Monday, August 14, 2017
Repository: Seymour Library
Name: Seymour Library History Discovery Center
Address: 176 Genesee St, Auburn, NY 13021
Phone: (315) 252-2571
Located on the main street in Auburn, there are some parking spaces on the street in front of the library. However, if you turn on Fort Street just past the library and then Bostwick Avenue, you will find yourself a parking lot behind the library with free parking for patrons. If you do park in the back, do walk to the front of the building, however. The landscaping and architecture of the building is fabulous and well worth taking the time to look at. This small library is part of the Finger Lakes Library System and is partly the original Case Memorial Library building and partly a newer addition. Tucked away in a corner of the basement is what interests genealogists and local history buffs the most. The History Discovery Center seems small when you first walk in there, but you’ll discover that there are many items stored away here that are of interest and use.
Hours: The History Discovery Center is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 11 am to 4 pm; Wednesday, 11 am to 8 pm, and the First and third Saturday of each month, 1 pm to 4 pm.
The library itself is open more hours, but this is when you can get into the treasure of the room.
The librarian makes all the photocopies at a cost of 10¢ each or 25¢ in color. However, if you have a camera, you can use that to make any copies that you would like. Many items are stored in the back area of the department that is restricted to staff only, but they are very willing to retrieve anything you need. When requesting a microfilm, I have had them even set it up on the machine for me without requesting additional assistance.
I enjoy going through some of the older newspapers of the area and finding tidbits about family members and their associates. Anybody with passing knowledge of the American Civil War has certainly heard of some of the people in materials around this center. One of the most famous slaves of the era was Harriet Tubman who not only escaped, but also returned numerous times to the south to lead others to freedom. Many, many documents about her life are found here. Her home is just south of the city, past the home of one of her friends, Secretary of State William H. Seward. Seward, who served under Lincoln, had his home on South Street where many of the wealthy people lived in that time period.
Not only can you find information on these people and others here, but once you leave the parking lot, continue a short block on Fort Street, and you can enter the cemetery where they are interred.
There are books about the Quaker settlements in southern Cayuga County, and many more histories of the county and small towns of this area as well as on the famous of the area.