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News & Announcements

Copies of the Historical Society's Newsletter are available here.

On April 12, 1886 the Buffalo Evening News announced that the Howland School would be converted into a sanitarium. The Union Springs Sanitarium was operated by Dr. Franklin Pierce who wished to help those suffering from chronic diseases as well as people who were looking for rest and recreation. One newspaper article remarked that it, "was famous thruout [sic] the eastern United States for its sulphur baths and its quiet and beautiful location." Patients swarmed to the sanatorium during the summer months and it often accommodated as many as 200 patients per year.

(Information from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation)

To reach the health resort many patients came by stage to Cayuga and in that village boarded one of the lake steamers which took them to Union Springs. Some of the patients coming from nearer towns and cities made the entire trip to the resort by horse and buggy.

The latest conveniences were found in the resort. All of the rooms were electrically lighted by a privately owned electric plant in the rear of the building, power was made by engines. The steam exhaust was harnessed and used to heat the building. Water was piped to the building from the lake and sulphur springs so that patients might take their health plunges without leaving the hotel. All the plumbing, wiring, and heating were done by Otto Spencer, a resident of Union Springs.

(Information from newspaper article - source and date unknown)

A historical sign was erected in September 2018 to remember the Howland School. The school was established in 1863 and maintained during the first two years by the individual enterprise of R.B. Howland, who bought of Slocum Howland, for $6,000, the Philip Winegar homestead on the corner of Park and Cayuga Street. That summer he built the east wing and a wooden addition on the south end which was used as a gymnasium and public hall. A 4-story brick addition was built in 1872 allowing accommodation of 50 boarders. The boarding school opened in 1873. In 1875, the school was taken in charge by trustees of the school fund of $50,000 left by George Howland, father of R.B. Howland of New Bedford, MA. The school was supported by the school fund and tuition and operated until 1880.

The school was confined exclusively to ladies. It was first conducted under the name of "Young Ladies Institute", which was changed to Howland School when it came under the management of the trustees and the Howland school fund. The school had full collegiate courses, mathematics, the classics and the languages. It attained a high degree of excellence and enjoys a good reputation for thorough work; but it languished for want of proper support and patronage.

A photo of the historical sign can be seen on the website under Photo Gallery.

Information for this article was taken from History of Cayuga County, NY 1789-1879 by Elliot G. Storke. The Frontenac Museum has a copy of this book which is available to review on site by appointment.

2020 marks the centennial of women’s suffrage in the United States. To honor this landmark anniversary, the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites and The William G. Pomeroy Foundation have partnered to launch a new historic marker program commemorating historically significant people, places or things instrumental to women in gaining the right to vote in 1920.

Historic markers awarded through the program will become part of the National Votes for Women Trail, which is run through the NCWHS and documents the campaign for women’s suffrage that took place over more than seven decades and was conducted in parlors, churches, town halls, parks, union halls, and other community locations.

The Frontenac Museum is thrilled to announce that the 8 Homer St. home of Zobedia Alleman, an ardent Union Springs suffragette, has been selected to receive one of these historical markers. Only 250 of these makers will be placed across the United States. Alleman was an activist, advocate, spokesperson and leader in this successful county, state and ultimately national effort. She participated in many of these grass roots efforts tirelessly traveling upstate New York speaking at various WCTU, Political Equality Clubs and Grange meetings and questioning the lack of women’s rights in such areas as serving as jurors. Her campaigning resulted in the successful passage of resolutions in support of suffrage by these organizations.

The Frontenac is grateful to the National Collaborative Women’s History Site, the Pomeroy Foundation and homeowner Sarah VanOrman for recognizing the significance of Mrs. Alleman’s remarkable efforts and contributions to win women the right to vote. A dedication ceremony for the monument will be held later this spring.

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