Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News) — Robert Searing has been the curator at the Onondaga Historical Association for five and a half years, and he says that working at the OHA is like being a kid in a candy store.
And while there are two floors of exhibits at the museum, showcasing the area’s history of technology, clothing, politics, and more, what may be more surprising is what lies in storage on the three floors of the facility not on display to the public.
Perhaps none of the artifacts in the entire facility are more intriguing than the Hairy Eagle, which was created in the 19th century, and made from the hair of members of Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet, as well as the nation’s 16th president himself.
“Some people are disgusted by it, some people are mortified by it, and most people simply can’t believe that I have this thing in my office,” said Searing. “But either way, it’s amazing.”
While the Hairy Eagle may be the most peculiar piece in the museum’s collection, another piece that Searing showed off is actually heading to the National Portrait Gallery with the Smithsonian Institution.
And that piece would be a daguerreotype of abolitionist Frederick Douglass. What made that artifact particularly fascinating is, according to Searing, this daguerreotype is much larger than others created in the time period. With most having been around the size of a postage stamp.
The Douglass daguerreotype will be with the Smithsonian for a year and will be back with the OHA in the summer of 2024.