Tag Archives: Syracuse history

Historical Syracuse

On a recent visit to the Onondaga Historical Association (321 Montgomery Street, Syracuse, New York 13202), I was treated to this wonderful walk down local inventions memory lane. The Brannock device was invented here – that is a big one. It’s the foot measuring device that helps you discover the correct shoe size.

Here is a Franklin roadster from 1902. This is on loan from the Smithsonian and is enclosed in a special air-conditioned environment to preserve and protect it. This car is the third of its kind to be produced and possibly the only remaining one.

Does anyone else remember getting Byrne Dairy milk delivered? Or taking a special trip to Marble Farms to get ice cream after visiting the Burnet Park Zoo?

More inventions include washing machines and typewriters. I think my mom worked at the Smith-Corona factory at one point. There is also an entire floor devoted to Syracuse China.

In addition, there is a costume display. Clothing purchased at stores like Flah’s and The Addis Company were highly valued. The equivalent today would be shopping at Jet Black (6891 E. Genesee Street, Fayetteville, New York 13066).

There are perks to becoming a member of the OHA. You can research the history of your home for instance, which is something that I am very interested in doing. You can also get discounts in their gift shop and have exclusive tours.

For $10 per person, you can do an exclusive tour of the Magic Toy Shop set! I didn’t do that – I’d like to – who is in?

I was gifted this book, which documents the series.

I was on the show once, folk dancing with the other elementary school-aged girls from church to plug The Festival of Nations. It was an event where all the ethnic communities participated in a food, music and dance party, held at the Syracuse War Memorial every November in the ’70s and early ’80s. I was hoping our picture would find its way into the pamphlet but instead, the boys who make up the Macedonian band Merak made the cut. They are all at least ten years younger than me and never watched the show. Lol – I am beyond jealous!

Once again, this blog post will resonate with people my age. The Onondaga Historical Association has been around for one hundred years. Hopefully, it will not be lost to the youth of today. Syracuse has a rich history and there is still so much more life to be lived that will eventually become part of that history.

OHA Museum/Gift Gallery
Wednesday – Friday: 10 – 4
Saturday & Sunday: 11 – 4

OHA Administrative Offices
321 Montgomery Street
Syracuse, New York 13202

Antique Wonderland

Soflea has added a second location for antique shopping fun. Antiques at Railway Commons is located at the corner of Burnet Avenue and Catherine Street, at 400 Burnet Avenue, Syracuse, NY. They are open from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM every day!

Soflea is a play on her name – Sophia Tashkovski, who has a specific eye when it comes to her found object finds. Her shop contains an array of vintage denim clothing and patterned shirts, bar carts, glassware, pottery, brass goods and so much more in the category of chic bric-a-brac treasures, Oh, and Adirondack-style furniture and Americana accessories that would look great as camp decor or in a rustic family room.

Her prices are very reasonable, I think. I bought this little sheepskin rug (below). Pablo loves it!

There are several other vendors in the store. Their areas are delineated by bookshelves and larger pieces of furniture, Each vendor uses different price tags so that the cashier can document sales.

An art gallery is housed upstairs, as well, run by Peter Svoboda. His former location was in Shoppingtown Mall in Dewitt.

You will love this place!

Sophie is my sister, so that is how I found out about it. But this old building has always been in my dreams. It is called Railway Commons because there is an old railway station platform on the Erie Blvd side of the building, elevated to run parallel with 690West. Life-size plaster figures have been posed to greet highway cars for as long as I can remember and I have secretly always wished to stand on that platform. I mean, it is a part of Syracuse history!

Wish granted, as I was fortunate enough to receive a tour of the facility. When I walked out on the platform, my legs were shaking and for a minute I swear I had time -traveled, which, as you know, is a recurring theme in my mind. This is not part of the deal, just so you know – so please don’t visit and expect to go up there, although there is another rooftop space that soon will be available to rent out for parties. It has a grill and other stuff – very NYC vibe-ish, and that was super cool too.

I know. You’re welcome. <3