Fort Ontario

Fort Ontario The first fortification on the site of the current Fort Ontario was built by the British in 1755. Called the "Fort of the Six Nations", it was destroyed by the French during the French and Indian War. Construction of a second British fort began on the same site in 1759. During the American Revolution, the the British abandoned the Fort, and in 1778, American troops destroyed it. In 1782, the British reoccupied Fort Ontario, and didn't forfeit it to the U.S. until 1796, thirteen years after the cessation of hostilities in the Revolution. During the War of 1812, the derelict fort was attacked by the British, and once again, destroyed. The fort that stands today was built between 1839 and 1844. Major masonry improvements to the forts outer wall were undertaken, but left incomplete when in 1872, congress cancelled its funding. By 1901, the old fort was abandoned.

Fort Ontario Scenes     The early 20th century saw the construction of a "new" fort; an army base on the adjacent property, but it too was decommishioned by 1946.

Fort Ontario Scenes     At the end of the Second World War, the "new" fort was used as a "Safe Haven," an emergency refugee center for victims of the Nazi Holocaust, the only one of its kind in the U.S. (Note; following the Safe Haven link will take you out of the City of Oswego's website.)

Fort Ontario Scenes     In 1946 the Fort was transferred to the State of New York. Initially used to house veterans and their families during the post-war period, development of the fort as a State Historic Site began in 1949.

Fort Ontario Scenes     Today, Fort Ontario is being restored to its 1867-72 appearance. Costumed interpreters recreate the lives of the officers, men, and civilians who garrisoned the fort in 1868-9.

For more information about Fort Ontario, call the fort office @ (315) 343-4711

Click on Link for Hours of Operation.  Museum Hours of Operation 2009



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