ROME, N.Y. — The city of Rome is now home to a new bronze sculpture and public artwork that commemorates the historic Oneida Carrying Place — a “vital” mode of transportation, trade, and commerce before and during the Revolutionary War.
Measuring 7 feet by 27 feet, the display features three bronze panels behind a life-size bronze sculpture of an Oneida warrior, per an Oneida Indian Nation news release.
The Oneida Indian Nation, Oneida County, and the City of Rome unveiled the sculpture on May 25.
The new bronze sculpture is located at 301 W. Dominick Street in Rome, on a section of the Oneida Carrying Place which leads to Fort Stanwix. This location is to honor the Oneida people for their sacrifices that “helped define the history of the United States.”
The Oneida Carrying Place played an “integral role” in the success of the Americans in the Revolutionary War. It was used by the Haudenosaunee well before European settlers arrived, but the path became a “critical strategic area” during the American Revolution when the Oneidas helped the American colonists defend nearby Fort Stanwix from a British siege.
The attempted siege failed and the Americans, with their Oneida allies, “helped change the momentum of the war,” the Oneida Indian Nation said.
“Recognizing the contributions and sacrifices of our ancestors is among the most important priorities for the Oneida Indian Nation,” Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter said. “As we continue to make strides in creating a truly inclusive community, this beautiful tribute will remind us to never forget our collective past and help visitors learn about the role this region played in the founding of the country.”
Commissioned by the Oneida Indian Nation, the public artwork continues a “collective revitalization effort by the City of Rome that strives to showcase the rich, diverse culture of the area with input from the voices that contributed to it,” per the release.
“The Oneida Indian Nation’s historic role in the founding of this country is often an untold aspect of our collective story,” Rome Mayor Jacqueline Izzo said. “Honoring and recognizing the Oneida Indian Nation’s contributions to our area will continue to educate residents and visitors and ensure we never forget.”
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Jr. added, “We thank the Oneida Indian Nation for their contributions to our country and to our region, including this vitally important commemoration in the City of Rome. Designed with copper in honor of The Copper City and beautifully detailing our collective history, we can all celebrate the significance of this sculpture, as it is a tribute to the legacy of partnership between our communities.”