OSWEGO — Crown forces will camp inside and Continentals outside the gates of old Fort Ontario on Aug. 14 and 15, during a weekend of living history activities focusing on drill, camp life, children’s games, and music of the Revolutionary War.
Event hours are Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
This event marks the end of nationwide 225th Revolutionary War commemorative activities that began in April 2000 with reenactments of the 1775 Battles of Lexington and Concord, Mass. Regular admission will be charged.
No large-scale battles are planned. Instead, small parties of British and Continental troops will drill and skirmish outside the fort on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Liaisons Plaisantes, comprised of reenactor/historian/musicians, will delight visitors with 18th century music during concerts at 12 and 3 p.m. Saturday, and at noon Sunday.
Children’s games and activities of the 18th century will be led by Norman Berlin. The public is invited to stroll through the camps, ask questions, and take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the 18th century. Updates on event activities will be published on the Friends of Fort Ontario Facebook page.
On Sunday morning at 10 a.m., Crown and Continental forces will gather on the fort’s flag bastion to lower the King’s Colors and raise Old Glory in its place.
“This activity will be a reenactment of the 10 a.m., July 14, 1796 transfer of ownership of Fort Ontario from Great Britain to the United States. Fort Ontario was the last of eight Northwest Posts held by the British after the end of the Revolutionary War and turned over to the United States under terms of the Jay Treaty in 1796,” said Fort Ontario Historic Site Director Paul Lear.
Both armies are seeking new recruits as the 250th anniversary of the Revolutionary War approaches and battle reenactments and commemorative activities are being planned.
“Whether you lean towards Crown or Congress, the Fort Ontario event presents an opportunity to ask questions about membership in a living history unit, how to acquire uniforms and equipment, what gear is provided or loaned, and other details about participating in a historical, family-oriented outdoor activity free of 21st century electronic devices and distractions,” said Lear.
Fort Ontario State Historic Site is located at the north end of East Fourth Street in the city of Oswego. For information about the event or the fort contact Paul Lear at 315-343-4711 or email Paul.Lear@parks.ny.gov. For more Oswego County history and visitor information, go to www.visitoswegocounty.com or call 1-800-248-4FUN.