On a recent family trip to Niagara Falls, my husband, daughter and I spent our first day in Seneca Falls, NY. This beautiful little town on the Seneca-Cayuga canal was once a vibrant industrial town, home to companies such as Gould Pumps (my husband the engineer was so excited) and Westcott which made wooden rulers.
Because of its location near the falls, the village became the third largest flour milling location after Rochester and Oswego. Industry has since moved out of the town, leaving it to rely heavily on tourism.
Seneca Falls played a prominent role in the Women’s Rights Movement because of one of its most famous and influential residents, Elizabeth Stanton Cady. The town was the site of the 1848 Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention, an event that served to propel the Women’s Rights Movement into the history books. Amelia Bloomer, of “bloomers” fame, introduced Susan B. Anthony to Elizabeth Cady and their friendship was a significant factor in the success of the women’s suffrage.
Seneca Falls is also reputed to be the inspiration for the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. Nobody really knows if this is true but the town has embraced this theory by opening a museum filled with movie memorabilia, hosting a 5K run in December and memorializing the infamous “movie” bridge with street signs at both ends.
Of course, this blog post is titled “Seneca Knitting Mills” and here’s why. Our very first stop in the town was a parking lot along the canal. Imagine my excitement when this is what I saw:
This knitting mill was a significant part of the town’s economy for over a hundred years. One of its most famous products is Red Top Socks. If you happen to be a camper or hiker, you know these socks.
This little town was well worth the visit and we had a blast exploring all it had to offer. I highly recommend adding it to any trip to upstate New York!