Oswego County Historical Society to Host Lecture on the Richardson-Bates Family

 The Oswego County Historical Society will host the next lecture of the series on Sunday, September 22 at 1:30 p.m. t the Richardson-Bates House Museum at 135 East Third Street in Oswego. A program entitled “Family Portraits: Stories of the Richardson-Bates Family,” will be given by County Historian and board trustee Justin White. Pictured is Maxwell Richardson a prominent 19th century businessman and civic leader who built the Tuscan Villa as his private residence, which is now a public museum listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The event is free and open to the public.OSWEGO — The Oswego County Historical Society will host the fourth lecture of the season on Sunday, September 22 at 1:30 p.m. at the Richardson-Bates House Museum at 135 E. Third St. in Oswego. The event is free and open to the public.

Guest lecturer Justin White will present a program entitled “Family Portraits: Stories of the Richardson-Bates Family.” White is a board trustee for the historical society and is also the Oswego County Historian.

The lecture will be an opportunity to take a personal look into the lives of the family that lived in the Richardson-Bates house, which has been the headquarters of the historical society since 1946. It officially opened as a public museum in 1947, and since that time has offered visitors a rare glimpse to the lifestyle of an upper-class Oswego family. This architectural treasure was a gift to the historical society by the children of Norman and Florence Bates. Norman Bates was the son of Harriet Richardson-Bates, and a nephew of Max Richardson who built the house as his private residence. It was the childhood home of Norman Bates and eventually his children. The Tuscan Villa style residence was completed circa 1870, with a subsequent addition completed in 1889.

“While many have visited the house through the years and have enjoyed the architecture, the interior period rooms and general history, few have had an in-depth look into the lives of this fascinating family that lived on these grounds for a century,” said White. “I have been researching the family for many years and I am always learning something new.”

White will present a PowerPoint program showing many rare photographs from the family collection. He will share biographical and anecdotal history based on various resources that document the members of the family from the mid-19th through the mid-20th century.

“The program will include tales of Oswego’s youngest mayor, a newspaper publisher, a human rights activist, a Broadway actress, a pioneer documentary filmmaker and more,” said White. “All of these people are connected to this amazing landmark.”

The Oswego County Historical Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the rich history of the county. The society maintains and operates the Richardson-Bates House Museum, a historic landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The museum is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday form 1 – 5 p.m. and other days by appointment. For more information visit the museum website atwww.rbhousemuseum.org for regular updates or call during regular hours at 343-1342.