Mint in the Mucklands: Imagining the 19th Century Peppermint Oil Industry in Lyons, New York

Mikulski, Jenny A. (2008) Mint in the Mucklands: Imagining the 19th Century Peppermint Oil Industry in Lyons, New York. In: 16th ICOMOS General Assembly and International Symposium: ‘Finding the spirit of place – between the tangible and the intangible’, 29 sept – 4 oct 2008, Quebec, Canada. [Conference or Workshop Item]


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Abstract (in English)

National Heritage Areas are a relatively new typology of historic designation in the United States. These areas are not necessarily contiguous physically and are valued for many intangible reasons, as well as for their tangible resources. They have received a special distinction for their capacity to “tell nationally important stories about our nation.” It is important to consider what stories are being told, how, and by whom. This paper uses the town of Lyons, New York – a stop along the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor – as a case study and cautionary example for how heritage is an imagined construct. Lyons is celebrated as the erstwhile Peppermint Capital of the World, yet the town’s historic peppermint oil industry is widely misremembered, even by its own residents. This paper argues that National Heritage Areas have the potential for nuanced readings of the multifaceted and contested histories of cultural and geographical patterns of human settlement and industry

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Mikulski, Jenny A.
Languages: English
Keywords: industry; industrial heritage; 19th Century; corridor; canal
Subjects: H.HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 08. Heritage canals
O.INTANGIBLE HERITAGE > 01. Generalities
H.HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 16. Industrial and technical heritage
Name of monument, town, site, museum: Erie Canalway, Lyons, New York State, USA
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2008, 16th
Depositing User: Jose Garcia
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2010 12:44
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2011 19:12
References: First Peppermint Roots Brought to Lyons from Massachusetts in Pack. 1919. Lyons Republican. 12 September.

Gaylord, Linda. 1965. A Survey of the Peppermint Industry of Wayne County. Hoffman Foundation Historical Term Papers, Wayne County Historian’s Office.

Henderson, George L. 2003. What (Else) We Talk About When We Talk About Landscape , Ed., Chris Wilson and Paul Erling Groth. Everyday America: Cultural Landscape Studies After J.B. Jackson. Berkeley: University of California Press.

History of the Hotchkiss Essential Oil of Peppermint. Company brochure. 2004. Reprinted by Lyons Heritage Society.

H. G. Hotchkiss Essential Oil Company Records, 1822-1982, #673. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.

Hotchkiss, Anne. 2005. Personal Interview. 18 March.

Landing, James E. 1969. American Essence; a History of the Peppermint and Spearmint Industry in the United States. Kalamazoo, Michigan: Kalamazoo Museum.

Massey, Doreen B. 2005. For Space. London ; Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage.

National Park Service. 2008. National Heritage Areas. Available from; accessed 5 July 2008.

Nye, David E. 2003. America as Second Creation: Technology and Narratives of New Beginnings. Cambridge: MIT Press.

U.S.D.A., National Agriculture Statistics Reporting. Available from; accessed 23 August 2006.


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