Convention Reenactment & Historical Marker Celebrate Women’s Suffrage

Event was part of NYS Path Through History Weekend

Binghamton, NY – History came alive once again in Binghamton on October 6th during New York State’s Path Through History Weekend. The Broome-Tioga Suffrage Anniversary Committee and the Preservation Association of the Southern Tier teamed up to present the 1913 NYS Woman Suffrage Association Convention reenactment and historical marker unveiling at the Landmark Church in Binghamton. The site, known in 1913 as the Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church, was the location of the state suffrage association’s annual convention.

It was at this three-day meeting that the strategy for the 1915, and ultimately the 1917, statewide suffrage proposition was established. The reenactment featured the opening ceremonies of the convention with speeches by Binghamton Mayor John J. Irving, President of the Binghamton Votes for Women Club Margaret Topliff, auditor for the NYS Woman Suffrage Association Helen Villard (daughter of famed abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison and co-founder of the NAACP), NYS Senator George Green, and a keynote address from national suffrage leader Carrie Chapman Catt.

Following the program, a new historical marker recognizing the church’s role in the suffrage movement was unveiled on Court Street; the marker was funded by the William G. Pomeroy Foundation which has focused its efforts on celebrating suffrage over the last year.

The 1915 ballot proposition for women’s suffrage in New York State failed when only six counties passed it; Broome County was one of them. Two years later women in New York State won the right to vote when the measure passed statewide.

“Path Through History goes beyond learning about our community’s story; it allows visitors to experience it,” Lupardo said. “The re-creation of the opening of the 1913 NYS Woman Suffrage Association Convention at the Landmark Church is just one example of how event organizers have worked to immerse participants in local history.”

Path Through History Weekend featured 16 additional sites across both Broome and Tioga Counties. Events ranged from reenactments, museum tours, and special exhibits at historic locations throughout the region.