Gone but not forgotten.
Gone but not forgotten.
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From the late 1950s until 1992, Trinkaus Manor drew visitors from far and wide. The biggest attraction was the elaborate Christmas decorations.
The story of the Trinkaus family in Oriskany starts with Frank Trinkaus, a coal miner. He and his wife, Gertrude, married in Johnstown, PA on October 3, 1910. They first settled in West Virginia and Ohio before finding farming was more suitable, and the family bought a farm in Fly Creek, NY in the 1930s. In 1939, the family purchased the Oriskany Hotel, on the corner of Valley Road and Utica Street in Oriskany, NY.
During World War ll, Frank and Gertrude Trinkaus sold the Oriskany Hotel and purchased the Waterbury Mansion just down the street with the plan of having a family business when their sons returned from service. Four brothers, Tony, Andy, Bill and Stonie, along with their sister Ann and her husband, opened the manor in 1947. As the brothers married, their wives Lillian, Ann, Jeanette and Joan joined the business, and then many of their children.
The Waterbury Mansion was formerly the home of C. A. Waterbury, who made it his family residence until he sold it to the Trinkaus family in the mid 1940s.
After that, many additions were made to the Rose Cottage. In the late 1940s, a kitchen; in the early 1950s the Garden Terrace and the Lounge; later in the 1950s a bar; in the 1960s came the Starlight Room. The restaurant's seating capacity neared 700 with a total of seven dining rooms. In 1963, a separate 40-unit Motor Lodge, was built near the Manor.
Trinkaus Manor was sold at the end of 1989 and reopened as the Portofino Restorante at Trinkaus Manor. At 3:08 am on Sunday, April 5, 1992, the Oriskany fire alarm was sounded for a blaze on the property. The building and its many dining rooms were quickly engulfed in flames. The Trinkaus family and their neighbors looked on as a cornerstone of the Oriskany community burned. The fire was declared arson.
Today, Trinkaus Manor remains a fond memory for locals and travelers alike who came to see the lights, attend banquets, and celebrate weddings. Some of the original Christmas decorations can still be seen in Oriskany, displayed in Trinkaus Park (so named for the family in 1993). The remainder of the surviving decorations are on display along North James Street in the City of Rome.