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March 19, 2012

1812 Symposium Remembers Fashion and Highlights Service

OSWEGO - Commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 at the second annual Oswego County War of 1812 Symposium on Saturday, March 31. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. at the American Foundry, 246 West Seneca Street, Oswego.

Come and listen to fascinating tales about military and civilian life along the New York-Canadian border in the early 1800s. A panel of distinguished historians and speakers will cover a variety of topics, including naval and military logistics, society and fashion, historical preservation, service organizations and the Native American perspective.

Susan Gibson, owner of The Stitching Post in Sackets Harbor, presents two shows about military and civilian fashions using live models and digital imagery. "The presentations feature American military uniforms in the War of 1812 and Regency-era (1812) civilian dress for men and women in various social stations," said Gibson. "Each show will also touch on the background information about the creation, distribution and concepts associated with each style."

Susan Gibson is a Sackets Harbor resident and a volunteer at the Sackets Harbor Battlefield Historic Site. Her passion for creating garments began when she was 13 years old. She continued her craft as a theatre art major at Daemen College, creating costumes for numerous productions. With her love of sewing and history, Gibson became inspired to construct authentic period clothing for re-enactors. Her specialty lies in creating civilian clothing of the Regency and Victorian eras, as well as military uniforms of the War of 1812.

The United States Daughters of 1812 was founded in 1892 as a volunteer women's service organization. Beverly Sterling-Affinati and Anne Davis, president and vice president of the General Jacob Brown chapter, will be at hand to discuss the organization.

"For more than a century, the U.S. Daughters of 1812 have dedicated themselves to promoting patriotism, preserving documents and relics, increasing awareness about American history, and participating in local events," said Sterling-Affinati. "The symposium is a wonderful event. It exemplifies our mission and we are happy to be a part of it."

Davis added, "We often discover many interesting details through our research of War of 1812 military personnel and enjoy sharing these fascinating stories with others. This event gives us all a chance to connect and learn about our shared heritage."

Beverly Sterling-Affinati is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force as well as the New York State Society's bicentennial chairman and proprietor of HarborSide Services Web Development and Marketing in Sackets Harbor. Anne serves as the New York State Society's chairman for grave markings and locations of War of 1812 service personnel and long-time volunteer at the Church of the Latter Day Saints Genealogical Library in Watertown.

The symposium is sponsored by the Friends of Fort Ontario, Sackets Harbor Battlefield Alliance, Oswego County Tourism Advisory Council, and Fort Ontario State Historic Site with support from the Daughters of the War of 1812, City of Oswego, The Palladium-Times, H. Lee White Marine Museum, Heritage Foundation, Oswego County Historical Society, Half-Shire Historical Society and Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning.

Registration is $25 per person and $15 with valid student ID and includes lunch and workshop materials. Advance registration is required and may be paid by credit card through the Fort Ontario State Historic Site. Contact Jon Zella at 315-343-4711 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by e-mail at fortontariointern@gmail.com. Checks should be made payable to Friends of Fort Ontario Inc. and mailed to Fort Ontario State Historic Site, 1 East Fourth Street, Oswego, N.Y. 13126.

For accommodations and visitor information, go to visitoswegocounty.com or contact the Oswego County Tourism Office at 315-349-8322. To follow War of 1812 commemoration activities or to learn more about the history of Oswego County, go to visitoswegocounty.com/historical-info/war-of-1812/.


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