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June 2, 2006

Historic Walking Tours Will Begin June 8 in Oswego

OSWEGO – Visitors and residents can explore Oswego’s rich history once again this summer in a leisurely walking tour sponsored by local historical groups and Seaway Trail, Inc.

Seaway Trail Walks, a series of walking tours in coastal communities along the Seaway Trail, will resume in the city of Oswego on Thursday, June 8. The program is a shoreline tourism and economic development initiative begun in 2003 by Seaway Trail, Inc.

The Oswego walks will begin at 5 p.m. every Thursday from June 8 through Sept. 28, when the weather cooperates. Tours will start on East First Street in front of the Oswego Tea Company, near the entrance to the O&W Railroad Tunnel.

An $8 per person fee ($4 for children under 12) will be collected at the start of each walk. The tour lasts 1˝ hours. In Oswego, visitors will learn about the city’s military and maritime heritage, Underground Railroad sites and historic architecture, along with the Oswego River canal and early history of the city.

“With the starting location across from the end of the Harbor Rail Trail, guides can take visitors on a tour of historic sites such as the Oswego City Public Library, the Richardson-Bates House Museum, and homes whose previous owners were active in the Underground Railroad and abolitionist movement,” said Christine Gray, director of Promotion and Tourism for Oswego County. “Last year, our tour guides were able to customize the tours to meet the historical interests of our walkers. Visitors may also explore Fort Ontario or learn more about the region’s fascinating maritime history, depending on the guide’s expertise. Plus, a Thursday date can also offer visitors the option of taking in the farmers’ market or the Riverfront Concert Series, and encourage overnight stays,” she added.

A special walk will be held on Thursday, Aug. 10, when Fort Ontario’s significant role in the French and Indian War will be explored prior to the start of the weekend celebration of the 250th anniversary of the French and Indian War and Fort Ontario. Walkers will tour the fort area and be able to visit re-enactors and suttlers.

The Seaway Trail Walks project in Oswego is a collaborative effort of the Oswego County Historical Society, Heritage Foundation of Oswego County, H. Lee White Marine Museum, Fort Ontario State Historic Site, local historians and the Oswego County Division of Promotion and Tourism.

“The Seaway Trail Walks communities are embracing their unique position as part of the Seaway Trail. This program promotes a sense of local pride with leisurely strolls that allows visitors to learn about our region’s unique characters, architecture and folklore,” said Teresa Mitchell, executive director of the Seaway Trail. “The 5 p.m. start time by design encourages walkers to shop, take the walk, stay for dinner and perhaps stay overnight,” Mitchell said.

For more information on Seaway Trail Walks, contact the Seaway Trail at 1-800-SEAWAY-T or visit the Web site at www.seawaytrail.com.

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