, NY. The power point includes the museum tour, Seward’s early life in Florida, NY, his achievements as Governor of NY, as Secretary of State in the Abraham Lincoln presidency and his participation in the Underground Railroad.
The program will conclude with a special book presentation to the Florida Public Library, Golden Hill Elementary School and S.S. Seward Institute. The traditional Seward Song created by Dianne Leo more than 20 years ago will be sung by all. Refreshments will follow.