529 - 533 Exchange Street, Geneva, New York | Unmarked Location
The Hotel Nester stood at Exchange and Franklin Streets in downtown Geneva. It served as the headquarters hotel for a woman's suffrage (nineteenth-century practice was to use the singular, woman's; later practice was to use the plural, women's) convention held November 3–5, 1897. The statewide convention of the New York State Woman Suffrage Association (NYSWSA) was organized by Elizabeth Smith Miller and her daughter, Anne Fitzhugh Miller, at the invitation of suffrage activist Harriet May Mills. Isabel Howland, of the prominent abolitionist Howland family of Sherwood and a college classmate of Elizabeth Smith Miller’s, served as Treasurer of the Convention. Susan B. Anthony was one of the principal speakers. Business meetings took place at the Nester, while sessions open to the public were held at Collins Hall and the Smith Opera House, use of which was donated to the conference by pro-suffrage Geneva entrepreneur and philanthropist William Smith.
In later years, the Nester was renamed the Seneca Hotel and began to decline. It was razed in the 1980s and replaced by the high-rise senior citizen apartment building that occupies the site today.
During its glory days, the Hotel Nester expanded into the adjacent storefront and even added a sixth story. Later, however, it became the Hotel Seneca and entered a time of decline. The structure is shown here not long before its demolition.