Category Archives: Oswego News

March of Dimes walk today in Oswego

Breitbeck Park will be the site today (May 3) for local families and business leaders to join in the March of Dimes annual March for Babies — the nation’s oldest walk fundraiser honoring babies born healthy and those who need help to survive and thrive.

This year’s Oswego March for Babies Family Teams Chairs, Jason and Jennifer Goodberry of Team Walk for Grace, are walking for their second child, Grace — born stillborn at 37 weeks.

Registration begins at 10 a.m. The 2-mile walk begins at 11 a.m. There also will be music, face painting, Kid Zone provided by Lowe’s, a picnic lunch and more.

To register for an event in your community, visit www.marchforbabies.org.

Funds raised by March for Babies in New York help support prenatal wellness programs, research grants, newborn intensive care unit (NICU) family support programs and advocacy efforts for stronger, healthier babies.

County Envirothon results

By Ashley M. Casey

Pulaski High School has won the Oswego County Envirothon. The competition was held Thursday at Jellystone Park in Mexico.

Envirothon Coordinator Erica Schreiner said Pulaski came in first place with 435 points. The team’s best subject was aquatics.

Last year’s winner, Altmar-Parish-Williamstown High School, came in second with a score of 422 points. Oswego High School’s “A” team came in third with 406 points.

Pulaski was originally going to field two teams, but only one participated in the competition.

Jamie Hefti is Pulaski’s Envirothon adviser.

As for the weather?

“We didn’t get rained on,” Schreiner said.

Earth Week clean ups in the Fulton-Oswego area

City school board candidates announced

The candidates have been announced for school board elections in Fulton and Oswego and for the Fulton Public Library board of trustees.

FULTON: Four seats are open. Running are:

Incumbent Barbara Hubbard, Timothy Crandell, incumbent David Cordone, Pamela Parker and Robert Briggs.

The four persons receiving the most votes during the May 20 election will serve three-year terms beginning in July.

Voters will also select the Fulton Public Library’s board of trustees. Seven seats are open and there are nine candidates:

Kelly Nickerson, Thomas Brown, Nicole Baldwin, Carolyn Mosier, Robert Vayner, Patricia Kush, Ellen Himes, LaVerne DeLand and Dennis Casey.

OSWEGO: Three seats open. Five persons are running. They are:

Thomas Dehm, incumbent John Dunsmoor, Brian Haessig, incumbent Michael McLaughlin and incumbent Samuel Tripp.

The three persons receiving the most votes during the May 20 election will serve three-year terms beginning in July.

Nine Mile 2 back on line after refueling

Operators returned Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station Unit 2 to full power today after successfully completing the station’s spring refueling outage that began in late March.

During the planned outage, roughly 2,200 employees and highly-skilled supplemental workers performed thousands of inspections, maintenance activities, tests and technology upgrades while replacing one-third of the reactor’s fuel. Many of the activities performed during the outage cannot be accomplished while the plant is generating electricity and all are designed to ensure continued safe and reliable operations.

“We work hard all year to plan and execute safe and effective refueling outages and this year was no exception,” said Chris Costanzo, site vice president. “I’m proud of our team for executing another safe outage and I’m thankful to the many local residents who supported us during this busy time.”

Unit 1 continued to operate during the Unit 2 outage. Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station is located in Scriba.

Richard J. Ciaramella, construction worker

Richard Joseph Ciaramella, 70, of Oswego died Thursday April 24 at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Syracuse.

He was born to the late Anthony and Dorothy (Gronau) Ciaramella.

Mr. Ciaramella worked in construction for several years.

He enjoyed spending time with his family and watching television.

Mr. Ciaramella was pre-deceased by his son David Ciaramella.

He is survived by his wife of 32 years,  Dorothy Ciaramella of Oswego; one son Kevin (Amelia) Ciaramella of PA; five step-children, William Babcock of Pulaski, Patricia Cameron of WA, Cynthia Valensuela of NC, Richard Babcock of Altmar, NY, Thomas Babcock of Altmar, NY; two sisters, Frances Hibbert of Oswego, Antoinetta Stevens of Fulton; and several grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Burial will be held privately.

Calling hours were Friday at the Sugar & Scanlon Funeral Home, 147 W. Fourth St., Oswego

Spring classes at Lakeside Artisans

Sewn spring bag
Sewn spring bag

Spring has sprung at Lakeside Artisans, 191 W. First St., Oswego.

Classes for the month of May include hand-painted silk scarves, sewn spring bags and hand painted papier mache boxes.

