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September 25, 2018

The Great Rope – by the numbers!


FULTON, NY – More than 40 years ago Rosemary Nesbitt penned a play about a 12-year-old boy involved in the war of 1812, in which Oswego settlers played a major role.

Mrs. Nesbitt gave her community 50 years of culture and the arts, provoked our imaginations and created exciting memories.

The Great Rope makes an appearance at Oswego’s Independence Day parade to announce the play being presented, 6 p.m., August 2 at Fort Ontario Parade Grounds.

The Great Rope makes an appearance at Oswego’s Independence Day parade to announce the play being presented, 6 p.m., August 2 at Fort Ontario Parade Grounds.

Five years to the day after her passing and 200 years after the event, Oswego will travel back in time to revisit not only a great victory in the War of 1812, but also celebrate the life of the one who told us the tale of the great rope and made it a captivating story with children at the heart of it. Naturally!

The recreation of this 200-year-old event will come to life August 2 at 6 p.m at Fort Ontario parade ground in collaboration between the Marine Museum, which Mrs. Nesbitt founded, Fort Ontario State Historic Site and CNY Arts Center with direction from SUNY Oswego theatre professor Jonel Langenfeld.

In a spirit of true collaboration, in 1814 more than 100 men and boys secretly gathered to carry a nautical rope and supplies by land from Sandy Creek to Sacketts Harbor to avoid British capture of the critical equipment. Weighing almost 10,000 pounds and 600 feet long, it took about 100 men at a time to carry the rope, almost two feet around, twenty miles overland while the British lurked nearby just offshore.

Twenty miles may not seem like much in today’s fast-paced society and transportation, but it is estimated the trek lasted two days and many men carried lasting scars on their shoulders from the rope.

Half that number, 50 people and growing, are keeping a fast pace with only four weeks of rehearsal and creation of sets and costumes, with historical accuracy driving the production thanks to assistance from Jenny Emmons, dramaturg historian, and Paul Lear, fort site manager.

Parade grounds and barracks on site serve as a backdrop for the outdoor event. Audiences should bring lawn chairs and blankets and prepare to enjoy another Rosemary Nesbitt story brought to life in all its pageantry.

The raindate is August 3.

Tickets at $5 for adults, $2 for teens and under 12 free, will soon be available at the Marine Museum and CNY Arts Center Arts in the Heart Gallery, 47 S. First St., Fulton.

For more information, visit www.hleewhitemarinemuseum.com, www.fortontario.com or www.CNYArtsCenter.com

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