FULTON – At the 99th annual Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce annual meeting held March 5 at the River Vista Center in Fulton, Executive Director Greg Mills presented Fort Ontario State Historic Site with a certificate of appreciation in recognition of 260 years as a member of the Oswego County business community.
Fort Ontario and the Port of Oswego Authority represent Oswego County’s oldest active businesses.
“Thanks to geography of the port and the service and sacrifice of our military personnel at the fort, both will endure the ebb and flow of changing commodities and military needs,” said Fort Ontario Superintendent Paul Lear. “Red, blue, and olive drab soldiers from the fort who once spent their pay in Oswego businesses have been replaced by tourists who support jobs in our hotels, restaurants, shops, and stores in a growing regional travel industry.“
Lear noted however, that “the soldiers are not completely gone from the fort and Oswego’s businesses.”
In 1959, the Army established a Reserve Center on the old 75-acre Fort Ontario Military Reservation.
The 444th Engineer Company, 479th Engineer Battalion, USAR, veterans of campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, occupy the post and live and work in the community.
“These citizen soldiers who now wear camouflage uniforms contribute to the economy while defending the nation,“ said Lear.
In 2011-12, the 444th Engineer Company based at Oswego deployed to Afghanistan and suffered three men killed and one severely wounded.
For information about Fort Ontario State Historic Site, visit www.fortontario.com
For Oswego County visitor information, go to www.visitoswegocounty.com