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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.

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Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery Follow the history of Arlington from its humble origins during the Civil War as a burial place of necessity, to its current celebrity as the most prestigious cemetery in the United States. Our nation‚s history can be read on the stones of Arlington. Once the great antebellum plantation of the Custis & Lee families, Arlington‚s green slopes shelter over 275,000 United States veterans from every war. Come and join us to explore this hallowed place and hear the stories of sacrifice and honor that Arlington can tell.

Educator and independent historian Carolyn Ivanoff will lead the talk and tour. Her previous lectures, Civil War Medicine and Ghosts of Gettysburg, earned wide acclaim from appreciative audiences. Carolyn was named “Civil War Trust Preservationist Teacher” of the year in 2003. In 2010, 2011 and 2013, her educational programs received awards of Merit from the Connecticut League of History Organizations. In 2016, Carolyn was presented with the Connecticut Council of Social Studies’ Bruce Frasier Friend of the Social Studies Award.

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Admission: $10 Adults • $15 Couples • Veterans FREE • Students FREE
Light refreshments will be served. Seating is limited.

Proceeds from the event will support the Seward/Mapes Homestead Restoration efforts.

EVENT DETAILS: Date: Thursday, November 2, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
Location: Florida Senior Center, 3 Cohnen Circle, Florida, NY 10921
For more information contact: 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