OCHC seeks your help to replace a vandalized historic marker!
A historic roadside marker commemorating the Florence Farming Association (1845-1860), a community where free Blacks could own land and farm, was installed and dedicated in 2017 on Florence Hill Road in Oneida County. The application was written by Camden High School Social Studies Teacher Jessica Harney and submitted by Oneida County History Center. Harney’s students have participated in research and fieldwork associated with the site on several occasions through their study of public history. Sadly, the sign was vandalized or stolen in January 2022.
The total cost of a new sign is $1550. The William G. Pomeroy Foundation has generously offered to pay for half. The History Center seeks to raise $775 to replace this marker that represents an important piece of Oneida County history. Please consider supporting this effort as we approach National Historic Marker Day on April 28. Donations can be made through the History Center e-Bookstore or by mail.
How to donate:
Visit our e-Bookstore at https://oneidacountyhistory.square.site/donate and select the Historic Marker Fund, Florence Farming Association under the Donate tab.
Mail your check made payable to Oneida County History Center and note Florence Farming Association in the memo (this is important) and mail to:
Oneida County History Center
Attn: FFA Historic Marker Fund
1608 Genesee Street
Utica, NY 13502
The Florence Farming Association was established around 1845. It was intended to create a community where free blacks could own land and farm. Local abolitionist and philanthropist Gerrit Smith gifted the land to several settlers and through the agency of Stephen Myers, roughly 80-90 families who called Florence home by 1849. For a little over twelve years this small community flourished. After 1860, the Florence Farming Association ceased to exist and the community disbanded. Learn more about the Florence Farming Association on the Pomeroy Foundation website, https://www.wgpfoundation.org/historic-markers/florence/, or check out Jessica Harney’s lecture on the History Center YouTube channel.
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 the exhibit gallery is free for the general public; donations are encouraged. Please contact the History Center at 315-735-3642 or visit oneidacountyhistory.org for additional information.