Ste. Marie Among the Iroquois
Much more elaborate than the Salt Museum, Ste. Marie Among the Iroquois (Onondaga Lake Pkwy./Rte. 370, 315/453-6767, interpretive guides on site noon–5 p.m. Sat.–Sun., self-guided tours 9 a.m.–3 p.m., Mon.–Fri., May–Oct., adults $3, seniors $2.50, children ages 6–17 $2) re-creates the 17th-century world of the French Jesuits and Iroquois who once lived on the shores of Onondaga Lake. The exhibit begins indoors with displays on the Onondaga, then explores the meeting between the two cultures through artifacts, art, and historical documents.
Outdoors in a re-created French fort, costumed guides forge horseshoes, bake bread, and hollow out canoes. The French only lived in the area for 20 months. The Onondaga welcomed their presence, but the Mohawk did not, and in March 1658 the French withdrew. Their legacy lives on in the large community of Catholic Onondagas residing in Syracuse today.
Owned by the county, the Ste. Marie museum was shut down in 2002, due to a lack of funding, but concerned citizens, who hated to see the beautiful site fall into ruin, started it up again. Today, Ste. Marie is largely volunteer-run.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition