I am available to lead small groups on tours
We meet in Syracuse, NY and do the northern half of the tour, which includes going to the villages of Adams, Henderson, Brownsville, Perch River, Evans Mills, Antwerp, Sodom, Gouverneur, and Lowville.
We spend the night at an Airbnb just below Lowville, New York for an evening meal, perhaps some teaching about revival, and after a good night sleep. We have a great breakfast before head off the next day to cover the southern part of the tour, which includes the village of Western, Trenton, Rome, Wrights Settlement, Rome, Whitesboro, New York Mills, New Hartford, Verona.
If there is time and interest we can add the Erie Canal Museum to the Southern tour... a worthwhile stop.
This price includes van rental, gas, driver, two meals, and overnight lodging at the Airbnb.
Half the payment is expected to reserve your seat. In the event you cancel, your payment is non-refundable, unless we can fill your seat. Ask if you can bring a check made out to Wordsmith for the balance when you arrive.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have other questions or want to book a personal tour.
HOW TO PREPARE
Before you take the tour you should read the first fourteen chapters of Finney’s biography to become acquainted with the story or to refresh your memory.
You can download a free PDF version of this under the Memoir tab. You can also listen to it, which is very impactful.
You can purchase the full version from most Christian bookstores or borrow a copy from your local public library.
In addition, be prepared to have some of your impressions about Finney changed, and perhaps even your concept about revival will be adjusted. The more time I spent getting to know Finney, beyond just reading other people's books about him, the more I appreciated him. He was not like the man I first thought he was. Then, the more I looked at this revival, the less I liked the characterizations that are often given to it.
If you suffer from motion sickness, you might want to take your medication before you begin.
Feel free to bring snacks, although there were will be coffee stops and bathrooms along the way.
You will need to be able to get in and out of a van easily. We will be walking around several cemeteries, so you should bring the right kind of shoes for this and rain gear if necessary. Keep an eye on the weather so you can bring rain gear, if needed.
What You Will See
Most of the roads Finney traveled on are in the same location now as they were back then. As I roamed around the area, I could easily envision a young man traveling by horseback throughout this frontier. The basic geography, the lay-of-the-land, and the remoteness of Northern New York has added much to my appreciation of the Finney story. In many ways, this area is still very much like the frontier it was almost 200 years ago. Unfortunately, some of the buildings (in some cases, whole sections of the villages) have burned to the ground. This changes the historical value of these places and also puts a whole new meaning to the expression "Burned Over District". Some of the buildings have not been able to withstand the test of years of North Country winters. Despite this, I have been able to find several churches that Finney preached in, along with some homes where he stayed and other landmarks that relate to his narrative.
The Northern tour covers parts of Jefferson, St. Lawrence, and Lewis Counties. This tour takes about four hours and is around two hundred miles in length; most of this time is spent driving through remote countryside.
The Southern tour, which takes place mostly in Oneida County, is shorter because it is more compact geographically. Some of it involves driving in and near cities. You will also see why Finney thought this was some of the most beautiful country he had ever seen.
Where We Stay
Part way through our tour we will stay at an Airbnb called Restoration House, which is owned and operated by friends of ours. It is a converted school house in Constableville NY
with lots of room, wonderful meals, and a time of rest and refreshing. The cost of staying here is included in the price of the tour.
To learn more, look for Restoration House on Airbnb or Facebook.