Seth M. Gates House - Warsaw, New York
Posted by: Szuchie
N 42° 44.456 W 078° 08.089
17T E 734522 N 4736027
Quick Description: Welcome to the Gates House, noted as being an important Underground Railroad Station in Warsaw, New York for slaves escaping towards Canada!
Location: New York, United States
Date Posted: 3/1/2008 7:39:29 PM
Waymark Code: WM39N4
According to Warsawhistory.org (website listed below):One of the most important historical buildings in the community is the Gates House on Perry Avenue owned by the Warsaw Historical Society. The house was constructed in 1824 by Horace Hollister who established the first carriage and sleigh factory here. His shop was a few rods north of his house. It is a splendid specimen of early architecture and one of the few in the area which preserves its original exterior. It has been the birthplace of a dozen civic and philanthropic organizations and the homestead of the truly distinguished Seth M. Gates Family.
Hon. Seth M. Gates of Leroy who had served two terms in Congress as an Antislavery Whig bought the property in 1844. He had suffered two paralytic strokes and had been advised by his physician to give up his promising political career and leave his chosen profession, law. He came to live in Warsaw to be near his parents, his brother and two sisters who lived here.
In Congress he had distinguished himself in his stand against slavery. By one of his acts against that evil, he so incensed the Southern governors that no less than five of them mentioned him in their annual messages and a wealthy planter of Savannah offered a reward of $500 for his body to be delivered in that city. He was a strong advocate of temperance and opposed to the masonic fraternity. He helped John Quincy Adams and others to secure the passage of the bill guaranteeing the right of petition. His home was believed to be one of several stations of the "underground railroad".
According to the New York State Heritage Website, this location is listed as a Underground Railroad Site within Western New York ( (visit link
) ). Concerning the Gates House it states:Underground Railroad safe house and home of retired U.S. Congressman Seth M. Gates, an anti-slavery advocate, and conductor of the Underground Railroad.
Furthermore according to the American Guide Series (New York: A Guide to the Empire State) published in 1940:The Gates House, Perry Ave., a rectangular, two-story post-Colonial structure, was build in 1824. Seth M. Gates, ardent abolitionist, purchased the house in 1834, and for the next 15 years was s station on the Underground Railroad, Gates concealing the fugitives in the cellar and attic.
The Gates House now serves as the home of the Warsaw Historical Society, which is open to the public from Monday through Friday (10am to 2pm).
15 Perry Avenue
Warsaw, NY USA
Web site: [Web Link]
Site Details: Mon-Fri 10am - 2pm
Open to the public?: Public
Name of organization who placed the marker: Not listed
Provide an original photo of the building and/or marker, and describe your visit.