June 23, 2004
The British Are Coming…To Fort Ontario State Historic Site
OSWEGO--Witness British Crown forces of the War for Independence reoccupy Fort Ontario State Historic Site the weekend of July 10 and 11. Don't be alarmed if you see the British capturing rebels in downtown Oswego, or Captain Alex Thompson demand surrender of the post. Throughout the weekend, there will be living history demonstrations, marching and weapons drills, and games.
According to Historic Site Manager Paul Lear, "During the re-enactment on Saturday, July 10 an advance party will garrison the old fort, which was built during the late war with the French." After establishing their base at the fort, work parties will repair the fortifications and put the post in a defensible state. Patrols will leave the fort to secure the perimeter and search out rebel forces and sympathizers.
Raiding parties will depart the fort at 2 p.m., Saturday, July 10. They will travel to the New York State Armory down West First Street, marching through the Oswego business district to King Arthur's Steak House, crossing over the bridge, then returning to Fort Ontario with rebel prisoners from farms in the Mohawk and Cherry Valleys. Loyal subjects (the public) are invited to pay their respects to the King's officers and Oaths of Loyalty to the King will be administered inside the fort.
Sunday, July 11, Captain Alex Thompson of the Continental Army arrives at Fort Ontario at 3 p.m., blind-folded with a small party under a flag of truce, demanding the surrender of the post to the United States.
Black Magic Stables will provide horse and wagon rides for those wishing to tour the fort and its vicinity in a historically accurate manner. The cost of the ride will be $5 per person with $1 per ride being donated to the Friends of Fort Ontario to benefit restoration efforts at the fort. Black Magic Stables is a small business member of the Friends of Fort Ontario.
Normal admission rates will be charged. Members of the Friends of Fort Ontario and children under five years of age will be admitted free.
British Garrison Weekend activities will be held on Saturday, July 10, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, July 11, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Re-enactors represent the 64th Regiment of Foot; 24th and 29th Regiment of Foot; Royal Artillery - Loyalist Militia; Leib Regiment; and the Native Allies.
Fort Ontario is located at 1E. Fourth St. in Oswego. Fort Ontario State Historic Site is part of the Central Region of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.
For more information on the British Garrison Weekend contact Fort Ontario at 343-4711. For additional information on Fort Ontario visit www.fortontario.com.
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