I continued my historic adventures Saturday by crossing the street to the Herkimer County Historical Society, which was also offering an open house.
I’ve been through the building several times, but I’m always happy to go through again. Even amongst the displays that don’t change I find I’ve never seen everything. Saturday the third floor archives were open. I was delighted to check that out.
The third floor also houses artifacts not on display. I was particularly fascinated by the collection of old typewriters. I have a minor collection of old typewriters myself. I don’t display them, but I do occasionally haul one out and type on it for old times’ sake.
Looking at all the books and papers, I wished I knew how to set about doing historical research. It looked to me as if there are oceans of information to be had. Some years ago I conceived the ambition to write a biography on Margaret Tugor, a local figure of some note. I may have mentioned that in this blog. Well, someday I may do it. I may not know how to start, but I know where to start.
Back downstairs I got into a conversation with another lady. She asked me if I was involved in any more plays. I said not the current one but I was writing a murder mystery. I used to have a small business that put on interactive murder mysteries. I would not care to attempt to do it for profit again, but for Ilion Little Theatre or as a fundraiser for the Herkimer County Historical Society… that has possibilities. The lady I was talking to said there were some hams on the society board (“hams” was the word she used; she did not name names). I think it would be a very fun thing to do. Certainly blogworthy.
I walked around the museum looking at the displays. I admired their new one, about the War of 1812. I don’t know much about that war. I think a trip to my local library may be in order. The lady at that end of the building showed me another display, all about the different ethnic groups and where they settled in the area. To this day, you can see traces of the various heritages.
I always enjoyed history in school, because it was like a story and I like stories. I didn’t feel it necessarily had anything to do with me personally. Looking at displays at the county historical society, I can see that it does. The War of 1812 is no longer an academic event whose date is pretty easy to remember for the test. Immigration isn’t just about Ellis Island and a potato famine in Ireland.
I suppose I’m stating the obvious. I shall retreat from my attempts at being profound and just say that I think the Herkimer County Historical Society is cool. Check it out. For more information call 315-866-6413.