Marine Museum hosts lecture on Shepard, telescope

As part of March as Women’s History Month, the H. Lee White Maritime Museum is hosting New Haven town historian, Marie Strong, who will present the first history lecture of the year at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 22.

Strong will speak about prominent New Haven resident, Elizabeth Shepard. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Shepard was born in New Haven Nov. 6, 1830 and lived on a farm with her parents. Elizabeth developed a passion for astronomy. Elizabeth’s son, C. Sidney Shepard, had an observatory tower built on the estate for her pleasure.

In 1956, the telescope was donated to SUNY Oswego where it was housed in a retractable observatory near Romney Field parking lot until 2013.

The old observatory is scheduled to be torn down sometime in the near future. The telescope is currently on display in Pontiac Hall in the H. Lee White Marine Museum’s main building.

Marie Strong was born in New Haven. She was mentored for 23 years by former New Haven historian Nancy Searles. In 2004, she became the town historian for New Haven.

Strong’s father sang with Mr. Shepard in the singing group Quartet, similar to a barbershop quartet. He was employed to maintain the family’s fleet of automobiles.

Marie’s three brothers looked after the Shepard Estate after Elizabeth’s death.

John Rusho, adjunct professor at SUNY Oswego Department of Physics, will discuss this type of telescope. Rusho has maintained the telescope for the last several years.

The H. Lee White Maritime Museum is located at the end of the West First Street Pier, in Oswego’s Historic Maritime District.

For information about the lecture, or other museum activities, contact the H.L. White Marine Museum at 342-0480, or at info@hleewhitemarinemuseum.com.

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