The Onondaga Historical Association has a new exhibit aimed at teaching people about the history of bridges in Onondaga County. The exhibit shows off various bridges throughout the county, but focuses primarily on the impact these bridges have had on the history of development within the region.
history curator Dennis Connors says debate over bridge placement has long divided the city of Syracuse, much like it currently does in the heavily debated I-81 challenge.
“Common question today when people realize there used to be a canal downtown is they shouldn’t have filled it in, wouldn’t it have been nice if we still had the canal," said Connors. "Well this talks about the reality of the nuisance and the problem that these bridges created and why they couldn’t wait to fill the canal in.”
The new exhibit is part of a statewide effort to promote the history of New York. The Path Through History initiative invites people to visit historical sites throughout New York State all summer long. Connors says the O-H-A is working with the city to expand the information in the bridge exhibit into the community.
“We are working, for example, with the city on the creek walk to put some historic signage up so that when people do take a walk along the creek walk and see these bridges they can read and know a little bit about what their history is.”
Another of the local historical events is the Heritage Area Walking Tours starting at the Erie Canal Museum. The walk includes Clinton and Hanover Square, the former path of the Erie Canal, and concludes back at the museum.
Those interested in learning about the history of the region are invited to tour the OHA bridge exhibit, go on a walking tours of the former canal site or visit the historic homes of Sedgewick Farms in the "Save the mansions tours". These events happen the first and second weekends in June. For a complete list of events, visit the Path Through History website.