Last Thursday we found ourselves exploring Onondaga County. Since we are promoting historical sites through our involvement in Paths Through History, we wanted to check some of the locations out for ourselves.
First stop: Matilda Joslyn Gage Home! “Who’s Matilda Joslyn Gage,” you ask? Good question! We learned that Gage was a major figure in the Women’s Suffrage movement but her name was practically erased from history.
When we first arrived at this museum, Dave, a welcoming and well-informed gentleman, greeted us. Upon entering, we noticed a bust overlooking the door and partially expected a “hands-off,” walk-through kind of museum. However, as Dave led us through the Gage Home he explained that it is an interactive museum of dialogue and social conscience, which means it was hands-on and lots of fun! Some of our favorite parts of this visit was when Heather got to dress in a hoop skirt and hat, as well as when she hid in a secret passage (she’s a good sport). We also loved learning about the etymology of “Oz.”
Next stop: the Historical Association. When we arrived we were told that the organization’s impact was in their outreach, but we think they were just being modest. Though they do have great numbers in outreach, we were astonished by all of the artifacts and historical information they had in their collection. We loved the big plaques inscribed with the mysteries of Onondaga County. These mysteries ranged from the “13 Curves” to the “Mystical Ladies in Red and White.” Our team was also interested to learn that the New York State Fair is in New York because of the Ka-noo-no Karnival. We were touched to go through the “Freedom Bound: Story of the Underground Railroad” display and impressed by the Syracuse China exhibit. Oh, and Laura nearly died when she entered the “Fashion After Five” exhibit.
Last stop: Skä•noñh Center, formerly known as Sainte Marie among the Iroquois. We were a little disappointed to find out that the organization is currently not open to the public, but we’re excited for the new information and changes that they are implementing. Walking up the stairs in the main building was astonishing. The staircase is set up to transport you to the native environment before the Europeans arrived. A canoe hangs from the ceiling and animals that would have been natural to the environment. We also felt very privileged as we trekked through the snow to explore the buildings set up to recreate the Haudenosaunee environment. Our guide was a trooper.
Our team was excited to go on another adventure today, but due to the inclement weather we had to cancel our plans. We are a bit disappointed, but we’re making up for it with a Coburn Design family lunch. Laura’s making us her famous chili. Yum!