The most prominent industry that comes to mind when thinking about the history of manufacturing in Utica is textile manufacturing because many of the mill buildings still stand today. The new exhibit, “Utica Shoes? Who Knew!” opens October 1st at 2:00 p.m. at the Oneida County History Center, tells the story of another major industry in Utica that often gets overlooked, shoe manufacturing.
The exhibit features over one hundred never before shown objects from the OCHC collection and sheds light on the rise and fall of this once thriving industry. Several factories employed hundreds of workers producing over two thousand pairs of women’s and children’s shoes a day. The new exhibit features shoemaking tools, advertising, trade catalogs, photographs, and of course, shoes!
In concert with the exhibit opening, Patrick Reynolds, Director of Public Programs, will give a talk about the often-overlooked shoe industry in Utica, the leather industry in the Mohawk Valley, and their connection to national trends. This program is free and open to the public.
The Oneida County History Center is a private 501(c) (3) not-for-profit educational institution dedicated to preserving the history, heritage, and culture of the Greater Mohawk Valley for present and future generations. Admission to this program is free for the general public; donations are encouraged. Please contact the History Center at 315-735-3642 or visit the OCHC website (www.oneidacountyhistory.org) for additional information.