Finger Lakes History Alive in Internship – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Finger Lakes History Alive in Internship

Grace Gist ’14 was given the chance to immerse herself in the Finger Lakes’ rich history as an intern at one of the many unique museums in the area, the Seward House Museum.

Located in Auburn, N.Y., at the home of William H. Seward, a New York State Governor, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State to Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson, the Seward House Museum keeps the history of Seward and his family alive through exhibits that pay tribute to his influential role in the shaping of American history.

Gist first heard about the internship through the Salisbury Center for Career Services and decided to apply to pursue her love for history. “I was excited to have the opportunity to share fascinating history with a great number of people on a regular basis,” says Gist.

As an intern for the museum, Gist was given a wide variety of responsibilities that allowed her to explore and experience many aspects of museum culture.  She helped set up and organize exhibitions, researched the influence of music on Seward’s life, and served as a tour guide for visitors.  

“Many house museums use replicas in their exhibits, but at the Seward House everything on display was owned by the family. They saved books, letters, furniture, paintings, receipts and clothing.” Perhaps one of the most intriguing items on display at the museum is a portion of the slashed bed sheet from an assassination attempt on Seward’s life that coincidently occurred on the same evening John Wilkes Booth shot President Lincoln.

On campus Gist is a member of the College’s Chorale, Cantori, Perfect Third and LiberTango. She is pursuing a double major in English and music.