Join us for a FREE fun filled Labor Day Weekend & help celebrate the New York State Barge Canal System.
The activities will center around Oswego's very own piece of canal history, the museum's renovated 1925 NYS Derrick Boat No. 8.
Featured, will be the canal schooner Lois McClure, of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and their tug C.L. Churchill.
The National Historic Landmark WWII Tug, LT-5, the schooner OMF Ontario and the Eleanor D will also be prominent, with free on board tours or dockside viewing. Presentations and activities will be held outside and will be free as well.
The Museum building admission will be a nominal fee of $3 for adults, kids 16 and under free (with adult).
Visitors may try their hand at washing and ironing clothes the "old fashion way", learn how to make paper jewelry beads, indulge in homemade pies, or just participate in making butter with a simple mason jar. Old time games can be played with your friends and family aboard the Derrick Boat. One craft will allow children to make paper boats that actually float. A friendly boat race may take place in the museum's special stainless steel tank.
Museum Guides will discuss the canal system and Oswego's rich maritime history throughout the day.
"The Oswego Canal played an important role in transporting products and people between the canal, the Great Lakes and beyond. The Museum's Derrick Boat No. 8 served on the canal for 60 years and is a piece of history that helps tell the story." noted Mercedes Niess, Executive Director of the Museum.
Other activities offered in the Historic Maritime District are displays by the Oswego Maritime Foundation highlighting youth sailing and fishing, diving and
more! Bring the whole family to enjoy and appreciate New York State's rich Canal history. For more information about this free event, email
or call 315-342-0480.
On Saturday, September 1, noted historian Dr. Gary Gibson presents two talks. “The Oneida,” a discussion about the first U.S. warship built on the Great Lakes begins at 1:30 p.m. “Early shipbuilding and shipping traffic at Oswego” starts at 3:30 p.m. and explores the glory days of shipping on Lake Ontario in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Gibson has explored the naval perspective of the War of 1812 on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River for more than twenty years. He authored several publications, including “Service Records of U.S. Naval and Marine Corps Officers Stationed on Lake Ontario during the War of 1812.”
Oswego County Historian Justin White presents “The Oswego Starch Factory and the Kinsgford Family” at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 2 and at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, September 3. Thomas Kingsford was a chemist with William Colgate & Company and invented a process for manufacturing corn starch which was superior to any other on the market and sold the world over. Located on the Varick Canal, the Oswego Starch Factory was the largest of its kind in the world and the leading employer in 19th century Oswego.
A life-long resident of Oswego, White has worked as the Oswego County Historian and records administrator and archives clerk. He currently serves as the president of the Oswego County Historical Society, which owns and operates the Richardson-Bates House Museum, an Oswego landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Michael Pittavino presents his discussion, “American Boom-Towns: The New York Canal System” at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 2 and at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, September 3. Come learn about the historic rise and fall of boom towns along the canal system as this presentation compares the economic differences between using the New York State Canal System as a shipping highway, to its current service as a gateway to historical tourist attractions.
Pittavino is a SUNY Oswego alumnus and a current history graduate student. He worked at the H. Lee White Marine Museum as an intern during the spring semester and is now a seasonal employee.
Sponsors to date-
Major Sponsor- Wayne Drug
Stewart Shops Matching Gift Program
Oswego Elks Lodge
Oswego Family Physicans (Drs. Morgan, Humphrey and Stephens)
Mrs. Norma DeAmbra
Harbor Eye Associates (Drs. Dexter, Baker and Youngman)
Oswego County Tourism Department
Port of Oswego Authority
City of Oswego
Pfund Family in memory of Capt. Dick Pfund