Novelty winter clothing items on display at the Onondaga Historical Association's "Come In From The Cold" exhibit. Photo courtesy of OHA.

Exhibit details:

OHA's "Come In From The Cold" exhibit launches Thursday, Feb. 23 from 4:30-6 p.m. at the museum's downtown location.

In a city notorious for blustering winter winds and blizzards galore, fashion can take a back seat to the heavy clothing layers necessary for warmth. 

However, Central New Yorkers have a rich history rooted in the assembly of ornate winter outfits. Whether they sported luxurious fur coats made from horse hides or poofy statement earmuffs, local residents of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries strutted the (hopefully salted) Salt City streets in style. 

Onondaga Historical Association is celebrating the glamorous side of CNY’s cold weather with its “Come In From The Cold” Exhibit Opening. The museum event will feature winter clothing, accessories and recreation artifacts from over a century, with pieces on display spanning from 1860 to 1970. 

The exhibit will also include archival photos and artwork detailing the winter landscape in Onondaga County to complement the featured attire. 

According to OHA’s Museum Collection Curator Tom Hunter, there will be 35 total garments and accessories chronologically placed throughout the gallery. Some of the notable pieces include a horse hide winter coat made to commemorate a pet horse that passed away during the winter, another winter coat created from a 1941 Chrysler station wagon’s fabric and the coat of a former Hotel Onondaga doorman.

Three historic outfits from Onondaga County’s winter fashion legacy on display for “Come In From The Cold.” Photo courtesy of OHA.

“Come In From The Cold” opening festivities will be held on Thursday, Feb. 23 from 4:30-6 p.m. at OHA. 

The reception will begin with a Curator Talk, and refreshments will be provided for guests to enjoy at the after-hours event. Attendees of the opening reception will also have access to a voucher for a glass of house wine — on the house —if they buy dinner from the neighboring restaurant 317 @  Montgomery Street

Admission to the exhibit’s opening is free, but RSVPs can be made via email.

Suggested Reading

Sarah Dolgin is a graduating senior at Syracuse University studying digital journalism and data analytics. Sarah enjoys covering arts and culture, equity and more. Have a tip? Contact Sarah at