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August 30, 2013

War of 1812 Quilt Exhibit Opens Labor Day at Fort Ontario

Twenty-six quilts from the Great Lakes Seaway Trail War of 1812 Traveling Quilt Show are displayed at Fort Ontario State Historic Site from Labor Day until Sept. 29. The quilts are replicas of 1812-period quilts and were created by quilters from 11 states and three Canadian provinces. (Photo by Kara Dunn, Great Lakes Seaway Trail.)

OSWEGO - Fort Ontario State Historic Site will host the Great Lakes Seaway Trail War of 1812 Traveling Quilt Show from Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2 to Sunday, Sept. 29. Twenty-six of the finest newly-made examples of 1812-period quilts will be on display in Officer's Quarters One inside the old fort. Every quilt in the exhibit has a story-card attached with interesting details about the quilts and quilt-makers from 11 different states and three Canadian provinces. The quilts will be accompanied by Great Lakes Seaway Trail "Storyteller" interpretive panels that tell the story of the War of 1812 on the northern frontier as well as the daily lives of militia and soldiers, community support of the troops, and efforts to cloth and equip an army.

Admission to the fort which includes the quilt exhibit is $4.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors and students age 13 and older; children under age 12 are admitted free. The fort will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays after Labor Day until Columbus Day when the visitor season ends.

"The Great Lakes Seaway Trail War of 1812 Traveling Quilt Show at Fort Ontario is part of commemorative activities by the Oswego County War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee to interpret the important role the county played in the war that forced Great Britain to respect the independence of the United States," said Bicentennial Committee Chairman Paul Lear, who is site director of Fort Ontario. "During the War of 1812 Lake Ontario was the main theatre of action and saw both Great Britain and the United States building larger and larger fleets and ships in a seesaw struggle to control the lake. Vital ships parts, cannon, powder, supplies and stores for the U.S. Naval fleet under construction and sailing out of Sacket's Harbor passed along the traditional Mohawk River-Oneida Lake-Oswego River route to Oswego."

Supplies for U.S. Army campaigns on the Niagara frontier and St. Lawrence River Valley were stored in warehouses and moved through Oswego as well. Fort Ontario, which guarded Oswego, was attacked unsuccessfully in 1813, but on May 5-6, 1814, it was overrun and destroyed by the British following a bombardment, amphibious assault, and stubborn defense by a much smaller American force. Oswego Harbor was too shallow and small for major naval operations and shipbuilding, but the U.S. Brig Oneida, built in Oswego in 1808-09 was in more actions than any other U.S. warship during the War of 1812.

For information on Fort Ontario contact Lear at (315) 343-4711; for information on the Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway and War of 1812 Quilt Exhibit contact Lynette Lundy-Beck, Project Manager at (315) 646-1000 ext.203.

Learn more about Oswego's War of 1812 bicentennial activities at visitoswegocounty.com or call 1-800-248-4FUN. Fort Ontario State Historic Site is located at the north end of East Fourth Street in the City of Oswego, off Route 104 East.

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