Oriskany Museum deserves support



Rome Sentinel Co.



The village of Oriskany is steeped in history — from the fabled Revolutionary War Battle of Oriskany in August 1777 to its quintessential example of a rural mill town to its role as namesake of the USS Oriskany, the Essex-class Naval aircraft carrier. Residents of the village proudly keep this history alive through the wonderful Oriskany Museum. The museum, located in the heart of the village at 420 Utica St., was founded as the Battle of Oriskany Historical Society in 1967. Don’t be fooled by the museum’s relatively small yet tidy exterior. The Oriskany Museum is a local treasure, featuring not just the static display of the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk fighter jet and an anchor from the USS Oriskany, but also an array of artifacts and other items of historical significance — which the museum shares with residents as well as with visitors from across the globe free of charge during its regular hours and select special events. Currently, Oriskany Museum officials are in the process of seeking grant funding to help fund accessibility updates, including updates to the building’s wheelchair ramp to the latest ADA compliance to better serve its patrons, which include a significant number of veterans. Former Navy personnel from the USS Oriskany travel from all over the country to visit the Oriskany Museum, which displays artifacts from the aircraft carrier alongside displays on local history. Just outside the museum rests the ship’s starboard anchor, which serves as a memorial to those lost in the 1966 fire onboard the Mighty O. The proposed work would also cover minor updates to its restroom facilities, such as braille signage and infant changing tables. The Oriskany Museum plans to honor several important anniversaries in the upcoming years and is preparing for a sharp increase in visitorship. These upcoming anniversaries include: the 200th anniversary of Gilbert du Motier, the Marquis de Lafayette’s, visit to Oriskany during his farewell tour in June 2025; the America250 celebrations in July 2026; and the 250th commemoration of the Battle of Oriskany in August 2027. In addition to seeking funding for its accessibility project, the Oriskany Museum is also partially funded from donations from its patrons. Likewise, the majority of the museum’s artifacts have been gifted by community members with monetary donations helping to offset operating costs. For information on the museum, including how to make a donation, see its website at https://www. oriskanymuseum.com. Keeping local history alive is a labor of love – and we heartily applaud those volunteers and members of the museum for their ongoing donations of both time and money. Through their efforts, they have helped keep village residents connected to their history and hundreds of veterans connected to those they served with aboard the Mighty O. It’s an effort we are not just proud to salute — but one we hope continues for generations to follow.