“Oswego’s One Armed Bicycle Racer,” a painting by Fulton NY native Don Gillespie, was the inspiration for this exhibit and for bringing Norman Bates’s bicycles down from the attic. Don researched his great grandfather’s role in the Oswego Cycling Club of the 1880’s and 90’s and discovered the story of a bicycle race that started in front of this house occupied by Maxwell Richardson in 1895. Featured in the painting’s foreground is Dave Horton, the incredible athlete who won races even though he had only one arm! Don memorialized the event in a lovely painting in the Impressionist style and donated it to the Historical Society.
The exhibit has artifacts and photos illustrating Oswego’s bicycle manufacturing and retail history and a general history of bicycle styles. There is a special section on Women and Cycling and examples of the “riding costumes” for women of the 19th century.
One panel on loan from the Local History & Genealogy Division, Rochester Public Library, explains the role that bicycles had in giving freedom of transportation to women.
Come in and see the new exhibit!