Visit Oswego County

Museums and Historic Sites

Oswego County and its residents have played a unique role in the history of New York State and America. Learn the legend of Silas Town, an American spy and Revolutionary War hero who helped turn the tide of the war, as well as the story of Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, the only woman to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. Hear stories of the Fort Ontario Refugee Shelter, the only shelter in the United States for victims of war-torn Europe during World War II.

Throughout the county, you’ll discover that the Iroquois, French and British armies, the Oswego Canal, and the Underground Railroad have all left their mark on the pages of time. Explore this fascinating heritage in area museums, historic sites, cemeteries and local libraries. For more information, check out our Historical Guide.


Photo of Bridge House Museum
Bridge House Museum
Other 55 State St. Phoenix NY 13135 Work Phone: (315) 695-1308 Website:

Biographical Info

The Bridge House Museum contains a collection of artifacts depicting the history of the village of Phoenix and the NYS Barge Canal. The historic building is located along the canal at the corner of State and Lock Streets in Phoenix. Open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., July 1 through Sept. 1. Admission is free.

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Photo of Casey’s Cottage
Casey’s Cottage
Other Mexico Point Dr. Mexico Point State Park Mexico NY 13114 Work Phone: 315-963-7657 Website:

Biographical Info

Nestled in the trees at Mexico Point State Park, off NYS Route 104B, Casey’s Cottage is maintained by the Friends of Mexico Point State Park. The cottage is open seasonally for free tours during events at the park.

During the 1930s, Dr. William C. Casey and Severin Bischof, with the help of their friends, transformed a former carriage house into an 11th century manor house. The medieval influence is apparent in the life-size wall carvings, the huge fireplace complete with chains for the hounds, and ceilings carved with old English and Gaelic quotes. Free admission.

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Photo of Central Square Historical Society
Central Square Historical Society
Contact: Heather Stevens
Home 3125 East Ave. Village of Central Square Office Building Central Square NY 13036 Home Phone: 315-676-2682
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Photo of Central Square Railroad Museum
Central Square Railroad Museum
Other 132 Railroad Ave. Central Square NY 13036 Work Phone: 315-668-6727 Website:

Biographical Info

The Central Square 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.

Open noon-5 pm Sundays, May-October.

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Photo of Children’s Museum of Oswego
Children’s Museum of Oswego
Contact: Jillian Shaver
Work 7 W. Bridge St. Oswego NY 13126 Work Phone: 315-216-6387 Website:

Biographical Info

CMOO’s mission is to inspire children to learn, discover, create and explore through the power of play.
Celebrate your child’s birthday at CMOO!

Novelis exhibit at CMOO CMOO Garden Catching the scarves CMOO Programs serving food CMOO Water Table CMOO



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Photo of Fort Brewerton/Block House Museum
Fort Brewerton/Block House Museum
Other 9 NYS Rte. 11 Brewerton NY 13029 Work Phone: 315-668-8801 Website:

Biographical Info

The Oliver Stevens Blockhouse Museum, located on Route 11 in Brewerton, touches on 10,000 years of history from Paleo-Indian to World War I. Adjacent to the museum are the original earthworks of the 1759 British fortification. The Stevens Blockhouse is a replica of the original home built in 1794 by Oliver Stevens, the first permanent white settler in Oswego County. The museum is open the first weekend in June through the second weekend in September, and by appointment. Fridays and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

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Photo of Fort Ontario State Historic Site
Fort Ontario State Historic Site
Contact: Paul Lear
Other 1 E. 4th St. Oswego NY Work Phone: 315-343-4711 Website:

Biographical Info

Fort Ontario brings military life of 1868 alive for visitors. This New York State Historic Site overlooks beautiful eastern Lake Ontario in Oswego. Located on a picturesque bluff overlooking Lake Ontario at 1 E. Fourth St., Oswego. Visitors have an opportunity to see the enlisted men’s barracks, officers’ quarters, the powder magazine, and much more. The fort is open from mid-May to late October, Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m;
Sunday 12 noon to 4:30 p.m. The fort is closed on Mondays except for Monday holidays, when it is open regular hours. Call for specific opening and closing dates.

Fort Ontario Post Cemetery Map

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Photo of H. Lee White Maritime Museum
H. Lee White Maritime Museum
Contact: Mercedes Niess
Other 1 W. 1st St. Pier Oswego NY Work Phone: 315-342-0480 Website:

Biographical Info

The H. Lee White Maritime Museum, located on the West Side Pier in Oswego’s “Historic Maritime District,” features a fascinating variety of artifacts, paintings, models and intriguing stories of the area’s maritime heritage. The museum features a series of hands-on exhibits for children as well as several historic vessels. The National Historic Landmark Tug LT-5 is the last functioning Large Tug used in the Normandy landing on “D” Day. It was awarded National Landmark status because its crew shot down a German plane. NYS Derrick Boat 8, “The Lance Knapp,” was the last steam-powered vessel on the Barge Canal.


