OXFORD – The new year is well under way. History keeps marching on and we always enjoy looking back to see how people before us lived and how they made their ‘mark’. It’s up to us to cherish and preserve our past – or give our support to those who are actively doing so. If you’re not aware, the local historical societies have educational programs, exhibits, and sometimes just social events for your enjoyment. Why not make local history a part of your New Year?
Although the Oxford Historical Society’s Dec. 9 nostalgic sing-a-long program was canceled due to bad weather, 2009 had three unforgettable programs about some great men of Oxford.
The life and career of Henry R. Mygatt, one of the most notable lawyers in Chenango County history, was the subject of a genealogical research project presented by Donald M. Howard. Don is a life-member of the Oxford Historical Society and a Mygatt (13th generation) descendant. Years ago he was unwittingly drawn -by fate- to reside near the lawyer’s house in Oxford. Only later did he discover his relationship! The accomplishments of the Mygatts going back to their 17th c. arrival from England was fascinating and all of his research is compiled in a book of ancestry that he donated to the Oxford Historical Society.
“Theodore Burr and His Bridges,” was a program presented by Bob and Trish Kane. Burr, one of the “Fathers of American Bridge Building” patented his great arch and multiple kingpost truss design in 1817. He built his very first bridge right here in Oxford as well as building his house that is now the Oxford Memorial Library! The Kanes announced that their vast collection of Burr’s letters, diaries, books, post cards and other memorabilia will be housed in a special, covered bridge, research room in the newly expanded Oxford Library.