Salt potatoes make mark on history

An artist’s rendering of the Hungry for History historic marker to be dedicated 11 a.m. Saturday at the Salt Museum at Onondaga Park, 106 Lake Drive, Liverpool. Courtesy Pomeroy Foundation

SYRACUSE — The Salt Museum at Onondaga Lake Park will soon be home to the nation’s first Hungry for History historic marker, which will commemorate salt potatoes, a popular summertime side dish.

A dedication ceremony for the salt potatoes marker will be held at the museum grounds, 106 Lake Drive, Liverpool, beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday. The event is free and open to the public.

Hungry for History is a new marker grant program created by the Syracuse-based William G. Pomeroy Foundation to help communities across the United States put the spotlight on their local and regional foods. The salt potatoes marker was obtained by the Onondaga Historical Association through a Pomeroy Foundation grant. OHA is the first organization in the country to be awarded a Hungry for History marker.

The marker’s location was revealed during a special announcement at a launch party for the Hungry for History program held at Willow Rock Brewing Company on June 24. The event was co-hosted by the Pomeroy Foundation and OHA. Attendees at the launch party could enter a drawing for the chance to help unveil the salt potatoes marker at Saturday’s dedication.

The Hungry for History marker grants are available to nonprofit organizations, nonprofit academic institutions and local, state and federal government entities within the United States. Visit the Pomeroy Foundation’s Hungry for History website to learn more about program guidelines, eligibility and how to apply online:

The Pomeroy Foundation has long supported the celebration and preservation of community history through the creation of more than 1,400 historical markers nationwide. Foundation officials noticed an increased interest in recent years from communities looking to promote their unique foods — including a historical marker application from Fairmont, W.Va., which sought to highlight a pepperoni roll first baked for coal miners there generations ago — and decided to create a grant program exclusively dedicated to food history.

“The Hungry for History program will shine a light on the foods across our country that have brought us together, set our communities apart and helped define who we are,” Deryn Pomeroy, trustee and director of strategic initiatives at the foundation. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with communities nationwide and help tell the stories of these regional specialties that are such a part of our collective identity.”

It noted the need to preserve the stories behind these foods became more urgent following the COVID-19 pandemic, which threatened many of the mom-and-pop restaurants that served these specialties.

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