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April 11, 2011

Symposium is a Successful Launch for War of 1812 Commemoration

Participants look over historical artifacts and discuss soldiers' life during the War of 1812.

Richland Town Historian and Half-Shire Historical Society President Shawn Doyle led the line-up of noted historians with a presentation about research and genealogy efforts that support a grave marker campaign to recognize local soldiers from the War of 1812.

Presenter Richard Palmer met with participants during lunch before his lecture on William Cooper's Ark.

The Oswego County War of 1812 Symposium featured five speakers on a variety of topics related to the county's role in the campaign. They included (l-r): Matthew Mac Vittie, Dr. Gary Gibson, Shawn Doyle and Paul Lear. General Jacob Brown, mascot for the Fort Ontario State Historic Site, was also at hand for the event. Missing from photo is speaker Richard Palmer.

OSWEGO - Commemoration activities for the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 kicked off with the Oswego County War of 1812 Symposium on Saturday, April 2.

The American Foundry on state Route 104 West in Oswego hosted the inaugural event with an interesting series of lectures about Oswego County's role in the war.

Speakers at the day-long event included Shawn Doyle, Dr. Gary Gibson, Richard Palmer, Matthew Mac Vittie, and Paul Lear. They discussed a variety of topics, including genealogy and grave marker research, military and naval logistics, William Cooper's Ark, militia and soldiers, and the Battle of Oswego.

"We had a terrific turnout for this program, which included a local audience as well as people traveling in from neighboring regions," said Paul Lear, site manager of Fort Ontario State Historic Site. "Everyone walked away with a lot of new information and insights about our local ancestry and how they fought to preserve American freedom."

Supporters of the War of 1812 Symposium included: Friends of Fort Ontario, Inc., Oswego County Tourism Advisory Council, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning, City of Oswego, The American Foundry, Continental Arms Collectors Association, Inc., Daughters of the War of 1812, the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce, the H. Lee White Marine Museum, the Half-Shire Historical Society, Oswego Harbor Festivals, Inc., The Oswego County Heritage Foundation, the Oswego County Historical Society, Man in the Moon Candies and The Palladium-Times.

A historical record of the symposium will soon be available on DVD through the Friends of Fort Ontario. This 4-disc set will be sold for $23.50 and includes tax, shipping and handling. If you would like to order your copy, call the Fort Ontario State Historic Site at 315-343-4711.

With the success of this year's event, planning is already underway for the 2012 Oswego County War of 1812 Symposium. It will be held on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at the American Foundry on Route 104 West.

For more updates on this and other commemoration activities, find a listing of local War of 1812 soldiers or to learn more about the history of Oswego County, go to visitoswegocounty.com/historical-info/war-of-1812.

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