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VoteTilla makes a splash in Pittsford

Randy Gorbman

It was a trip back in time and also a look forward in Pittsford Thursday with five boats traveling along the Erie Canal to celebrate the centennial of  women’s suffrage docked in Carpenter Park.

This was all part of an event called VoteTilla, which set off from Seneca Falls, the home of the first women’s rights convention, and Barbara Blaisdell, who has long portrayed Susan B. Anthony at events around Rochester helped get the crowd in the mood to talk about freedom and the right to vote.

Among those attending, Suzanne Morgan of Rochester and her daughter.

“We’re hard core feminists in our family and we’re very excited about this centennial celebration of new York giving women the right to vote and I just want Elinor to understand the rich role Rochester and the area played in this history.”

Morgan’s daughter, Elinor Gaul is 10 years old, and even though she won’t be able to vote for a while, she can’t imagine what it would be like to not be able to vote just because of your gender.

“Well,  I know I’d be very, very unhappy about that because really, I don’t see the difference.”

Pittsford Village Mayor Bob Corby says that Pittsford has a long, progressive tradition on political issues including women's rights.

Credit Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

“It was active and some of the leading ladies of the community like Una Hutchison and Estelle Hawley were big supporters of this suffrage movement; the first woman to graduate from the University of Rochester’s medical school as a doctor, was a village resident.”

The VoteTilla celebration wraps up with more activities over the weekend including a parade in Rochester on Saturday. 

VoteTilla will be at Corn Hill Landing in Rochester Friday at 1:30 p.m.

You can find out more information about VoteTilla events here.

Here's video of the events in Pittsford (from Denise Young of WXXI News):

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.