Oswego County, N.Y. - Across New York State, museums, cultural institutions, and historic sites are celebrating NYS Museum Week May 31 to June 6. Residents and visitors are encouraged to explore the wealth of outstanding museums and heritage sites. "With more than 20 museums and historic sites dedicated to preserving three centuries of history, Oswego County has a rich and lively community of historians and historic preservation efforts," said Justin White, Oswego County Historian and president of the Oswego County Historical Society. Three local museums - the Central Square Station Museum, the Richardson-Bates House Museum, and the Safe Haven Museum and Education Center -- have announced they will participate in the first New York State Museum Week. The Central Square Station Museum is operated by the Central New York Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. Located at 132 Railroad Ave., the museum was once jointly operated as a depot for the New York, Ontario & Western and New York Central railroads. There are both indoor and outdoor exhibits. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Central Square station was the principal communication and transportation center for the village. The Central New York Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society has undertaken the arduous task of restoring the depot to its original appearance inside and out. During NYS Museum Week, May 31 through June 6, the museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The regular seasonal hours are noon to 5 p.m. Sunday afternoons, May through October. There is no admission charge. Donations are accepted. For more information visit the Web site at www.cnynrhs.org/CentralSq.html or call 315-668-6727. The Richardson-Bates House Museum, 135 E. Third St., Oswego, is the home of the Oswego County Historical Society. In 1946, the historical society received this elegant 19th century Italian Villa home to serve as the permanent headquarters for a public museum. Since that time the society has owned and operated the magnificent Richardson-Bates House Museum. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this distinctive landmark offers a unique glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of a prominent Oswego family and is maintained as it appeared around 1890. The museum is dedicated to interpreting the vast history of the people, places and events of Oswego County through exhibits and educational programs. The Richardson-Bates House Museum is open from 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, April through December. Tours may be scheduled by appointment. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students and seniors, and $2 for children age six to 12. For more information call 315-343-1342 or visit http://www.rbhousemuseum.org/ The Safe Haven Museum and Education Center, 2 E. Seventh St., Oswego, is dedicated to keeping alive the stories of the 982 refugees from World War II who were allowed into the United States as "guests" of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. These refugees were housed at Fort Ontario in Oswego from August 1944 until February 1946. The museum features a collection of photographs and interpretive displays chronicling the story of the Holocaust, the lives of the refugees, and the post-war years. The museum is open Thursday through Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m. Group tours are available year-round. Admission is $6 for adults, $2 for students and $4 for seniors. For information call 315-342-3003 or visit http://www.oswegohaven.org/. Safe Haven Museum and Education Center will sponsor an art show from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 10, featuring work by the refugees and their families. Admission is $25 and includes the art show at the nearby Oswego Civic Art Center, reception at Safe Haven, and admission to the museum. For information, contact the museum. For more information on Oswego County's fascinating museums and historic sites, go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/historical-info/ or call 800-248-4FUN (4386). For a full list of New York State museums that are participating in Museum Week, visit http://www.iloveny.com/museumweek.
Photo caption: The Richardson-Bates House Museum in Oswego is home of the Oswego County Historical Society and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.