For over 30 years light displays were a cornerstone of the holiday celebration at Trinkaus Manor in Oriskany. Starting in 1955 the Trinkaus brothers began their holiday tradition and added new features each year: angels, snowflakes, Santa’s village, elf workshops, a carousel, and more. So lavish were the displays, they could be seen by planes passing overhead.
The Trinkaus Manor restaurant could seat nearly 700 patrons and attracted people from across the country including celebrities and politicians. Tour buses were a regular sight at the Manor to see the elaborate decorations. Tragically, a fire destroyed Trinkaus Manor in April of 1992, but the Christmas lights and displays had been stored in a separate area and survived.
Many of the lights were donated to the City of Rome by Andy Trinkaus in 1992 and now line the streets of Rome each year. A portion of the lights are on display in Oriskany.
Oneida County Historian Joseph Bottini and Whitesboro Historian Dana Nimey-Olney are set to present the history of the Trinkaus lights Wednesday, December 18th at 7 pm, at the Rome Historical Society.
The program is free and open to the public.
The Rome Historical Society is located at 200 Church Street, Rome, NY and is a non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. For more information, call (315) 336-5870, or visit their website.
Photo of Trinkaus lights provided.