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Aug. 27 Program Will Explore History of Fort Ontario’s Storm Warning Tower

The Coastal Warning Display Storm Tower at Fort Ontario, as it appeared in 1919. Fort Ontario curator Jenny Emmons will present her research into the history of the tower at 7 p.m. Aug. 27 at Fort Ontario.

The Coastal Warning Display Storm Tower at Fort Ontario, as it appeared in 1919. Fort Ontario curator Jenny Emmons will present her research into the history of the tower at 7 p.m. Aug. 27 at Fort Ontario.

OSWEGO – Fort Ontario’s Coastal Warning Display tower and its history will be the topic of a lecture by Fort Ontario curator Jenny Emmons Aug. 27, at 7 p.m. The lecture will take place in the Enlisted Men’s Barracks at Fort Ontario.

The Coastal Warning Display Storm Tower at Fort Ontario, as it appeared in 1919. Fort Ontario curator Jenny Emmons will present her research into the history of the tower at 7 p.m. Aug. 27 at Fort Ontario.
The Coastal Warning Display Storm Tower at Fort Ontario, as it appeared in 1919. Fort Ontario curator Jenny Emmons will present her research into the history of the tower at 7 p.m. Aug. 27 at Fort Ontario.

“The 75-foot tower is located on the western edge of Fort Ontario’s grounds approximately 50 yards from the old fort’s southwest bastion,” said Emmons. “Longtime citizens of Oswego may remember it still being in use through the 1960’s but, for the most part, its history and purpose have been lost to the hundreds of people who pass by it every year.”

Emmons has been a staff member of the Fort Ontario State Historic Site since 2002 and performs the duties of both curator and office manager.

Her interest in the storm warning tower was sparked by her late husband, Ronald B. Emmons, a long-time Friends of Fort Ontario volunteer and an enthusiast of both history and weather.

“He had begun preliminary research into the tower’s importance in 2008, but due to illness was unable to fully pursue it,” said Jenny Emmons.

After her husband’s death in 2010, Emmons took the topic on as a side project with the goal of presenting her findings in a talk highlighting the tower’s history and purpose within Fort Ontario’s general history.

It is her hope that this talk serves not only to draw attention to this landmark’s significance in the past, but may also spur interest in its preservation for the future.

The Aug. 27 program is sponsored by Friends of Fort Ontario. Admission is free and open to the public.

Fort Ontario State Historic Site is located at the north of East Fourth Street in the city of Oswego.

For more information on the program or fort, call Emmons, curator, at (315) 343-4711.