This blog entry includes a few firsts; it is the first time I (this is Luke) am writing a blog entry, I also brought my wife on this trip and it is also the first time that Chris and I traveled outside of Rochester to visit a place. I feel as though it is important for the reader to realize that the “burned over district” is generally thought of to encompass the area from Albany to Buffalo, but more often is from the central NY area to the Finger Lakes. While Chris and I are going to include many sites in Rochester, NY, the blog is not exclusive to Rochester sites. Yesterday we traveled, in not so nice weather, to Oneida, New York (east side of Syracuse) to visit the Oneida Community Mansion House. (This site is also down the street from the Turning Stone casino where we also had a spiritual experience because my wife won $300!!!)
After calling ahead to make sure a tour was still being offered (Chris and I have had bad luck with tours being cancelled), Chris, my wife and I arrived in what to me seemed to be a secluded neighborhood that had the Oneida Mansion House at its center. We eventually made our way inside and were greeted by a very nice woman who Chris had spoken to on the phone and was therefore expecting us. Due to the weather this woman shared that she thought that nobody would be visiting the house today, but she was glad we had come. The three of us were also happy since we thought we would have a personal tour all to ourselves. Our guide eventually arrived a few minutes after us and introduced himself as Walter. Walter lead us upstairs to the “Big Hall,” asked us to have a seat and began to share with us the history of the Oneida Community. I am also going to share that history, but my version of it will be much shorter and concise, and it should also be noted that within the history of the Oneida Community, there are many other related people, places and things that the reader will have to investigate on their own, since this blog is only so long.