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‘The British Finally Leave Oswego – Waterfront Development after 1796’

OSWEGO – In celebration of the Oswego County Bicentennial, the H. Lee White Maritime Museum at Oswego will present the third presentation of the 2016 History Lecture Series featuring Mark Slosek, son of Anthony Slosek longtime city and county historian who, like his father did in years past, serves as the current historian for the city of Oswego.

His lecture is titled, “Waterfront Development, Following the 1796 British Evacuation of Fort Ontario.”

J. Bouchette’s Plan of Oswego Harbor, August 1815.  H. Lee White Maritime Museum’s Peterson-Gateley Collection.
J. Bouchette’s Plan of Oswego Harbor, August 1815. H. Lee White Maritime Museum’s Peterson-Gateley Collection.

Slosek’s talk will highlight the eight years of conflict with Great Britain, right after the American Revolution ended in September 1783 and then the thirteen years following when the British occupied Fort Ontario – the now lone fortress protecting the commercial port of entry at Oswego.

Slosek will begin with a brief discussion of the historic and geographic importance of Oswego prior to 1796 and then pivot to the State of New York survey conducted in the wake of the July 1796 British evacuation.

He will focus primarily on Oswego’s west side with a discussion of how the lots, streets and public spaces were laid out.

Further, he will provide insight into the first settlers and how they managed lots between 1796 and 1828 when Oswego went from a hamlet to an incorporated village.

Museum curator Michael Pittavino said, “Diplomatic contention over Oswego Harbor, and therefore control of lake commerce and its armed defense, was crucial to the development of the North American Continent. That contention, though, and in the wake of American victory, led to first freshwater port in the United States which has left a lasting legacy on our own regional heritage.”

This lecture will take place in the Pontiac Hall at the Maritime Museum, on the West First Street Pier on June 25 at 1:30 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information about this program or other museum activities, visit www.hlwmm.org or call the museum at (315) 342-0480.