The Historical Society Museum is located at 55 Cayuga Street in Seneca Falls, NY in a house with a long and varied history. The first structure was built in 1823 as a one room wooden house. Edward Mynderse , son of the early land developer Colonel Wilhelmus Mynderse , erected a two-story brick structure in the Italianate Style circa 1855 on the site. The building was part of a ten acre estate with carriage house, tool shed, vineyard, garden and orchard.
The Mynderse Family lived there until 1875 when Mrs. Leroy Partridge purchased the house and began an extensive remodeling and updating that changed the two story dwelling into the three story,23 room, Queen Anne Style home that you see today. Architectural and decorative details which were added , include painted and stained glass windows, gas lights, carved fireplaces and the entire third floor.
The mansion was sold to the Norman Becker Family in 1890 , who raised six children in the house. The Beckers lived there until 1961, when the Historical Society bought the building. The house as we see it today has undergone no major changes since the 1880’s. It is a beautiful product of the late Victorian era and as such, is a marvelous document of Victorian lifestyle and culture.
The original Gothic Revival tool shed is now the “Bee Hive”, a replica of a general store , located behind the house.
Also located in the back yard is the Town Clock that was once on top of the Hoskins Block and moved to the grounds by Texaco Oil in October 1968. The clock is a Seth Thomas #7 Tower Clock, designed by A.S. Hotchkiss and built by Seth Thomas Clock Co. of Thomaston, Ct. Dated November 26,1895, it is an eight -day, time only, weight driven clock. Through the combined efforts and generosity of many people and Gould’s Pumps, the clock may still be enjoyed by many. It is powered by a synchronous gear-headed motor, driving through the clock mechanism, the old clock weights were removed and no other alterations were necessary. A dedication ceremony was held on October 16, 1970.
The first floor of the Historical Society shows a combination of the original furnishings of the house as the Partridge and Becker families lived here, as well as reproductions and decorations both complimentary to the time period and from historical events in Seneca Falls.