Seward House

Parks and other public lands with T!

Western NY Parks

In September, I set out with a road trip buddy to visit some park units in upstate New York. For me, the highlight of this trip was visiting my 100th National Park Service unit. That puts me at Bronze status in the National Parks Traveler’s Club. The third stop on our journey was Seward House.

William H. Seward House Museum

While visiting the Harriet Tubman home, we learned of her relationship with William H. Seward. She purchased her home and 7 acres from him. The basement kitchen of Seward’s home served as a stop on the Underground Railroad. So after we toured the Tubman National Historic Site, we walked back towards town to tour the Seward House Museum.

William H. Seward began his career as a lawyer in Elijah Miller’s practice in Auburn, New York. Miller eventually became Seward’s father-in-law. Seward went on to become a politician. He served as a senator, a governor and the Secretary of State under presidents Lincoln and Johnson. During Johnson’s administration, Seward negotiated the purchase of Alaska from Russia.

Elijah Miller built the home in 1816. Seward added to the house several times after he married into the family in 1824. The house remained in the Seward family until 1951 when it was converted into a museum.

Our tour guide told us a few stories as we explored the mansion. One was the tale of Seward’s beloved daughter Fanny who died at the age of 21. During her short life, she wrote extensively in her diary about everyday life. These diaries provide a glimpse into the lives of the Sewards in the 1800s.

The other story was about the night Lincoln was assassinated. Conspirators also attacked Seward that night. Seward was recovering in bed from an earlier accident when the would-be assassin burst into his home and stabbed him. His son and others fought off the attacker. All survived the attack.

Western NY Road Trip

  • Fillmore Glen State Park
  • Harriet Tubman National Historical Park
  • Seward House
  • Women’s Rights National Historical Park
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton Home
  • Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site
  • Niagara Falls: Terrapin
  • Niagara Falls: Maid of the Mist
  • Niagara Falls: Observation Tower
  • Niagara Falls: Luna
  • Niagara Falls: Trolley
  • Niagara Falls: Gorge
  • Corning Museum of Glass

Location: 33 South Street, Auburn, NY 13021
Designation: National Historic Landmark
Date designated/established: January 29, 1964
Date of my visit: September 24, 2022