Also Showing on the ​History Center YouTube Channel

  Into the Florence Hill Forest: Finding Your Footing in Local Historical Research

Jessica Harney shares her journey of uncovering history in a local NYS Forest through local document research, collaborative relationships, and archeological field experiences in this virtual lecture. Her research focuses on the Florence Farming and Lumber Community/Association, which was a small 19th Century settlement of both freedom seekers and free blacks who established a communal farmstead in Florence, NY through the help of local abolitionists Stephen Myers and Gerrit Smith.

View a recording of the presentation on theHistory Center YouTube Channel.

 Virtual Lecture:  Canal Archaeology in Utica

Join NY State Archaeologist David Staley to discover our local history that has been buried for nearly a century or more along Utica’s Erie and Chenango canals. Staley will transform the limestone masonry, concrete, and iron remains found underground into a bustling 19th century canal side business district, and also share how archaeological discoveries can contradict historic narratives and even reveal shady political cronyism in Utica during the 1880s.

View a recording of the presentation on the History Center YouTube Channel.

Murder & Mayhem in the Mohawk Valley 

The Mohawk Valley is a region steeped in history including fascinating historical murder cases. James Greiner, Herkimer County Historian and contributing author of Murder & Mayhem in Herkimer County, discusses cases with Utica connections in this virtual lunchtime lecture.

View a recording of the presentation on the History Center YouTube channel.

The Politics of Translation: The Legacy of the Dutch in New York 

The effort to translate the documents of the New Netherland colony has a long and winding history. Today the New Netherland Project has brought the history of the colony of New Netherland to a new generation interested in the Dutch history of New York, but the origins of the translation project began in Oneida County. From 1817 to 1822, Francis Adrian van der Kemp of Oldenbarneveld worked tirelessly to translate the records of the New Netherland colony. His efforts, however, were bogged down by the partisan politics of New York during the Early American Republic. This virtual lecture by Dr. Peter Van Cleave focuses on the struggles Van der Kemp faced as he tried to preserve the history of New Netherland and its role in the creation of the United States.

 View a recording of the presentation on the History Center YouTube channel.

Gloves Along the Mohawk

The Mohawk Valley has produced professional baseball players since the late 1800s from some of the very first professionals in baseball history, to some of the greatest players ever, to those who played only a few games in Major League Baseball. Join Lou Parrotta, the City of Utica Historian, as he shares stories of the local ballplayers who made it to the Major League in this virtual lunchtime lecture. Based on book Glove Along the Mohawk (2012) by Lou Parrott and Scott Fiesthumel.

View a recording of the presentation on the the History Center YouTube channel.

The Battle of Oriskany & Herkimer's Militia

The story of the Battle of Oriskany on August 6, 1777 has been passed down for generations, but how much do we really know about General Nicholas Herkimer and the Tryon County Militia? As historical records are scanned for digital collections, more original documents are available than ever before, painting a broader picture of the battle and its participants. Alexis Albright, curator of the Oriskany Museum, discusses this important event in our national and local history.

View a recording of the presentation on the History Center YouTube Channel

 The Conception of the Erie Canal

​ While the Erie Canal took only 8 years to dig, getting to the point where people could start digging was a nearly 100-year long process. This virtual lecture by Erie Canal Museum Educator Derrick Pratt looks at the early efforts to harness New York’s interior waterways and the political wrangling that almost kept the “Eighth Wonder of the World” from happening. 

View a recording of the presentation on the History Center YouTube Channel

"The Coney Island of Central NY”- Sylvan Beach in its Heyday 

​Dive into Oneida Lake and Sylvan Beach history with author and local expert, Jack Henke.  Henke will talk about "The Beach" during its heyday, ~1900, sharing fun facts and photos from the past.  Henke is the author of four books about Oneida Lake history including From “The Beach” to Brewerton: Stories of Oneida Lake, and Oneida Lake: “The Only Happiness” Place Names and History.

View a recording of the presentation on the History Center YouTube Channel

In Search of What She Left Behind ​

View the History Center's first virtual presentation! Barbara Dunadee will present a historic travelogue focused on finding remnants from the past left behind by notable area women. Inspired by her involvement in the two-volume series, Women Belong in History Books, Herkimer and Oneida Counties, 1700 to 1950 edited by Jane Spellman, Barb and her group organized several bus tours through parts of Herkimer and Oneida Counties showing others the rich history of this region. Her talk will feature some of what they have found while searching local highways and byways in an attempt to connect history with modern-day.

View a recording of the presentation on theHistory Center YouTube Channel
A New Look at Evidence of Glacial Retreat in the Upper Mohawk Valley Using LiDAR Images

Over his career as an educator and geologist, Bob Allers has investigated the glacial geology preserved in New York from the last Ice Age. Recently, he had a chance to interact with an upper-level geoscience class at Hamilton College and to learn a bit about GIS (Global Information Systems) and LiDAR imaging. Digital mapping and LiDAR images provide a new way to look at surface landforms and allows a fresh look at our interpretation of the local surface geology. Explore our local, natural history in this virtual presentation on the glacial geology in Oneida, Madison, and Herkimer Counties as seen in LiDAR images.

Watch Now on the History Center YouTube Channel
They Came to Work, The Early Polish Immigrants of West Utica 

Poles began to arrive in earnest in Utica in the 1880s. Their numbers grew throughout the next decades, capped only by the onset of World War I. This virtual talk by Patricia Bury Yocum looks at why the immigrants came, what they found, and where they worked. In putting down roots and raising families largely in West Utica, they created a distinct Polish presence and long legacy still extant.​​

Watch Now on the History Center YouTube Channel

Upcoming Programs & Events

Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 11:30 am- Making History: The Underground Railroad, Abolition, and Women in Central New York with Mary Hayes Gordon 

More information and registration coming soon!

Friday, April 9, 2021 from 9:00 am - 11:30- Association of Public Historians in New York State Region 7 Meeting 

The Association of Public Historians in New York State (APHNYS) invites area historians and the public to their Region 7 virtual meeting. This online program includes presentations from Burke Library Director and Curator of Special Collections Christian Goodwillie, Town of Summit and Village of Stamford Historian Karen Cuccinello, Oneida County History Center Director of Public Programs Patrick Reynolds, and Oneida County Underground Railroad expert Jan DeAmics.  This program is free courtesy of APHNYS as part of in-service education for historians. Registration information, presenter bios, and a schedule are available below. 

Advanced registration is required; limited to 100 participants.
 You will receive a link and instruction on how to join this online event after registration is complete.
Henry DiSpirito: Stonemason to Sculptor

Join Ashley Hopkins-Benton, Senior Historian and Curator of Social History at the New York State Museum, to explore the life and art of Henry DiSpirito. DiSpirito (1898–1995) emigrated from Italy in 1921, and found a nurturing home in Utica, NY. A stonemason and bricklayer by trade, he longed to devote his life to art. He found his calling in the direct-carving style of sculpture and became an accomplished painter. He exhibited at the Whitney, MoMA, and SculptureCenter in New York City, and was appointed the first artist-in-residence at Utica College. Through his art, DiSpirito developed a deep connection with students and faculty, as well as the larger community in Utica.

Watch Now on the History Center YouTube Channel

​History Center YouTube Channel Programs 

​Oneida County History Center