The Junior League founded the Museum and its first home was the basement of the Utica Public Library. Its original name was the Junior Museum of Oneida County and there was one exhibit - an Iroquois Longhouse.
The Museum moved to the former Department of Parks & Recreation Building at the southeast corner of the Memorial Parkway and Oneida Street. In its nine years there, the museum developed a variety of permanent exhibits and a large range of educational programs.
The Museum moved to the upstairs of the Valley View Country Club and in 1975 changed its name to the Mohawk Valley Museum.
The Museum moved to the Bagg’s Square neighborhood of Utica, in the former John C. Heiber Dry Goods Building at 311 Main Street. Exhibits were on the first floor and half of the second floor.
For years, three of the five floors, each floor approximately 6,000 square feet, were used for exhibit and program areas. In 2002, the fourth floor was opened and adopted by the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) and the Department of Energy’s Office of Science (DOE OS).
The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Museum and Kids Oneida (renamed ICAN in 2019) entered into a managed services contract with ICAN handling operations, development, marketing, and facility upkeep.
On March 4th, ICAN and the Children’s Museum announced the museum will be moving and rebuilt at 106 Memorial Parkway in Utica. A week later, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the former museum closed sooner than expected.
Virtual programming was created and provided to our community’s children, as we adopted a new way of connecting our museum to families during a global crisis.
The Mobile Museum rolled out to the community to “take the fun on the road” while the new museum was being built.
In October, ICAN and the Museum held a groundbreaking event for the new location.
The Rotunda on the new building was completed - a 4,000 square foot, 2-story glass round addition to our new home on the Parkway.