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Oneida County History Center Announces Historical Hall of Fame and Living Legends Class of 2022

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This article originally appeared in an Oneida County History Center press release.

The Oneida County Historical Hall of Fame has named five individuals to its 2022 inductee class: Community leader and Utica’s first Black dentist Dr. David A. Brown, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Charles F. Cleveland, political pioneer and public servant Beatrice “Bea” DeSantis, Revolutionary War hero Colonel Peter Gansevoort and Bonnie Tamer Woods, community ambassador and founding member of Mother Marianne’s West Side Kitchen. The Hall of Famers will be inducted alongside the 2022 Richard W. Couper ‘Living Legends’ class: cultural leader Robbie Dancy, spiritual advisor Sister Maureen Denn, Purple Heart recipient, and veterans advocate Joseph T. Fraccola, and “The Voice of Vernon Downs,” Jim Moran.

The Oneida County Historical Hall of Fame was started in 1946 to ensure that noteworthy people in our community and their achievements are recorded in local history. Today it is named after benefactors David and Carolyn Ellis. David Ellis was a history professor at Hamilton College, past president of the History Center, author of state and local histories, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002. The Living Legends category was added in 2001 because these individuals are present-day models of people making a difference; an important message for every generation. This category is named after benefactor Richard W. Couper who was president of Hamilton College, president of the New York Public Library, and a trustee of the History Center.

The Historical Hall of Fame honors individuals from Oneida County who made an impact on our community and the world. The class of 2022 is being recognized for their service as civic leaders and community advocates, and for their efforts in furthering the region's industries, culture, and educational opportunities. The inductees will be honored during the annual Historical Hall of Fame and Living Legends Awards Celebration to be held at Valentino’s Banquet Hall, New Hartford on Wednesday, October 26, 2022, starting at 5:00 pm. Tickets are $55 for current History Center members and $65 for the general public. Tickets should be purchased in advance and are available on-site at the History Center, online through its e-Bookstore, or by calling 315-735-3642.  Proceeds from the event will be used to acquire, implement, and support new software at the History Center. This includes a website redesign that will host a virtual Historical Hall of Fame exhibit, a new customer database, and an upgraded accounting system. Sponsorship and advertisement opportunities are available. Contact rmclain@oneidacountyhistory.org for more information. Read more...