Cindy Schmidt is teaching a class in hand painted silk scarves from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 3. Create your own wearable art to brighten up your spring.

There is a class limit of six students. All materials will be provided.

Make a fashionable spring bag in a class offered at Lakeside Artisans from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday May 8.

The instructor, Kathy Fenlon will guide students in selecting fabric to design their own unique bag. There is a limit of four students per class.

Students will select from a variety of fabric and make the bag in class. The bag includes an easy (practically fool proof) way to install a zipper. These bags make great gifts!

Students may bring their own portable sewing machine if they have one. A machine will be provided for students who do not have one to bring.

General knowledge of operating a sewing machine is helpful — the sewing is easy and basic.

Use bright spring colors and motifs to decorate two small papier mache boxes in a class with Lakeside Artisans’ artist Michele Southgate. The class will meet from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 17.

To register for the class, or for more information, contact us at 342-8880 or lakesideartisans@gmail.com .

The class fee of $45 includes all supplies to make the items and a non-refundable registration fee of $10 per participant.

Registration for a class may be done in person at Lakeside Artisans or mailed to Lakeside Artisans, with contact information, at 191 W. First St., Oswego, NY 13126.

Oswego was at forefront of war 200 years ago this Monday

The battle – Notice gun and cannon fire going up the hill to Fort Ontario.
The battle – Notice gun and cannon fire going up the hill to Fort Ontario.

By Debra J. Groom

The Americans looked doomed from the start.

About 1,300 British troops stormed into Oswego May 5, 1814 – 200 years ago this Monday. They were met by a mere 300 Americans.

The British had 222 cannons and other weapons. The Americans had a lowly five cannon and their muskets.

The Battle of Oswego, May 5-6, one of the later battles in the War of 1812, did not go well for the young Americans again fighting the British just 38 years after the start of the Revolutionary War.

But they fought hard, fought valiantly. They did all they could to keep the British out of Oswego. Men died right at the flagpole inside Fort Ontario trying to keep the British away from the American flag.

Paul Lear, manager of the Fort Ontario State Historic Site and an expert on the battle, said while the Americans lost the battle, they did keep the British from attaining their goal.

“The British wanted two things,” Lear said. “They wanted to disrupt the flow of military parts and equipment to Sackets Harbor where the USS Superior and Mohawk were under construction. If they seized cannons, ropes, riggings and ammunition coming through the pipeline they could slow the ship construction and maintain their advantage on Lake Ontario.”

“They also needed food,” Lear said. “They were desperate for food.”

Earlier in the spring, some of the British military hierarchy thought perhaps the best target for an attack would be Sackets Harbor, the large U.S. military bastion on Lake Ontario (it was the U.S. Naval headquarters during the War of 1812) where much of the American shipbuilding was taking place.

4-30_OSbattledrummond
Drummond

But, after thinking about two earlier attacks of Sackets there that did not go well for the British, Commodore James Yeo and Maj. Gen. Gordon Drummond decided to bypass Sackets for Oswego – “an objective of lesser proportions,” said Lear, quoting Yeo and Drummond’s superior, Gen. George Prevost.

So the plan was to attack Oswego.

Lear said Oswego was important during the War of 1812 because shipments of food stuffs, military equipment and ship parts came through Oswego before heading to Sackets Harbor.

Shipments would come from New York City up the Hudson to Albany, over land to Schenectady, onto boats at the Mohawk River to Rome and then Wood Creek. The shipment then would move across Oneida Lake and down the river to Oswego Falls (now Fulton).

Then the material would be moved around the falls and rapids and then back onto the river to Oswego, where it would move onto Lake Ontario for the short trip north to Sackets.

Lear said the British knew attacking Oswego would allow them to cut off these shipments without being hit by a huge military presence like that at Sackets Harbor.

The village of Oswego at the time was the home to about 200 people, most involved in the forwarding or shipping trade, Lear said. “The best salt at the time came from Salina (outside Syracuse),” Lear said, noting Oswego was a prime spot for receiving salt before it was shipped elsewhere.

The village was split in two by the Oswego River – just like today’s city. But there was no Utica Street or Bridge Street bridges – to get from one side of the village to the other, people had to take a ferry.

There were only a couple hundred military men at Oswego at the time and the British knew this. Fort Ontario also was a mess, having fallen into near complete disrepair after being discarded in 1796.

