We are proud to be sponsored by
Walden Savings Bank


Honoring a Great Statesman & a Courageous Civil War Soldier

William H. SewardBorn in Florida, New York in 1801, William H. Seward was one of our nation's most distinguished political leaders. Remembered primarily for his role as Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and his guiding influence in the purchase of Alaska as Secretary of State in the Andrew Johnson administration, Seward was also a Senator and New York Governor in his long career. Read more...

The Seward/Mapes Homestead presents a rare opportunity in historic preservation to focus on the lives and accomplishments of two men deeply engaged in the American Civil War on different levels – one as Secretary of State in the Lincoln Administration and the other as a Union soldier who survived many horrific battles before being severely wounded. That soldier was Captain William E. Mapes of the 124th New York State Volunteers, known as “The Orange Blossoms”. Read more about Mapes. The Homestead is also uniquely located in the Village of Florida and has the potential to become a vital community learning and cultural center.


Work Day July 31, 2020

Thanks to Bob Scott, Steve Mapes and Roger Dowd we actually accomplished quite a lot on both buildings despite the heat. Bob followed up on the window repairs and glazing he had initiated for the attic windows of the Mapes house. He installed all of them! Steve installed security lighting around the Birthplace, requiring a lot of inside and outside work. As always, he drove down from Schenectady just to do the work. How great is that?!??

There was a great sense of accomplishment. It was the first chance any members had to work on the grounds sice the COVID-19 outbreak

Looking Back on Seward Day!

Seward Day

Unfortunately, we had to cancel the celebration of the 220th Anniversary of the birth of our native son William Henry Seward. Like everyone, we hope the pandemic will be history by 2021.

Save the date for next year: Saturday, May 16th, 9:30 am to 11:30 am. Location: 53 North Main Street, Florida, NY 10921

Votes For Women! Meet the Suffragettes

Carolyn Ivanoff In 1848, the first women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York. But it wasn’t until 1920 that the 19th Amendment was ratified, giving American women the right to vote. Our guest speaker, Carolyn Ivanoff, will present the program in period clothing to commemorate the titanic struggle for suffrage. Told through period photos, political cartoons and editorials, Carolyn’s presentation will be as engaging as her previous presentations for the Seward Mapes Homestead entitled Civil War Medicine and The Ghosts of Gettysburg.

Join us on March 14th, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.


Our Alaska Fundraiser

Help Us Get To Work!

Please Donate If you have passed by the Homestead in recent months, you must have seen the great progress that has been made on the Mapes House. The outside is being painted and the full restoration of the Queen Anne style Victorian porch is underway. It took quite a while for state funding to come through, but it has been worth the wait. Please lend us a hand with your donation!

In October of last year, we received the go-ahead by the Village of Florida to proceed with stabilization and restoration efforts of what remains of the Seward Birthplace. An initial appraisal of the building's structure began in March of this year, with an eye towards honoring the original style of the birthplace wherever possible In early 2017, electrical power was run out to the Birthplace. Essentially, we have two restoration challenges facing us. With that in mind, we welcome continuing support from members of the community who share our ambitious goals.

For more information contact: events@sewardhomestead.org or call 845-294-3839.

Download our Seward/Mapes Homestead Brochure.

Captain Mapes, Honored at last!

William E. MapesCaptain William E. Mapes of the 124th New York State Volunteers, The Orange Blossoms, got his wish on the sunny morning of Saturday, May 30th, 2015. A monument was dedicated to him in the Village of Florida where he was born, 150 years after he wryly requsted one. Read the full inscription of the monument.

If you have had the opportunity to read about our organization's recent events and - even better, attend them - you know that the dedication ceremony on the grounds of the Seward / Mapes Homestead was the end result of a collaborative effort to honor Mapes' memory as well as thousands of Americans like him who fought to preserve the Union.

A Work in Progress:

The Seward House View Architect's Rendering