Story by Gary Randall
The Florida Historical society, accompanied by the Seward/Mapes Homestead Committee, will honor William Henry Seward’s life from his birth on May 16, 1801 in Florida, NY with a celebration on Sat., May 18 at 9:30 a.m.
The presentations will start with a wreath laying at his monument located at 53 N. Main St. In case of rain the wreath laying will be in the S.S. Seward Institute cafetorium. From the Seward Monument, guests will proceed to the S.S. Seward Institute cafetorium.
In the entrance to the school there will be an exhibit of paintings depicting many aspects of W.H. Seward’s life, created by first and fourth grade students at Golden Hill Elementary School. The paintings are part of a “Village Wide Art Show” set up by Mr. Camia, the art teacher and Mrs. Risedorph, the music teacher. This Art Show can be viewed in numerous local businesses including: The Computer Guy, Dombrowski’s, Down to Earth, Dwayne’s Glass, Hair Craft, Kwik Mart, Myles Wealth Management, New Beginnings Spa, Roe Brothers, Taco Loco, Werner’s, and the Florida Public Library.
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. A PowerPoint program will be shown of the Golden Hill Elementary School’s fourth grade historic walking tour through the Village, including the W.H. Seward Monument, Veterans’ Memorial, Seward’s Birthplace, Fire House, Village Hall. and the Seward family cemetery vault. The tour was attended by teachers, students and others, led by members of the Florida Historical Society and others.
Another PowerPoint presentation will show what Mrs. Rowan’s seventh grade United States History class learned from a virtual tour of the Seward House Museum in Auburn, NY. The PowerPoint includes the museum tour; W.H. 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 Seward Day program presentations will include a few words from special guests.
The program will conclude with a special book presentation to the Florida Public Library, Golden Hill Elementary School and the S.S. Seward Institute. The traditional Seward Song, created by Dianne Leo more than 20 years ago, will be sung by all.