The first guided tours inside the fences of the former Seneca Army Depot began Thursday morning. Finger Lakes Public Radio’s Greg Cotterill went along for the ride. Dennis Money has been working with his group Seneca White Deer for two decades to make the day happen.
“Welcome, welcome, welcome. I’ve been trying to think what to say today. After all of 20 years of frustration and political problems and so on we finally have this opportunity to showcase the Seneca Army Depot to the people of the world and we are delighted.”
The 90-minute bus tour includes the military history of the former army depot.
“The first war the Depot operated in was World War II in Europe and that then was followed by the Korean War, Vietnam, and the first Desert Storm war of 1990. As a matter of fact, the first Desert Storm war, this depot provided over 40,000 tons of bombs for that campaign.”
The bus tour includes stops where guests can walk through bomb shelters and inside one of the more than 500 earth covered storage bunkers.
“So, I’m going to show you how strong I am as I move this thousand pound door. It’s been well-lubricated and opened by a tractor because I couldn’t open it, I’ll tell you that. And you will notice a definite echo in here. Welcome to the igloo.”
Of course nature is a big part of the tour and the main attraction is the Depot’s rare white deer herd.
Tours are now being offered Thursday through Sunday. There’s more information at senecawhitedeer.org.