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Oswego Sunrise Rotary, Oswego High School Interact Club Restores Guardhouse

From left are: Rotary District Governor Henry MacDonald and his wife, Joan with Shawn Boshart of Oswego County Monuments, Oswego Sunrise Rotary members Charles Young and Bill Symmons, Oswego High School Interact Club members Kennedy Thompson, Hannah Brown, Michaela Callen, Tyler Youngman, and Warren Shawn, Sunrise Rotary member and Interact Club Advisor.

From left are: Rotary District Governor Henry MacDonald and his wife, Joan with Shawn Boshart of Oswego County Monuments, Oswego Sunrise Rotary members Charles Young and Bill Symmons, Oswego High School Interact Club members Kennedy Thompson, Hannah Brown, Michaela Callen, Tyler Youngman, and Warren Shawn, Sunrise Rotary member and Interact Club Advisor.

OSWEGO, NY – The Guardhouse/Switching Shanty, now installed in the East Rail/Trail Park, with the permission of the Oswego Common Council, is a community project of the Oswego Sunrise Rotary Club and the Interact Club of Oswego.

From left are: Rotary District Governor Henry MacDonald and his wife, Joan with Shawn Boshart of Oswego County Monuments, Oswego Sunrise Rotary members Charles Young and Bill Symmons, Oswego High School Interact Club members Kennedy Thompson, Hannah Brown, Michaela Callen, Tyler Youngman, and Warren Shawn, Sunrise Rotary member and Interact Club Advisor.
From left are: Rotary District Governor Henry MacDonald and his wife, Joan with Shawn Boshart of Oswego County Monuments, Oswego Sunrise Rotary members Charles Young and Bill Symmons, Oswego High School Interact Club members Kennedy Thompson, Hannah Brown, Michaela Callen, Tyler Youngman, and Warren Shawn, Sunrise Rotary member and Interact Club Advisor.

The concrete structure was built more than 70 years ago, based on a model developed by a railroad in Pennsylvania during World War II, to replace wood being used for other war-time purposes.

Various railroads used this model for many purposes including telephone booths, outhouses, and, like this one, to protect railroad switches from the elements.

Almost a dozen of these structures were located around the city of Oswego, at points where spar lines branched off the main rail line.

Since this particular shanty was located at the corner of  Fort Ontario where the spar line went into the Fitzgibbons Boiler Factory, it is believed that is also functioned as a guardhouse.

It was rescued from the banks of Lake Ontario at that intersection a number of years ago, with the aid of the city DPW, and has been stored at the DPW parking lot awaiting restoration.

Its roof was actually pulled out of the lake.

Members of the Sunrise Rotary Club and the Interact Club will restore the structure as a reminder of the once important role that railroads and local industry played in the war effort during World War II.

Appropriate signage will be installed.

Appreciation is expressed for the support of the mayor’s office, the city DPW, Shawn Boshart of Oswego County Monuments for the transportation of the shack from the place of rescue to its location on East First Street and Lisa Shaw who provided financial support for the temporary repairs.

1 Comment

  1. THANK you, Lisa, Morning Rotary and HSers for taking time to PHYSICALLY preserve some of Oswego’s history!!! Railroading in Oswego is such an integral part of who we were and who we became that whenever I hear the haunting sound of the train whistle early in the morning, I think of all the thousands of Oswegonians that heard that sound throughout their lives. Thanks again for all you do!

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