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Cayuga Museum Wants to Hear Your Stories for Fall Exhibit


The Cayuga Museum is hoping you can help with an upcoming exhibit highlighting industry in Auburn.

If you or your family worked or currently works at a factory in the city, the museum wants you to share your stories for Making History: Stories of Industry in Auburn.

After initially announcing it was seeking the public’s help in November to collect stories and items for the exhibit, Geoff Starks with the museum told Finger Lakes News Radio that people were incredibly responsive with most respondents having worked at ALCO. He said the museum is hoping to hear more stories from other factories.

Specifically, the museum is searching for anyone who worked at the Columbian Rope Company, Dunn & McCarthy or other shoemaking companies, and Procino and Rossi Macaroni Products.

Director of Collections, Karyn Radcliffe, previously spoke with Finger Leakes News Radio about the exhibit. She said the goal of the exhibit is to the effect these factories had on local life in the city.

“[The exhibit’s goal is to] not just tell what this is, what Columbian Rope did, this is what Osborne/International Harvester did,” said Radcliffe. “We want to talk about why and how it started here and how it changed the city and how the city has changed since industry moved out as well.”

She hopes that focusing on the individuals rather than the organizations will allow visitors to form a more personal connection to the exhibit.

“I think it makes a more interesting exhibit. It’s easier for people to relate… We have [Enna Jettick] shoes and shoe portraits up right now and people come in and go ‘Oh, my family worked there.’ I think it’s fun for people to share their own stories and it’s easier for visitors to relate to that,” said Radcliffe.

The exhibit will launch this Fall. Anyone who’d like to contribute is asked to contact Radcliffe at 315-253-8051 or [email protected].

(Courtesy of the Cayuga Museum)
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