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June 1, 2015

'Cookie Day' Returns to Fort Ontario June 14

OSWEGO, NY- Thelegendary Fort Ontario molasses cookie,remembered by many visitors during the 60s and 70s, will make its return to the old stone fort in Oswego on Sunday, June 14. A complimentary molasses cookie will be served to the first 200 visitors with admission to the fort. Regular admission prices will be in effect; $4 for adults, and $3 for seniors and students age 13 and older. Children age 12 and younger and Friends of Fort Ontario are admitted free.

In the early 1960s, Wally Workmaster, Superintendent of Fort Ontario from 1960 to 1981, began a costumed hostess program in which women from the community wore period clothing and interpreted the historically furnished rooms of the officer's quarters. Women involved in the program began baking molasses cookies and serving them to visitors on weekends.

"Workmaster wanted something tangible to provide a 'taste of the past' for visitors," said Shannon Cilento, Oswego County AmeriCorps member serving at Fort Ontario."The molasses cookie program ended soon after Workmaster left the fort in 1981, and when only expensive commercially-produced cookies could be served. The originalFort Ontario cookie recipe will be used this June 14, Flag Day, for the return of Cookie Day."

The event is made possible through the support of Cakes Galore of Oswego, Friends of Fort Ontario, and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.Fort Ontario State Historic Site is located at the north end of East Fourth Street in the City of Oswego. The fort is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday, 10a.m. to 4:30p.m., and Sundayfrom noon to 4:30 p.m. From July 1 to Labor Day the fort is open seven days a week. For more information, please call (315) 343-4711 or visit www.fortoswego.com.

Mary Katherine Clerkin and Shannon Cilento of Fort Ontario will serve molasses cookies baked using the original Fort Ontario recipe to the first 200 visitors at Fort Ontario on Sunday, June 14. Clerkin is a state parks staff historian and Cilento is an AmeriCorps memberdeveloping programs focusing on encouraginghealthy lifestyles for children through historical physical activities and nutrition. Molasses cookies area low-fat alternative to other cookies high in sugar and fat. Visitors are encouraged to work off the cookie calories by playing croquet on a full tournament size course on the parade ground. .


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