Jul 20, 2015

The North American Fiddler's Hall of Fame

The North American Fiddlers’ Hall of Fame and Museum is a great Sunday getaway when coupled with some stops along the way and a dinner on the way home. Most people are not aware of the free Fiddler’s Sunday concerts in Osceola or even the Hall of Fame. In 1973 fiddle enthusiasts got together for a “Fiddler’s Picnic.” Over the next couple of years they were joined by other fiddlers and in 1977 they formed the Old Tyme Fiddlers’ Association with the goal to preserve, promote and perpetuate the art of old time fiddling and the danc

e pertaining to this art. About the same time the North American Fiddlers’ Hall of Fame and Museum was established and in 1981 they purchased a 100-year-old+ building in out-of-the-way Osceola which currently houses the Hall of Fame. In 1994 a pole barn and stage were built behind the house for the purpose of holding the Sunday concerts and other events which proved so successful that in 1998 it was enlarged with a new stage and brick patio added and named “The Fiddlers’ Pavilion. I think fiddle music is uplifting. I have been to the Sunday concerts a couple of times and find the rural setting perfect for fiddle music.  Each time the concerts were well-attended with many couples dancing.  This summer when I visited they gave polka
instructions for those who were interested. Each week a different artist is on stage. I especially loved watching the youngsters, mostly 10 and younger, keeping the beat to the music. After the host group performed others were invited to the stage to play.  The last time I was there an amazing, elderly harmonicist played and his wife sang.  It was an old-time good afternoon.  Relaxing and refreshingly wholesome. They have concerts most Sundays from June to September and also offer a Kids Camp and workshops. 

The setting is very relaxed with time to go into the house to see the Hall of Fame.  Those honored have their picture with a short biography on the walls throughout the building. The building also houses a small collection of fiddles – many are unique and some are homemade.  It seems that people have always wanted to create music.  During the open mike a man played the spoons and another twanged on a jaw harp. The concerts are from 2 to 5 p.m. so there is time on the way to stop at Salmon River Falls.

The best way to attend a concert is to make a day of it with a stop
on the way at Salmon River Falls.  I never get tired of the view. There is a nice 1,100-foot wheelchair accessible trail with overlooks and then steps down to the flat rocks. There is a steep hiker’s trail to the bottom but it is a bit too arduous for me. The falls have dazzled people since the Native Americans first discovered it and gathered salmon that were blocked from continuing up the river by the waterfalls.  The first
settlers began visiting in the early 1800s when roads allowed access to the area, later a tourist lodge known as The Cataract House was built near the falls. 
End the day at Tailwater Lodge in Altmar for dinner. It was once a school.  I had the most incredibly good onion rings. It is a great place to eat. Another great Oswego County day of exploring.