26th Annual Seneca Heritage Day

Traditional Seneca singing, dancing, children’s activities plus recognition of 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage and influence of Haudenosaunee women

In recognition of this area’s original Seneca people and their cultural and societal legacy — especially their impact and influence on the early Suffragists — the Middlesex Heritage Group hosts its 26th annual Seneca Heritage Day on Saturday, September 2 from 2-4 pm. The free, family-friendly event takes place on the grounds of the historic Overackers Corners Schoolhouse in Middlesex.

 As is tradition, the Middlesex Heritage Group invites representatives from Ganondagan State Historic Site to teach the public in their own words about the history and contributions of the Seneca Nation. This year, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage, Ganondagan’s Peter Jemison and Ronnie Reitter will talk about women’s roles in the Iroquois Confederacy and their influence on early Feminists. The afternoon also features performances by Seneca singers and social dancers in traditional regalia, and a children’s storyteller. Free ice cream will be served and pies will be available for purchase.

 “Seneca Heritage Day is our way of honoring the original people of the area and their contribution to our culture and way of life,” said Win Harper, president of the Middlesex Heritage Group.  “The Seneca language has given us the names of many of our lakes and towns, and the Iroquois Confederacy was an inspiration to Ben Franklin and the authors of our Constitution.” The program is held under a tent, but attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs. The Schoolhouse will also be open for tours after the event.

 Overackers Corners Schoolhouse was built in the late 19th century and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is located at the intersection of Route 364 and North Vine Valley Road. Event sponsors include The Mitchell Foundation – Rochester Area Community FoundationWegmans, and Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association.


The Middlesex Heritage Group is a volunteer organization that records and disseminates the history of the area through weekly meetings, a quarterly newsletter and hosting a variety of community events.