Greater Oneonta Historical Society

PO Box 814,183 Main Street, Oneonta, NY 13820 - United States




Free Everyday

The Greater Oneonta Historical Society (GOHS) and its History Center promote Greater Oneonta’s past by collecting and preserving authentic objects and documents, disseminating knowledge, and providing stimulating educational experiences through dynamic programs and exhibitions.

In 2001, GOHS purchased the east section of the Bissell Block, the oldest brick building on Main Street, to make the Oneonta History Center. Since opening in 2005, GOHS has restored and renovated 183 Main Street to store our collections and offer historical exhibitions, programs, and events to our community.

In 2022, GOHS renovated the first floor and opened its new permanent exhibition, "Small Community, Big Ideas: Greater Oneonta," a new exhibition exploring the history of the town and city of Oneonta, New York. The exhibit includes modern, interactive, and digital features and a variety of different, formerly unseen objects from GOHS’s object and archival collections.

In addition to the new permanent exhibition, the History Center’s first floor also includes a newly designed gift shop, the Sally Mullen Children’s Corner, and the Brzozowski Special Exhibition Gallery. The special exhibition space features three to four rotating exhibitions each year. To stay up to date on GOHS' events and programming, including self-guided walking tours and 360 tours, visit or our Facebook and Instagram pages.


GOHS' permanent exhibition, "Small Community, Big Ideas," features five chronological modules, each shedding light on the everyday people, places, and events that have shaped the town and city of Oneonta over the past three centuries. It tells the inspiring stories of how Natives, settlers, immigrants, and residents created a community, and how they built and rebuilt Oneonta to become a destination city—one that was adaptable and evolved with the changing geography, economy, culture, and society.

Throughout the exhibit visitors will experience floor maps, ambient sound, audio and visual content, and additional interactive components. At the close of the exhibition, visitors also have an opportunity to contribute their own ideas of what they believe the next “big idea” for Oneonta might be.

On display in the Brzozowski Special Exhibition Gallery is "Town & Gown: SUNY Oneonta and the Local Community, Past and Present," a temporary exhibit exploring SUNY Oneonta’s long history of partnership and collaboration with the Oneonta community in honor of the inauguration of SUNY Oneonta's ninth president, Dr. Alberto Cardelle, with an emphasis on his institutional agenda and commitment to increased community involvement and participation.

On Saturday, September 17, GOHS will be participating in CANO’s City of the Hills Festival by offering children’s art/craft activities at the History Center.
Planned by The Children and Youth Programming Committee of GOHS, children will have the opportunity to learn about the history of whirligigs and make their own Whirligig, mini book, and/or bookmark.

Participation in Museum Day is open to any tax-exempt or governmental museum or cultural venue on a voluntary basis. Smithsonian magazine encourages museum visitation, but is not responsible for and does not endorse the content of the participating museums and cultural venues, and does not subsidize museums that participate.