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October 8, 2012

Fort Ontario Will Close for Season Oct. 14

The 444th Engineer Company, US Army Reserve, is shown at Fort Ontario during their 2007 departure ceremony for duty in Iraq. Posted at Fort Ontario, the unit is currently on duty in Afghanistan. Fort Ontario has a 254-year history as an active military reservation. The fort will close for the season Sunday, Oct. 14. (Photo courtesy Fort Ontario State Historic Site.)

OSWEGO, NY - Fort Ontario State Historic Site will close for the public season at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14. Featured on a recent episode of the SYFY Channel's "Ghost Hunters," [www.syfy.com] this will be the final opportunity of the year to enjoy scenic views of Lake Ontario from the fort's windswept ramparts, tour historic military buildings, grounds, and exhibits. Patrons are encouraged to dress appropriately for cooler weather conditions and wear sensible footwear. Regular admission will be charged, but free hot coffee, tea, and hot chocolate will be available for hardy visitors. The Post Museum Shop will be open until Oct. 14, and by appointment over the winter (315) 343-4711.

"Fort Ontario is one of the most historically significant military posts in the United States, serving actively in the French and Indian War, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, World War I, and World War II," said Historic Site Manager Paul Lear.

The 444th Engineer Company, 479th Engineer Battalion, US Army Reserve, currently deployed to Afghanistan, maintains a 254-year history of occupation of the Fort Ontario Military Reservation. Fort Ontario is the site of four battles, two dating to the French and Indian War, and two from the War of 1812; it achieved its most distinctive role in world history during the Second World War when it served as the only refugee camp for mostly Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust [www.oswegohaven.org].

"Many important military and civilian leaders served or had ties to Fort Ontario, including General Thomas Gage, Lord Jeffrey Amherst, Pontiac, Joseph Brant, Sir William Johnson, Benjamin Bonneville, Ulysses S. Grant, Stonewall Jackson, Walter Reed, Ludwig Bemelmans, Walter Short, and Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt," said Lear. "While at Fort Ontario, don�t forget to tour the Post Cemetery which contains the remains of 77 lesser-known but appreciated officers, soldiers, women and children who served our nation and made Fort Ontario their last post."

Fort Ontario State Historic Site is located at the north end of East Fourth Street in the City of Oswego, and is open from mid-May to Mid-October [www.fortontario.com]. For more information contact Paul Lear at (315) 343-4711.

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