Landmarks Society hosts tours of Rutger Mansions

Dozens of locals got the chance to take a step back in time by visiting one of Utica's most historic landmarks.

Posted: Jun 15, 2019 11:26 PM
Updated: Jun 16, 2019 9:41 AM

UTICA, N.Y - Dozens of locals got the chance to take a step back in time by visiting one of Utica's most historic landmarks.

The Rutger Mansions were on display Saturday afternoon after the Landmarks Society gave out tours to those interested in seeing what life was like in the late 1800s.

Before the tours began a dedication ceremony was held in one of the rooms of mansion number 3. The Oneida Chapter came across a cabinet that had their chapter name engraved in the top of it. Experts said the cabinet dated back to the 1800s from when the original owners lived in the home. 

The cabinet was originally found in the Utica Children's Museum and was then donated to the NS Daughters of the American Revolution, (NSDAR) who then donated it to the Landmarks Society after it was restored. Members of the NSDAR said their guess is that the cabinet once resided in one of the Rutger mansions and are glad to see it back in its rightful home.

The ceremony was attended by Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri where he presented the NSDAR a plaque that will be placed inside of the cabinet.

Tour guide Steven Grant said that its the history behind the mansions that drew him to want to be apart of their restoration.

"Well, I actually had a tour of this home right after the Landmarks society purchased the home. And I immediately thought that I wanted to be a part of that, and fix that up, and saving that piece of history. I'm just drawn to it. Being a local history buff I enjoy history, I enjoy coming here, doing events and giving tours," said Grant.

Some of the famous historical people that have passed through the doors of the mansions were  21st President Chester Arthur and 18th President Ulysses S. Grant.

Steven said that maintaining these mansions is a challenge in itself. 

"Well its a lot of work to maintain them, its a lot of funds. I'm not certain of the square footage of the house, but it's huge. So its a lot of upkeep, a lot of roof repair, plumbing repair. It's just like any old home, there's a lot that goes into it," said Grant.

The Landmarks Society is a non-profit organization meaning they do not have to pay taxes on the property. Grant said that the money they would normally pay in taxes goes towards restoring the mansions.

The restoration of the Rutger Mansions is an ongoing project.

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