2956 State Route 34B, Sherwood (now Aurora), New York | Museum / Exhibit
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 (nineteenth-century practice was to use the singular, woman's; later practice was to use the plural, women's) 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 twenty-seven 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.
The Howland Stone Store is located at the historic center of Sherwood. A 1932 State Education Department marker standing in front of the Stone Store's 1881 annex marks the site where village founder Judge Seth Sherwood erected a house that doubled as a courthouse in 1804.