Howland Stone Store

The Howland Stone Store, seen from across the street. Its 1881 wooden annex (next door) is just visible at left of photo. Photo by Paul Malo.

The Howland Stone Store was opened in 1837 in the hamlet of Sherwood (east of Seneca Lake) by the Quaker Slocum Howland. It became the center of his diversified business operations, income from which enabled him to become one of Cayuga County’s most important Underground Railroad supporters.

The store was built of cobblestones in a distinctive regional style. A wood clapboard annex (next door) was added circa 1881 by Slocum’s son William and his wife Hannah, parents of woman’s rights activist Isabel Howland. The museum based in the Stone Store profiles both the region’s early commerce and the important role played by members of the Slocum family and other village residents, most of them Quakers, in advancing causes including abolition and woman’s rights. It exhibits a rare Underground Railroad pass and one of the largest known collections of suffrage posters and related ephemera.

The Stone Store and its annex are two of 27 buildings in the Sherwood Equal Rights Historic District, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. Thanks to Judith Wellman for supplying background information and selected images.