Our name tells our story! In 1837 Slocum Howland built this store in Sherwood, a crossroads between Cayuga and Owasco Lakes to the west and east and Auburn and Ithaca to the north and south. Cayuga Lake gave it easy access to the Erie Canal. Our collection details the sale of local products such as wool and pork, and importation of manufactured products. The building is made of small stones called cobblestones, which were picked up in local fields.
The Howland family was prominent in important reform movements throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth century, particularly in the abolition of slavery, education, and women's suffrage. A prized Museum possession is an Underground Railroad pass brought by two slaves who escaped from Maryland and came to Slocum Howland (1794-1881) seeking freedom in 1840. Miss Emily (1827-1929) first taught in schools for free blacks in Washington, D.C. in 1857. In addition to building a school in Sherwood, she founded and/or financially supported fifty schools for the emancipated blacks, teaching in several of them.
Both Emily and her niece, Isabel (1859-1942), were active in the local, state and national women's suffrage movements; we have posters and other memorabilia representing their efforts. A "Cabinet of Curiosities," collected by the Howlands on their travels, includes everything from Arabian jewelry to coral from Capri.
Since acquiring Isabel's home, known as Opendore, we are restoring and renovating it to provide expanded space for our Museum's mission and collections.
Sherwood, New York is now listed on The National Register of Historic Places
To view the 'Significance Statement' for the
SherwoodNYEqualRightsHistoricDistrict, click HERE
(PDF File) The 'Significance Statement'
was compiled by:
Dr. Judith Wellman, Director
Historical New York Research Associates -
Professor Emerita, SUNY Oswego
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