The dedication of the Dr. Mary E. Walker statue will be Saturday, May 12 at 10 a.m. in front of the Oswego Town Hall at 2320 Co. Rte. 7. The event is free and open to the public.
“This occasion is going to be a memorable one in town history,” said Oswego Town Clerk Theresa Cooper. “The dedication of this statue in memory of Dr. Mary Walker has been envisioned for many years now and the day has finally come. We encourage anyone interested in the life and times of Dr. Walker to attend this special event”
Dr. Walker was a pioneer female physician who earned her medical degree from Syracuse Medical College in 1855. She was a leader in the 19th century dress reform movement and a staunch advocate of civil rights and equality for all.
She strongly believed that women had the inherent right to vote and supported that cause throughout her life.
In 1865, she was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Andrew Johnson for her heroic medical services during the American Civil War.
Dr. Walker is the first and only woman ever awarded the nation’s highest military honor.
The statue project was started by the Oswego Town Historical Society in 2003. Oswego County resident Sharon BuMann was selected as the sculptor of the statue, which features Dr. Walker as she would have appeared during the Civil War era.
The statue is cast in bronze and mounted on a granite base. It is a gift of the historical society to the town residents.
“Many local and state representatives along with veteran organizations, Civil War re-enactors and even descendants of the Walker family will be present. The sculptor will speak about her concept and process of making it a reality,” said George DeMass, Oswego historian. “The program is filled with many wonderful highlights and will not disappoint.”
Walker biographer Dr. Sharon Harris will give the keynote presentation.
Her book “Dr. Mary Walker: An American Radical” is an extensive history of Dr. Walker’s illustrious life. A book signing will be available following the dedication ceremony. Other publications and items will be offered for sale.
“As part of this occasion, there will be a special display of Dr. Walker’s actual Medal of Honor, along with other memorabilia,” said DeMass.
Musical entertainment will be a highlight of the day, including a special appearance by the 10th Mountain Division U.S. Army Band Brass Quintet from Fort Drum.
Local music will be provided by the Minetto School Chorus and the Oswego High School Brass Ensemble.
Members of the Oswego Center United Methodist Church will serve coffee and baked goods prior to the program. Afterwards there will cookies and punch donated by local businesses.
Parking will be limited and a shuttle service provided to accommodate anyone attending the event. The shuttle service by 342-A Bus will be available from the Oswego Town Highway Garage parking lot at 2227 County Route 20 to and from the town hall.
Limited parking will be available along County Route 7 near the town hall. There will be no parking in the town hall lot the day of the event. The public is asked to arrive no later than 9:45 a.m. as the ceremony will begin promptly at 10 a.m. Seating will also be limited and it is suggested that anyone who needs a chair bring one.
Those seeking more information may call the Oswego Town Hall at 343-2586.