All articles by Dennis Connors

How an Upstate Hamlet Was Named After an Ancient Italian City

This is the story

Syracuse has an historic and appropriate link to Italy, one that pre-dates the influx of immigrants from that country during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The city is the namesake of the ancient town on the Italian seacoast in Sicily called Siracusa.



Salt Played Role in War of 1812

Lore of the Onondaga salt industry

This year continues to mark the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. The Onondaga Historical Association is hosting an exhibit from the National Museum of the U.S. Navy about naval activity during that war.



Civil War in Focus

Local photographer George Barnard recorded historic 19th-century events

George Barnard, one of Central New York’s own, has slowly gained recognition as among the most important pioneer photographers in documenting the tragedy of America’s Civil War. A 2013 exhibition on Civil War photography at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art included an entire gallery devoted to Barnard’s work. In November, the Washington Post’s magazine featured an article on war photography titled “Pioneers of the Form.” It highlighted the four Civil War photographers generally acknowledged as the most significant in that field: Matthew Brady, Timothy O’Sullivan, Alexander Gardner and George Barnard.



Who was Gen. Gustavus Sniper?

And why does he have a monument in Syracuse?

On the North Side of Syracuse, near East Laurel Street, stands the city’s only equestrian monument.  Gen. Gustavus Sniper and his steed, “Bill,” have gazed serenely but nobly down Salina Street since 1905.



Syracuse Booze Times

Eighty-two years ago, cops were chasing bootleggers in the Salt City

As an increasing number of states ease up on the once illegal use of marijuana, it is apropos to note that it was 80 years ago this month that the great experiment to make alcohol illegal, Prohibition, was finally declared a failure.