‘Madison County Holiday Travel Through Time’ exhibit announced

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ONEIDA — For the 2021 Holiday Season, the Madison County Historical Society will offer an exhibit of over 20 rare early-American shelf clocks made in Madison County between 1830-1842, entitled “A Madison County Holiday Travel Through Time.”

The clockmakers presented will include William Dexter, Horace Dexter and Carter & Weller of Stockbridge, and L.&J. Frisbie of Chittenango. The exhibit runs Nov. 1 through Dec. 17.

Historical Society officials said the antique clock is a romantic legacy of seemingly simpler days and years gone by. Glancing at the face of an old clock one sees not only the reflection of people, places, and events long forgotten but also a product of incomparable construction and craftsmanship.

Some of the hands and skills that fashioned early American clocks came from Madison County. The private collection of wooden cased shelf clocks on view are owned by G. Russell Oechsle who is a long-time researcher and collector of upstate New York clocks and clockmakers. His first articles on Madison County clocks appeared in the early 1980s in the Madison County Heritage. Oechsle was the co-author of the 2003 National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors book “An Empire in Time – Clocks and Clock Makers of Upstate New York,” and has written articles for and made numerous presentations to local and national interest groups and historical societies.

Oechsle is a Star Fellow of the NAWCC and is a past Board Member of the Madison County Historical Society and the American Watch & Clock Museum at Bristol, Conn. He resides in Homer with his wife Janet and daughter Jeni.

Viewing of “A Madison County Holiday Travel Through Time” will be available by reservation from Nov. 1 through Dec. 17, Monday through Friday, during the Madison County Historical Society’s business hours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The tours are $5, and are free for Historical Society’s members. Children 12 and under enter for free.

Guided tours presented by exhibit curator Russ Oechsle will be available on Sunday, Nov. 21 and 28, and Sunday, Dec. 12 and 19, each at 1 p.m. by appointment. Space is limited. The tours are $15, $10 for MCHS members. Children 12 and under are free.

For information on the exhibit and to make an appointment to visit, contact the Madison County Historical Society at 315-363-4136, or history@mchs1900.org.

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