Preserving our heritage

Those of us who are interested in our region’s rich heritage can be proud of the Oneida County Historians Association and the Oneida County Historical Society, two organizations whose members devote countless hours to preserving and expanding our knowledge of our forebears.

In Oriskany Falls, the Oneida County Historians Association presented the "Historian of the Year Award" to Edwin Evans, the Town of Floyd historian. The town and village historians had their fall meeting Oct. 29 at the Limestone Ridge Historical Society. Officers re-elected for one-year terms were Richard Pugh, president; Earl Allen, vice president; Bonny Niles, treasurer and acting secretary, and trustees, Edwin Evans, Betty Carpenter, William Rudge, Lou Parrotta, Elmer Niles and Frank Tomaino. Next year’s History Day 2012 will be held in the Town of Lee as a part of the town’s bicentennial celebration.

In a related matter the Oneida County Historical Society confirmed trustee Lou Parrotta as its new chairman of the board at its annual meeting on Oct. 8. Parrotta, is a teacher at Proctor High School, Utica, and is an adjunct professor at Utica College. He also is Utica’s historian.

These two groups consist of dedicated individuals who bring to life our area’s legacy. One typical example is the recent appearance at the historical society of Civil War historian Patrick Schroder, assigned to Appomattox Court House National Historical Park in Virginia, who talked about 11th New York Volunteer Infantry that was popularly known as the Fire Zouaves.