The derrick boat includes a unique exhibit on the history of canalling in New York State. Both of those boats are tourable, as part of regular admission, mid-May – Sept. 30 weather permitting. The OMF Ontario, the first schooner built in Oswego in over 100 ears, is in the water for viewing during these same months and is boardable, on a limited basis, at certain events. The Eleanor D, the last US commercial fishing boat to work Lake Ontario is permanently on view behind the main building, on the pier and holds special significance to the history of the Oswego fishing industry. Finally, historic canal tug Chancellor will soon be joining the museum’s “fleet” and will be undergoing restoration.

The museum and gift shop are open daily 1-5 pm year round with expanded hours in July and August 10 am-5 pm. Admission: $7/adult, $3/youth, age 5 and under are free. Check the website or Facebook page for special winter rates, an extensive program list and details on temporary exhibits.

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Photo of Half-Shire Historical Society
Half-Shire Historical Society
Other 1100 Co. Rte. 48 Richland NY 13144 Work Phone: 315-298-3620 Website:

Biographical Info

Housed in the former Richland Elementary School, the historical society maintains an extensive collection of documents and agricultural tools and items that reflect northern Oswego County’s heritage. Genealogy research and special exhibits on farm life from 1800-1950. Free admission.

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Photo of John Wells Pratt House Museum
John Wells Pratt House Museum
Other 177 S. First St. Fulton NY 13069 Work Phone: 315-598-4616

Biographical Info

The John Wells Pratt House Museum, maintained by the Friends of History in Fulton, NY, Inc., highlights the significant history of Fulton, a former mill town and prominent industrial center. Built in 1861, it features permanent and changing exhibits on Fulton’s history, industry, and people. The museum is open  Wednesday, Thursday, Friday from 10:00AM to 3:00PM from April to
December each year.
Also by appointment when arranged. Admission charged.

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Photo of La Guerre D’Independence
La Guerre D’Independence
Other 3338 Main St. Mexico NY 13114 Work Phone: 315-963-8400

Biographical Info

This impressive wall mural depicting America’s War of Independence is on permanent display in Mexico Academy and Central School on state Route 104 in the village of Mexico. The historic woodblock mural was made in France and is one of only two in existence. The other is on display in the White House in Washington, DC. It is open to the public from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays) for viewing. Free admission.

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Photo of Mexico Historical Society Museum
Mexico Historical Society Museum
Other 65 S. Jefferson St. Mexico NY 13114 Work Phone: 315-963-8452

Biographical Info

The Mexico Museum features changing exhibits, albums, maps, and fascinating restored materials detailing Mexico’s past. The museum, which was originally a mid-19th century law office, is open Tuesdays and Saturdays from 2 to 4 p.m., from March through September and by appointment. Admission is free.

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Photo of Oswego Expeditions
Oswego Expeditions
Contact: Jennifer Mays
Work PO Box 3011 Oswego NY 13126 Work Phone: 315-561-0223

Biographical Info

Oswego Expeditions merges health, history and nature thru outdoor recreation. We provide safe, fun year-round recreational and educational opportunities.

  • Customized guided kayak tours and rentals
  • Customized guided hiking tours throughout Oswego County and Adirondacks
  • Customized Passport to History Expeditions. Guided museum and walking tours in Oswego County’s historic communities
  • Bike rentals and snowshoe rentals – $8/hour or $25/day (6 hours)
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Photo of Oswego Town Historical Society
Oswego Town Historical Society
Contact: George DeMass
Work 2320 Co. Rte. 7 Oswego NY 13126 Work Phone: 315-343-4414 Cell Phone: 315-420-0000 Website:

Biographical Info

This museum interprets the history of the town of Oswego, its contributions to maritime commerce and the cultures which have occupied this port city. There are displays on one-room schoolhouses, town history and Mary Edwards Walker, a Civil War doctor born in Oswego who is the only woman to have ever received the Medal of Honor.

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Photo of Pulaski Historical Society Museum
Pulaski Historical Society Museum
Other 3428 Maple Ave Pulaski NY 13142 Work Phone: 315-298-4650 Website:

Biographical Info

Located in the Village of Pulaski, this museum portrays the colorful industrial and agricultural heritage that grew from the village’s settlement on the Salmon River. The museum contains a fascinating collection of tools, equipment, manufactured products and other artifacts, as well as thousands of documents and archives including personal diaries, news clippings, letters, and other items. Hours: March, April, May, October and November: Saturdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; June and September: Thursdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; July and August: Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and by appointment. Free admission.

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Photo of Richardson-Bates House Museum
Richardson-Bates House Museum
Other 135 E. Third St. Oswego NY 13126 Work Phone: 315-343-1342 Website:

Biographical Info

The Oswego County Historical Society’s collection of nearly 25,000 artifacts, documents, and photographs traces the significant history of the area, and is located in the Richardson-Bates House Museum. The house was built between 1867 and 1880 and is a fine example of Tuscan Villa Victorian architecture. The upstairs of the house is dedicated to the preservation of local history. The downstairs is preserved as the Richardson family knew it, with 95 percent of the original furnishings of the period. Maxwell Richardson was an attorney, real estate broker, and two-term mayor of Oswego. His house reflects his wealth and position as a civic leader. The museum is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is charged.

