Home to progressive thinkers and welcoming to reformist speakers, the Wesleyan Chapel was known as the "Great Light House."
In 1843, amidst emerging local and national controversy over freedom of speech, the role of women, temperance, and the morality of slavery, a devoted few Seneca Falls residents formed one of the nation's first Wesleyan Methodist congregations here. Committed to equality and free speech, the congregation offered their new chapel to reform speakers. In 1848, the congregation opened its doors to the First Women's Rights Convention.
After the Civil War, the Wesleyan Chapel passed into private hands. Though never destroyed entirely, it was altered to serve as a theater, store, garage, and laundry. Still, Americans returned to the site to commemorate the anniversary of the First Women's Rights Convention.
Today, the National Park Service preserves the remnants of the original chapel. Visitors from around the world come here to explore ideas of freedom, equality, and social reform.