Historical Society News

New Museum

In exciting news, the Historical Society is proud to announce the creation of the first Oswego Town Museum. 

The Oswego Town Historical Society will open the doors on its new museum next weekend, taking visitors on a journey through nearly 200 years of the lives, times and adventures of its citizens.

The Oswego Town Museum will hold its grand opening and dedication ceremonies on Oct. 23 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the former Oswego Center United Methodist Church at 2316 county Route 7, adjacent to the Oswego Town Hall.

For Historical Society members, the museum offers a chance to showcase exhibits tracing the town’s lineage back to its founding in 1818. The museum will also house a working research center.

“We never thought this dream would come true,” said Town Historical Society President George DeMass.

The church merged with the Southwest Oswego United Methodist Church in 2014 to become the new Journey of Faith United Methodist Church and the town of Oswego purchased the building shortly thereafter.

After several years of collecting artifacts and correspondence chronicling the town of Oswego’s rich history, the Historical Society is finally ready to welcome guests to the museum.

One of the most prominent exhibits will feature relics and information on the life of Dr. Mary Walker, the world-famous physician and Oswego town native who received the Congressional Medal of Honor for her service to the Union during the Civil War.

The Dr. Walker exhibit will feature her personal Bible, which she purchased while working during and in the aftermath of the Battle of Chancellorsville in 1863.

“We’re going to have a great educational program here and hopefully get school groups to come and experience this history,” said DeMass.

Several of the exhibits feature items donated by local residents, including an Emma Adams Columbian Doll, produced by Emma and her sister Marietta on Maple Avenue in the town of Oswego and exhibited at the Chicago World’s Fair Columbian Exhibition in 1893.

An upright piano from the Oswego Grange Lodge 115, founded in 1874, is also displayed.

David H. McConnell’s original sales case will be available for viewing. McConnell founded the California Perfume Company in 1886 – the cosmetics company would later become known internationally as Avon.

Several exhibits will highlight the military service of Oswego Town natives and residents. James Lee, the town’s other Medal of Honor winner who was recognized for his service in the Civil War, is featured as well as a footlocker from Captain L.F. Briggs used during his service with the 157th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

The museum will also showcase amenities of the former United Methodist Church in which it is housed. Stained glass windows from the turn of the century remain intact as well as much of the original woodworking from its construction in 1892.

More information on the museum and exhibits can be found at www.oswegotown.com. Sunday’s event is free and open to the public.