OSWEGO COUNTY – From native American culture to Holocaust refugees, and the Oswego Lighthouse to genealogical research, several Oswego County heritage sites have signed up to participate in the I Love New York Path through History Weekend June 20 and 21.
“Oswego County has a rich and colorful heritage and we are indebted to our local historians and historic sites for keeping that heritage alive,” said Janet Clerkin, Oswego County Tourism and Public Information Coordinator. “Path through History Weekend showcases events taking place June 20 and 21 at historic and cultural destinations throughout New York State. More than 300 events will take place across the state, including eight events right here in Oswego County.”
Local sites that are participating in Path through History Weekend include:
· Friends of Fort Ontario will host a free history walk at Fort Ontario State Historic Site on World Refugee Day, June 20. The guided walk will honor the 982 refugees who lived at Fort Ontario from 1944 to 1946. The walk starts at 2 p.m. from the refugee monument by the post cemetery. The shelter was established by President Franklin Roosevelt as the only refugee shelter in the U.S. Fort Ontario is located at the foot of East Fourth Street in Oswego. For information call 315-343-4711 or visit www.fortontario.com.
· The Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum, 2 E. Seventh St., Oswego, will commemorate World Refugee Day Saturday and Sunday with an open house from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. At 1 p.m. Saturday the museum will honor local neighbors and the late Ralph Faust, former principal of Oswego High School, for their assistance to the refugees. At 1 p.m. Sunday, Safe Haven board president George DeMass will lead a guided tour of the Jewish cemetery within the Oswego Riverside Cemetery on Route 57. For information call the museum at 315-342-3003.
· The H. Lee White Maritime Museum, 1 W. First St. Pier, will celebrate the 81st anniversary of Oswego’s lighthouse June 20 and 21 with the Lake Ontario CNY Lighthouse Challenge. Participants may tour several lighthouses along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, including some lighthouses that aren’t usually open to the public, and earn a souvenir at each lighthouse. Admission is $25 per group. To register, contact the museum at 315-342-0480, or visit www.hlwmm.org.
· The Oswego County Historical Society will host its new exhibit “Oswego Recalls: The Death of Lincoln and the End of the Civil War” and new display, “Alvin Bronson, His Rocker and The Battle of Oswego May 5-6 1814,” at the Richardson-Bates House Museum, 135 E. Third St., Oswego. Admission is free Saturday, June 20. The museum will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. For information call 315-343-1342.
· The Mexico Historical Society Museum will present a program on Native American culture along the eastern shore of Lake Ontario from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday. Historian Rich LaCrosse will discuss the pre-contact era and the early European settlers’ influence on Native American culture at 2 p.m. The museum is located at 25 S. Jefferson St. in the village of Mexico. For information call 315-963-7657. A donation is suggested.
· Friends of Casey’s Cottage will host guided tours of Casey’s Cottage, an 11th century-style manor house, Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. The cottage is located at Mexico Point Park, 120 Mexico Point Drive. The cottage features hand-carved walls, floors, ceiling, and rafters. Artifacts of 19th and 20th century resort hotels will be displayed. For information call 315-963-7657. A donation is suggested.
· The Town of Volney History Center, 1445 county Route 6, will host an open house and scrapbook corner from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The display includes more than 25 indexed and cross-referenced scrapbooks spanning various decades including war years. The materials are available for genealogy research and general reading. Admission is free. For information call 315-593-2293.
· The John Wells Pratt House Museum at 177 S. First St., Fulton will be open for tours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The museum is an example of a Victorian era mini-mansion constructed in the Italianate style of architecture prominent in the 1860s, and contains exhibits on the history of Fulton and a dining room and kitchen displayed as they would have been in Victorian days. Admission is free. For information call 315-598-4616.
For visitor information and more Oswego County history, go to www.visitoswegocounty.com. For more information on the I Love NY Path through History Weekend events, visit www.iloveny.com/paththroughhistoryweekend/