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.
You can learn more about the Trinkaus Manor in this episode of the The Historians Podcast, in which Oneida County historian Joseph Bottini remembers the Trinkaus family and Trinkaus Manor.
Photo of Trinkaus lights provided by Rome Historical Society.