History around MUCC

The green house next to MUCC, compared to an old photo of it.

The walls are lined with old books, Utica Directories dating back to 1817, and other artifacts. A painting of a young woman stares me down. A huge drawing of “A Birdseye View of Utica” from 1895 hangs behind the table of MUCCsters. The well-decorated walls of this basement carry so much history of Utica and Oneida County.

Today, Victoria captains her group of MUCCsters at the Oneida County Historical Society to better prepare them for their upcoming responsibilities this summer. Her group is currently researching the neighborhoods surrounding MUCC. Our goal is to understand the area’s history in order to give guided tours of the streets surrounding MUCC like Jewett, Faxton and Scott.

Working at the Historical Society has been a major part of this program. As an organization, they have welcomed us and helped us find the information we need in order to make these tours a reality. Without them, the tours may not happen.

Our MUCCsters look at old newspaper clippings. One of which shows the old city hall, and another shows the Woolworth’s in Utica. It is amazing to see the history that our community has.

Not only is history important to understand, it is also interesting to know what these old neighborhoods looked like over a hundred years ago. Looking back, it’s fascinating to see how they have changed and evolved into what they are today.

Underneath the “Birdseye view of Utica” is an old map of the streets of Utica. I look for my street, but the map cuts off a few blocks ahead of it, but it’s still exciting to see the familiar names and places. The familiarity of this history is what sets it apart from the history of places like Philadelphia or Boston. Those places have major history, but they lack the familiarity of growing up around these places.

Seeing pictures of what Utica looked like in the late 1800s and early 1900s is amazing. Things look the same, but also different. It’s odd. Now when I see these buildings in these photographs when walking down the streets, I will be reminded of how they used to look. I can be taken back in time on a daily basis.