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The Smithsonian Exhibition will be held at the Long Library at Wells College

The local Water/Ways exhibit will be held at the Village of Aurora Historical Society.

Programs will be held at all three partner locations (see below) and elsewhere in the Village of Aurora.

Exhibit site:

Long Library, Wells College

170 Main St.

Aurora, NY 13026



Additional locations:

Aurora Masonic Center

325 Main St.

Aurora, NY

Village of Aurora Historical Society

371 Main St.

Aurora, NY


Region: Finger Lakes Region
Budget Size: All Volunteer
Full/Part time Staff: 29 People
Community Population of Aurora: 350 / Town of Ledyard: 1865

In Aurora-on-Cayuga, the Aurora Masonic Center, the Village of Aurora Historical Society, and Long Library at Wells College have partnered to host the Water/Ways exhibition and share their unique Cayuga Lake water stories. This lake, heart of the Cayuga Nation of the Haudenosaunee, has provided resources to local peoples for centuries: Aurora was once the Cayuga orchards of “Peachtown.” The Erie Canal brought Aurora’s wool, grain, and fruit to national and international markets. As elsewhere in the Finger Lakes, farming is an economic driver, and water quality is an ongoing concern


The lead partner, the Aurora Masonic Center, holds a key historic resource, Scipio Lodge.  Its cornerstone was laid in 1819 by DeWitt Clinton, and its meeting room and collections attract both visitors and scholars.  The Village of Aurora Historical Society presents four to five themed exhibits per year as well as lectures and special events. Over the last five years, they offered exhibits and lectures on topics including water powered mills, early agriculture, underwater archaeology, Canal-related immigration, lake recreation and rescues, and horticulture. Wells College offers an outstanding exhibition site in its Library, which is familiar with hosting traveling exhibits. Recent programming at Wells has included the Sustainability Perspectives lecture series, three art gallery shows on the theme of water, an Anthropology course on water, and the Floating Classroom. In addition, Wells College is host to the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, and the Peachtown Education Festival that takes place on campus every September is a major cultural collaboration with the Haudenosaunee. For additional on-the-water experiences, the Village maintains three public access canoe/kayak points, and a lake touring business (Bianconi Tours) is new in 2018.  

The Museum Association of New York strengthens the capacity of New York State’s cultural community by supporting professional standards and organizational development. We provide advocacy, training, and networking opportunities so that museums and museum professionals may better serve their missions and communities.

Museum Association of New York is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. 

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Troy, NY 12180 USA

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