Maritime Museum Volunteers Recognized

OSWEGO – The H. Lee White Maritime Museum at Oswego could not accomplish its numerous initiatives without the generous help and support of its volunteers.

Mercedes Niess with Mike Brown
Mercedes Niess with Mike Brown

Through the efforts of executive director Mercedes Niess, the museum, has had a solid corps of dedicated volunteers for decades.

Today, the museum continues to advance and grow its innovative visitor experience through the enhancement of exhibits and educational programming – much of which requires the dedication of volunteers who serve as critical partners to the museum and the greater Oswego community.

At an annual recognition event held at the Quality Inn of Oswego, Michael Brown, retired technology teacher and Vietnam War veteran, received the museum’s 2015 Volunteer of the Year Award from Niess.

Brown’s continuous dedication and more than 300 hours assisting the museum on projects, tours and events earned him this prestigious recognition.

“What makes volunteering at the museum unique and rewarding is the appreciation and acknowledgement that all of the volunteers receive from the staff,” said Brown. “Another aspect that I find fulfilling is being able to meet new people by giving tours. Being able to meet people from different areas and having the opportunity to explain the artifacts and exhibits that encompass the history and culture of Oswego is extremely gratifying.”

Brown, who began volunteering in 2013, utilizes his knowledge of maritime history in order give tours to visitors, as well as his carpentry skills to assist the museum’s curatorial staff with exhibit construction and to address facilities issues as the need arises.

Brown also shares his graphic design knowledge to improve museum handouts.

“Mike exemplifies the impact that one volunteer can have on an organization. We’ve accomplished much this year thanks to Mike lending his expertise and experience. The other great part is that one of our other very dedicated volunteers recruited Mike for us, this helps build our volunteer force,” Niess said.

Close to 100 people contribute to the preservation, interpretation and enhancement of the maritime history, heritage and culture of Oswego and Lake Ontario through their volunteerism at the Maritime Museum.

If you are interested in becoming involved with an organization that is committed to the enhancement of Oswego’s waterfront please visit: to print out a volunteer form, or stop by the museum, located on the West First Street Pier.

For more information, call (315) 342-0480.