Some of you may be old enough to remember a Pete Seeger song called “To Everything There Is a Season,” with its reminder to “turn, turn, turn, turn” and “a time to every purpose under heaven,” including “a time for war and a time for peace.”

In that spirit, as fall brings crisp and clear days, hinting at the cold that is to come, we work for peace in the best way that we can, by building bridges among people who are our neighbors in this beautiful home we call the Finger Lakes. And we turn to look back on the work of the 1816 Meetinghouse in 2023 and forward to projects that are to come.


Upper left: Jeanette Miller Jemison giving talk.
Upper right: Sandy Pagano, Macedon Historical Society; Mary Kay Ricks, author of Escape on the Pearl; Charles Lenhart, 1816 Board member and descendant of Maria Wilbur, who helped set up a school in Farmington.
Bottom: Carrie Magnan, 1816 Board member; Diane Robinson, and Laurel Bruinix, hosts for our Open House.
June: “Carrying on the Vision” award presented to Jeanette Miller Jemison (Mohawk, Snipe clan) and Peter Jemision (Seneca, Heron clan) for their work over so many years as liasons between Ganondagan and the 1816 Farmington Meetinghouse. Jeanette Jemison presented a talk on sharing Nature with children, with help from Angel Jimerson (Seneca, Heron clan) and Kalen Fontenelle (Seneca, Heron clan).

July: Open House (co-sponsored with the Ontario County Historical Society) attracted an enthusiastic audience.

September: Dave Bruinix and Judy Wellman gave a presentation about the 1816 Meetinghouse and Equal Rights: Past and Present for the Howland Stone Store Museum in Sherwood, New York.

October: Mary Kay Ricks gave a talk on the Edmonson sisters (co-sponsored with AKWAABA: The Heritage Associates, the Frederick Douglass Family Initiative, and the Macedon Historical Society). Mary and Emily Edmonson made a dramatic escape from slavery in 1848 and came to Farmington/Macedon, where they attended a Quaker school. See article in the Finger Lakes Times, October 29, 2023.


The National Park Service is now reviewing specifications and drawings for a full exterior restoration of the Meetinghouse, completed by Bill Brandow of John G. Waite Associates. With a little luck, we will send out requests for proposals this winter, with work to start in the spring. We would like to leverage our funds for this by incorporating apprenticeships in restoring windows and, eventually, interior plastering. If you know of general contractors who might be interested, please send them our way.
Bill Brandow, John G. Waites Associates working on plans for the 1816 Meetinghouse

Nature Trail

Our nature trail, dedicated to peace around the world, has attracted many walkers, including families. We invite you to use this trail any time!
Left: Mary-Kay Belant and Robin Nowell, 1816 Board members, enjoying the nature trail.
Right: Boy Scouts from Troop 50 and one of the signs installed on the nature trail, with quotations from Seneca people, African Americans, women, and Quakers.
Many thanks to Ewing Graphics for creating and donating these signs.

Seneca-Quaker Manuscripts

In August, Judy Wellman visited Swarthmore College to copy more of the manuscripts from the Joint Committee on Indian Affairs, organized by Quakers from Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and Genesee Yearly Meetings of Friends, who worked as allies with Seneca people resisting removal to Kansas and the 1838 Treaty of Buffalo Creek.
Judy Wellman with Jim Hazard, creator of the Hazard Index of Quakers in New York Yearly Meeting, and Jordan Landes, Curator, Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore

New Website

Many thanks to Michael Burke from Lil Redhead Studio for creating a brand-new website for us. We will keep adding material to this in future months. Your thoughts are appreciated. Special thanks to the 1816 Social Media Committee (Dave Bruinix, Kirsten Hoyt, Lyle Jenks, and Charles Lenhart), who worked with Mike on this.

Plans for 2024

Exhibit design for interpretive center, to be created in half the 1816 Meetinghouse when it is restored. To inspire us all, we would like to hire a professional exhibit designer to create mockups of what this space may look like when it is finished.

Endowment. We are working to raise funds to set up an endowment with the Rochester Area Community Foundation to provide some financial stability for the 1816 Meetinghouse. Thanks to three very generous donors, we have already have $45,000 in pledges.

Freedom seeker Selby Howard. We are working to identify and mark local sites relating to Selby and Harriet Howard, who escaped from slavery in Maryland to settle in Farmington.

If you would like to contribute to the exhibit design, the endowment, or restoration, as well as to our general operating expenses (about $20,000/year), please click the DONATE button in the upper right corner of our website! We are immensely grateful, always. We are a totally volunteer organization, and we could not function without your help!
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