Oswego, N.Y. - Fort Ontario State Historic Site's first annual "Winter Walk through History" is scheduled for Jan. 1, 2015. The event will feature a narrated historical stroll around the grounds and buildings of the old 75-acre military reservation. Led by AmeriCorps staffer and historian Mitchell Manniccia, the walk will begin at 10 a.m. in the Enlisted Men's Barracks inside the old stone fort. The event is free and open to the public. Free parking will be available in the main visitor lot.
The Winter Walk Through History event is part of New York State Park's statewide First Day Hikes Program and is being conducted in cooperation with Oswego County AmeriCorps and Friends of Fort Ontario. First Day Hikes encourage participation in healthy outdoor winter physical activities and are a fun way for the whole family to ring in the New Year.
Fort Ontario State Historic Site is located at the north end of East Fourth Street in the City of Oswego.
"Originally built by the British in 1755, the fort has been built and destroyed four times, and has served our nation in one capacity or another from the French and Indian War through the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Paul Lear, supervisor of Fort Ontario State Historic Site. "Fort Ontario has been a landmark for tourists since 1949 and is being restored to its late 1860's appearance, the common age of its surviving buildings."
The mile-long Winter Walk through History will feature the history and use of brick buildings now owned by the City of Oswego which were built during Fort Ontario's expansion from company to battalion size in the early 1900's. Walkers will learn about how these brick buildings were used and who occupied them during World War I when the fort served as the largest post hospital in the United States.
The walk will conclude with refreshments in Enlisted Men's Barracks. Participants are encouraged to wear warm clothes and footwear as the tour will take place outside.
For more information contact Mitchell Maniccia Monday through Wednesday at (315) 343-4711, or visit Fort Ontario's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FortOntario.
Photo caption: World War I photograph of medical staff at Fort Ontario on the parade ground at Fort Ontario. The officers' row and the stone fort are in the background. The photograph was taken from the area now used as batting cages by the Oswego Little League. (Photo courtesy of Fort Ontario State Historic Site, NYSOPRHP.)
Fort Ontario State Historic Site