OSWEGO — The Oswego County Historical Society will host its 29th Annual “Not So Silent Auction” fundraiser on April 8 from 6 – 8:30 p.m. at the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center, 26 E. First St.
Admission is $20 and includes a light food buffet and cash bar. Tickets will be available in advance and at the door the day of the event.
“The amazing generous donations by area businesses, museum members and local residents is incredible,”said Lyn Patterson, co-chair of the event. “The public is very welcome to attend this important event. Anyone interested in preserving our local history by supporting the museum and its amazing collections, please join us for this fun event.”
A wide variety of gift certificates, antiques, home goods, collectibles, artwork and more will be available for bid.
A traditional Chinese auction will be featured with chances to be offered on a dozen themed-filled gift baskets.
The live auction portion, conducted by local auctioneer Ted Sivers, will begin at 7:15 p.m. This includes a number of items such as art, antiques, summer fun items and getaways.
A popular addition to the silent and live auction portions this year will be the antique appraisal opportunity.
Every ticket will include one free antique appraisal by Gerald Petro of Iroquois Auctions in Brewerton.
Additional appraisals after the first free one will be $5 each.
“If you have an interesting family heirloom or a yard sale discovery that you would like to know more about, this will be the perfect time to find out more about the history and value,” said Jennifer Mays, auction co-chair.
One very unique item for the live auction that local history buffs will enjoy is a souvenir replica of the legendary Alvin Bronson rocker.
Bronson was one of the early settlers in Oswego and a prominent commission merchant, businessman and civic leader.
During the War of 1812, he was commissioned by the government to serve as the supply agent of the military naval supplies kept in Oswego.
After the Battle of Oswego in May of 1814, Bronson was captured by the British army for the purpose of seizing the military goods.
He refused to give any information and the legend is that he was in his rocker at the time.
He was carried in his rocker to a British flagship and sent to imprisonment in Fort Henry in Kingston, Canada.
He was later released and his rocker was returned.
It became of symbol of the Battle of Oswego.
This rocker is now in the collection of the historical society and prominently displayed with Bronson’s portrait of the same era in the local history gallery of the museum.
In 1973, the city of Oswego celebrated its quasquicentennial of 125 years, having been established in 1848.
At that time Browne-Davis Furniture of Oswego ordered 125 replica Bronson rockers made in recognition of the city’s history.
Each rocker has a stencil on the top with a label of 1848 – 1973 with the city seal.
A history of the Bronson rocker is labeled underneath the seat and every rocker represents one year in Oswego history.
This souvenir rocker available for bid in the auction represents 1905.
“For anyone that appreciates Oswego history, particularly the War of 1812 era, will enjoy having this as a reminder of the value of our history and also the celebration that took place in 1973,” said Justin White, president of the historical society. “Alvin Bronson was considered Oswego’s ‘First Citizen.’ He was the first mayor of the village of Oswego, and as state senator of New York was instrumental in the formation of the Oswego Canal. We are proud to have the famous rocker and his fine portrait on display during this important time recognizing Oswego’s role during the War of 1812.”
Watercolors, prints and photographs by local artists will be special features in the silent auction.
For those who want to spice up their outdoor experiences for the summer, a brand new barbecue grill, gas fire pit and picnic items will be auctioned.
Among the antiques are American pottery pieces and several small furniture items.
Tickets to Disney on Ice and Syracuse Stage will be among the popular entertainment items.
“We have been very fortunate to always have interesting, unique and relevant items for everyone,” said Patterson.”We hope everyone who attends will walk away with something they will enjoy and remember.”
All proceeds will support the preservation of Richardson-Bates House Museum.
“Every dollar earned always helps to maintain this historic local landmark. Bringing your friends will be a big boost to the event,” Patterson said.
The Oswego County Historical Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the county’s rich historic past.
The society owns and maintains the Richardson-Bates House Museum at 135 E. Third St. in Oswego, a landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The museum is open to the public from April to December on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 1 – 5 p.m. and other days by appointment.
For more information about the auction call the museum at 343-1342.