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Celebrate Central New York’s rich history

Winner of Al Stirpe's 2014 Photo Contest: “The Train Station,” photographed by Jeffrey Hurst, Tully High School Class of 2014. Special thanks to the contest’s judges, Jane Kowalik, formerly of Daily Creative Graphic Design Studio and currently of Realty USA, and David Hickcock, a principle at Animotion Inc. and adjunct professor at Syracuse University

Winner of Al Stirpe's 2014 Photo Contest: “The Train Station,” photographed by Jeffrey Hurst, Tully High School Class of 2014. Special thanks to the contest’s judges, Jane Kowalik, formerly of Daily Creative Graphic Design Studio and currently of Realty USA, and David Hickcock, a principle at Animotion Inc. and adjunct professor at Syracuse University

In our busy lives, it’s sometimes easy to forget that we live in an area that is steeped in culture, history and beauty. From Central New York’s participation in the Underground Railroad, to contributions to our nation’s industrial history with the Franklin Automobile Company and the Syracuse China company, and our stunning natural surroundings, it’s important that we take the time to appreciate our community’s heritage.

That’s why I hosted my annual photo contest earlier this year, “Capture the History of Central New York.” The photo that best captured Central New York’s history was a photo taken by Jeffrey Hurst of Tully High School’s class of 2014, titled “The Train Station.” The photo captures the Tully Train Depot, which transported passengers and freight through our community for 60 years from 1905 to 1965, when operation ceased. For many years after, the train station was mostly used for storage until work to revive the station started. A repaired roof, new floors and a renovated passenger area that captures the station’s original spirit, as well as other updates and additions, have enabled the station to serve the community with a space for events, celebrations and more, all the while reminding us of our region’s illustrious past.

Another great way to learn about and explore Central New York’s history is by taking a visit to the Onondaga Historical Museum (cnyhistory.org), which is operated by the Onondaga Historical Association. The museum offers something for anyone who is curious to learn about our community and what shaped it. Explore the Underground Railroad exhibit, transportation exhibit or the Syracuse China exhibit. There are also several historic sites around the community, like the exhibit on Onondaga Lake’s history, located in the Onondaga County Courthouse. For information on a historic walking tour of Syracuse, visit syracusetour.herokuapp.com.

I hope you and your families can explore Central New York’s history and learn about our community’s past. You won’t be disappointed. And, as always, if you have questions or comments about this or any other community issue, please don’t hesitate to contact my office at StirpeA@assembly.state.ny.us or 452-1115.

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