Collection Facts

Extent: 
78 items
Dates of Original: 
c. 1936 - 1986
Collection Owner:

Historical Context

The city of Rome, New York, began as a village named after its first Irish settler, Dominick Lynch, around 1796 near Fort Stanwix and along the Oneida Carrying Place, a Native American portage path which connected the Mohawk River to Wood Creek and Lake Ontario. Residents voted to rename "Lynchville" to Rome in 1819, and the New York State Legislature converted Rome to a city on 23 February 1870. Construction on the Erie Canal began in Rome on 4 July 1817, Jesse Williams erected the first U.S. cheese factory in 1851, and Revere Copper Products, Inc., was headquartered in Rome in 1928-29. Rome is home to the Griffiss Air Force Base, which hosted the Woodstock music festival in 1999.

Scope of Collection

The Reid Gallery of Prominent Citizens at the Jervis Public Library in Rome, New York, contains "photographic portraits of prominent men who have in some way been connected with the history of Rome, or its vicinity, who have been born in Rome or have lived in Rome and who have attained prominence in the city of Rome or elsewhere," along with a "historical or biographical sketch" of the respective subject. The gallery was established by a bequeathment unto the Jervis Library Association by the will Christopher Columbus Reid on 19 March 1912. The portraits were obtained in 1936 and hung in an attic room of the old Jervis home, then relocated to the hallways of the first and second floors of the Jervis home.