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July 10, 2015

Rediscovering the Forts of Oswego

OSWEGO- This summer Dr. Graham Bradley of the SUNY Oswego Department of Atmospheric and Geological Sciences and student-researcher Jeremy Fontaine will try and rediscover the former locations of two historic forts in Oswego. They are collecting data at 18th century Fort George on the west side, and the 19th century support buildings at Fort Ontario. This geo-archeological geophysical investigation is part of an undergraduate Faculty-Student Challenge Grant.

"Bradley and Fontaine will use magnetometers, ground penetrating radars (GPR), and electromagnetic profiler (EM) methods to detect ground disturbances caused by human activity," said Paul Lear, superintendent of Fort Ontario State Historic Site. "The geophysical field work and interpretation will improve the understanding of the role of Oswego during the French and Indian War as well as improve the understanding of the operation of Fort Ontario during and following the Civil War. The two researchers plan to be working at Fort Ontario and around the Fort George area throughout the summer."

The exact location of Fort George in relation to the modern property boundaries is still unknown. Fort George is said to have been located around the homes in the Montcalm Park Historic District of Oswego. A plaque at the intersection of Montcalm St. and West Sixth Street commemorates Fort George. The location of support buildings at Fort Ontario is also unconfirmed.

The final summary investigation report will be presented to SUNY Oswego, Fort Ontario, and the City of Oswego at the end of this year. Depending on the findings, results may also be presented at the Fort Ontario annual conference and the Geological Society of America Northeastern Section Meeting next spring.

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