The Greater Oneonta Historical Society opens a new exhibition at the Oneonta History Center on Friday May 25 that explores the history of the state militia and Army National Guard in Oneonta. Entitled “Oneonta’s Own: The State Militia & National Guard in Oneonta, 1812-2003,” the exhibition features artifacts and images drawn from the collection of the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga Springs, many of which were previously displayed in the Oneonta Armory and transferred to the Military Museum when the National Guard vacated that building in 2003. The exhibition curator is Oneonta native Courtney Burns, director of military history for the NYS Division of Military & Naval Affairs.
For nearly two hundred years, Oneonta had a military presence from the first militia company formed in 1812 through a detachment of D Company, 204th Engineer Battalion, which left the city in 2003. Oneonta’s National Guard served in the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II. During the Cold War, Oneonta’s National Guard remained on alert as part of the primary reserve force for the Active Army, and as part of an engineer battalion in the 1970s through the 1990s was an invaluable resource for numerous public works projects and snow and flood emergencies throughout Otsego County.
GOHS executive director Bob Brzozowski says, “We are pleased that some of the historical objects once displayed at the Armory are returning to Oneonta, even if only for a few months.”
The Oneonta History Center is located at 183 Main Street and is open Monday through Friday from 12:00 noon to 4:00 PM and Saturday from 10:00 PM to 4:00 PM, as well as for special events and by prior arrangement. For more information, contact (607) 432-0960 or info@OneontaHistory.org or visit www.OneontaHistory.org.
Photos from the exhibition are available upon request. Written by Courtney Burns; distributed by Bob Brzozowski.