Wednesday, March 11, 2015

It's a Wonderful Travelogue Part 2: Seneca Falls, NY

On August 6, 2014, I visited Seneca Falls, NY with my family. It's about an hour or so east of Niagra Falls, so it makes for a nice trip.

Seneca Falls claims the title of "The Real Bedford Falls," which is the setting of the film It's a Wonderful Life. Residents claim that the town - which Frank Capra was known to have visit - was his inspiration for the design of Bedford Falls. The Web site www.therealbedfordfalls.com tells that story.

To tell the truth, I have read the argument, yet I remained skeptical. I felt like it was an attempt to grab some good PR based on a couple of weird coincidences. And yet, when I got there, I was really impressed. Read the argument at the link above and check out some of the pictures below.

As an added bonus, Seneca Falls has the It's a Wonderful Life Museum. I was amazed at the collections I found there. They were so much fun, and the collection was growing. A group was traveling around the country picking memorabilia from key collectors, including Karolyn "Zuzu" Grimes and The Goodson Collection to bring back to the museum. Learn more about the museum at www.wonderfullifemuseum.com.

Have you been to Senca Falls? Do you want to go? Do you believe their claim? Comment below!

Here are photos of our trip from my personal collection:

This mill looks like the mill that can be seen in the background when the Martini family packs up their cars to move out of Potter's Field.

Another photo of the mill.
The bridge that started it all.
Me near the bridge.
The approach to the bridge...complete with a pedestrian walkway and a story of one person's sacrifice to save another.
George Bailey wasn't the only one to jump from a bridge to save someone's life. Antonio Varacalli did it in real life. He lost his life.

A plaque on the bridge identifies the connection to It's a Wonderful Life.
Even the streets are appropriately named.





These streets are in It's a Wonderful Life, as well.But you have to pay attention to catch that detail.

This is one of two houses that reportedly inspired the Granville House.
This is one of two houses that reportedly inspired the Granville House.
Same house, different angle. 
The train depot can be seen in the distance, left-center. 
Me in front of the It's a Wonderful Life Museum.
I wish I had purchased these dolls when they were sold at Target. They are worth a small fortune now. These dolls are at the It's a Wonderful Life Museum.
I have seen these Zuzu dolls selling for big money on eBay, but never in real life. This was in the It's a Wonderful Life Museum.
This really cool model of Potter's carriage can be found on display at the It's a Wonderful Life Museum.

An IAWL-themed quilt on display at the It's a Wonderful Life Museum.


A painting of Clarence that hangs in the It's a Wonderful Life Museum.
This incorrectly-quoted line from It's a Wonderful Life is a close-up detail of a larger painting of Clarence. This was on display at the It's a Wonderful Life Museum,
This cigar lighter, seen in the It's a Wonderful Life Museum, is like the one George Bailey wished on.
I totally wish I had a million dollars. It didn't work...yet.
I have never seen this train set until I found it on display at the It's a Wonderful Life Museum,
I inspected every square inch of every collectible inside the It's a Wonderful Life Museum.

George Lassos the Moon, without the lettering, but signed by Jimmy Stewart. SO COOL! On display at The It's a Wonderful Life Museum.
Seneca Falls is also the home of the Women's Rights National Historical Park. The park tells the story of the first Women's Rights Convention held in Seneca Falls in 1948.