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Photo of Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum
Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum
Other 2 E. Seventh St. Oswego NY 13126 Work Phone: 315-342-3003 Website:

Biographical Info

Commemorates America’s only shelter for Nazi Holocaust survivors. 982 refugees from 18 war-torn countries fled the Nazi terror in Europe during the Holocaust. They sailed to the safety of America as guests of the US government, and were housed at Fort Ontario for 18 months. Children attended Oswego schools and adults attended English classes and learned trades. The exhibit is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., from Memorial Day through Labor Day; winter hours from Labor Day to Memorial Day are Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The museum is located in the Fort Ontario Park. Admission charged.

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Photo of Salmon River International Sport Fishing Museum
Salmon River International Sport Fishing Museum
Other 3044 NYS Rte. 13 Altmar NY 13302 Work Phone: 315-374-2997

Biographical Info

The Salmon River International Sport Fishing Museum is home to a collection of over 250,000 historic items originally on display at the Gladding Corporation’s Museum. Homemade antique fishing rods, rare lures, reels and tackle and a significant library of books, original watercolors, and historic prints are included in the collection. Open seasonally and maintained by the Pulaski-Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce.

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Photo of Salmon River Lighthouse & Marina
Salmon River Lighthouse & Marina
Contact: Abe Ellis
Work 5 Lake Rd. Extension Pulaski NY 13142 United States Work Phone: 315-509-4208 Work Phone: 757-287-0426 Website:

Biographical Info

Families, fishermen and lighthouse lovers from around the world enjoy spending time in our three-bedroom lighthouse or one of our three rental cottages, all located right in the midst of one of New York State’s premier fisheries. Located at the mouth of the Salmon River at Lake Ontario, our marina, lighthouse and cottages offer something for everyone, young and old alike.

Unlike a major portion of Lake Ontario with its rocky coastline, our guests are afforded the unique and quiet enjoyment of a massive span of private, soft, sandy beach on the shore of the lake, with a very gently sloping and soft, sandy lake bottom, located directly across the river from the marina.

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Photo of Schroeppel Historical Society Museum
Schroeppel Historical Society Museum
Other 486 Main St. Phoenix NY 13135 Work Phone: 315-695-6880 Website:

Biographical Info

Former 1910 St. John’s Episcopal Church

Museum has Gothic architecture with stained glass. Features history of the Town of Schroeppel and Village of Phoenix including the Oswego Canal. Open Saturday afternoons from 1-4pm during June, July and August.

Curator: Barb Dix

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Photo of Starr Clark Tin Shop And Underground Railroad Museum
Starr Clark Tin Shop And Underground Railroad Museum
Home 3250 Main St. Mexico NY 13114 Work Phone: 315-963-7853

Biographical Info

Beginning Friday, May 31, 2013, hours of operation will be every Friday, 4-7 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m. -1 p.m.

For tours by appointment, please call 315-963-7853.

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Photo of West Monroe Historical Society
West Monroe Historical Society
Work 2355 NYS Rte. 49 P.O. Box 53 Central Square NY 13036 Work Phone: 315-676-7414 Website:

Biographical Info

Housed in the former West Monroe Grange, the museum contains a collection of locally-produced stoneware, a complete 1940s kitchen, and a large variety of items and photographs centered around West Monroe and communities on the north shore of Oneida Lake. Special exhibits and materials for genealogical research. The society is open from noon to 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and by appointment.

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Photo of West Pierhead Lighthouse in Oswego
West Pierhead Lighthouse in Oswego
Other Oswego Harbor Oswego NY Work Phone: 315-342-0480 Website:

Biographical Info

Built in 1934 and automated in 1967, the lighthouse is one of Oswego’s most recognizable landmarks. View from Lake Street, Oswego.

The H. Lee White Maritime Museum at Oswego offers tours to the Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse by boat each year, mid-June through early September, on Fridays and Saturdays from 1:30 to 4:00 pm (weather pending).  Tickets are $20 per person, and we can accommodate reservations of up to six people per transit to the station. Visitors to the Lighthouse should plan to spend roughly two hours (including transit) for their experience and our captains reserve the right to cancel or cut-short any trip due to weather or safety concerns.

Book your experience today at the Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse by calling 315-342-0480

Oswego Lighthouse Rules:

  • The captain is in charge while underway
  • Children under 12 MUST wear a life jacket during transit
  • All children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult
  • There are no restrooms at the Lighthouse
  • Please arrive 15 minutes prior to departure
  • Flat, rubber-soled shoes highly recommended
  • No smoking, alcohol, or food is permitted on site
  • Not recommended for children under 5 years of age
  • The Lighthouse is not handicap accessible
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