Historian Dennis Connors on “The Onondaga Arsenal: Reflections on a War of 1812 Landmark”

The Strathmore Speakers Series and Onondaga Free Library’s November 2022 event featured historian and former curator of the Onondaga Historical Association, Dennis Connors. Mr. Connors recounted the twisted tale, stretching over three centuries, of how our community treasured, remembered, and ultimately lost a unique link to its past: the Onondaga Arsenal.

This event was held on Thursday, November 10th. Missed it? Click below to watch the video.

About Dennis Connors

Dennis Connors has worked in historical agencies since 1972 and as curator of history at the Onondaga Historical Association in Syracuse, New York from 1999 until his retirement in 2018.  He was employed originally by the Association from 1992 to 1999 as its Executive Director.  Previous to that, he was the Supervisor of Historic Resources for Onondaga County Parks for 14 years, overseeing three historic properties.  He also served as executive director for the Landmarks Association of Central New York for three years. He recently was a contributing author for the New York State Encyclopedia Project and has authored and edited six books on Syracuse area history, the most recent being Syracuse’s Grand Hotel: A History, published in 2017.  Mr. Connors has a history degree from the State University of NY at Buffalo with a concentration in museum studies.

About the Onondaga Arsenal

The Onondaga Arsenal is a little-known landmark structure hidden away on a hillside overlooking Syracuse’s Valley neighborhood.  It is a fascinating local link to one of America’s earliest military struggles – the War of 1812.  But its 200-year-old story is also an intriguing yet sad tale of our community’s own struggle to recognize and preserve the history embedded in its architectural landmarks.  Local historian Dennis Connors will explore how the arsenal came to be built where it was and its role in the War of 1812; plus discuss the sometimes confusing, usually frustrating and often futile efforts to preserve it.