A photo of an engraving showing the British ships in Oswego Harbor May 5, 1814. The smaller boats are carrying British to shore for the attack.
A photo of an engraving showing the British ships in Oswego Harbor May 5, 1814. The smaller boats are carrying British to shore for the attack.

Lear said U.S. Lt. Col. George Mitchell of the 3rd U.S. Artillery, who was in the Niagara Territory, was told to march with 300 men to Oswego to protect supplies and naval shipment being brought through the village. From April 23 through April 30, Mitchell and his men march from Batavia to Oswego.

Upon arrival, Mitchell finds the dilapidated Fort Ontario and five cannons. “He had almost nothing to work with,” Lear said.

On May 5, guards at Fort Ontario see a fleet of ships out in Oswego Harbor.

“The alarm guns go off. Mitchell sounds an alert for the militia to turn out,” Lear said. About 200 or so from surrounding areas such as Hannibal, Sterling and Scriba show up.

The British are getting ready to come ashore when they are hit with something all Oswegonians then and now are used to – a storm.

Lear said the storm actually was a blessing for Mitchell and the Americans. While the British waited in their ships for better weather, the Americans had time to hide much of the equipment, ship parts and food they knew the British wanted in the woods around the village.

Mitchell also set up a large grouping of tents on the west side of the village to give the illusion of more American troops being on hand than there really were.

But Mitchell knew that once the storm passed, the attack would begin in earnest. He was right. Yeo and Drummond loaded men onto smaller boats heading to the shore near where the Fort Ontario post cemetery is today.

Since the water is shallow, the boats had to stop off shore and the British soldiers and sailors had to jump in the water to head to shore. Lear said they tried to keep their weapons dry, but every once in a while they would step into a deeper pocket while walking to shore and go in over their heads.

“The lakeshore became a mass of sodden, red-coated Royal Marines and De Wattevilles (Swiss soldiers) and green-jacketed Glengarries (Canadian Scots) struggling ashore, streaming with water, shaking themselves, and checking their cartridge boxes to determine how much of their ammunition was ruined,” writes Robert Malcomson in his book “Lords of the Lake.”

“Mitchell brought 80 soldiers and 20 sailors down to engage the British line where he got off six or seven crisp volleys,” Lear said. “The other 100 men left the ditch and marched out to join Mitchell’s line when he was about halfway back up the slope, so he wouldn’t get flanked on the right or south side.”

Then the British begin firing back – at least those with guns that still worked.

As the British moved up the hill and closer to the fort, some Americans retreated to the woods.

Others keep fighting. British are coming from different directions and eventually Mitchell realizes the Americans are being overrun. He orders a retreat.

Lear said while the Americans were told to “defend the supplies and water route and not the fort and village,” the soldiers didn’t want the fort and flag to fall. A few Americans “nailed the flag to the pole and stayed by their guns,” Lear said.

“Royal Marine Lt. John Hewett and a burly sergeant were in the van of the raisers as they fought their way toward the lofty flag pole in the center of the fort,” Malcomson writes in “Lords of the Lake.” “Hewett leapt up to the foot rests and scaled the pole, drawing the fire of insulted Americans who succeeded in hitting him several times.”

“Unfazed, Hewett tore the massive Stars and Stripes flag from the nails that held it aloft and it fluttered to the ground to the cheers and huzzahs of his comrades,” Malcomson writes in his book.

Lear said one American, who already had been shot and was on the ground inside the fort, tried to stop Hewett only to be run through with a bayonet.

In all, the Battle of Oswego lasted a mere 16 minutes, Lear said. The Americans retreated, many to Oswego Falls, which is now Fulton. They took many wounded with them.

Lear said the most perplexing thing about the battle is trying to come up with an exact number of casualties. It seems everyone has different numbers. Lear said his research has found the Americans suffered 18 dead by May 30, many dying weeks after the battle from “horrible wounds.”

The British had 90 killed or wounded. They also captured some ship goods, equipment and food, but not the amount they thought they would find.

According to Malcomson’s book, Mitchell and Master Commandant Melancthon Taylor Woolsey thought the British would continue their surge down the Oswego River to Oswego Falls (Fulton) and then to Three Rivers where more goods were stored.

But the British got back on their ships after the Battle of Oswego and headed back to Kingston.

While the British had the upper hand in Oswego, they would meet their match at the end of May in Sandy Creek.

Woolsey’s troops, with help from militia and Oneida Indians, would ambush them there on May 30 in the Battle of Big Sandy Creek, keeping them from capturing any more goods on the way to Sacket’s Harbor.

For more information

To hear a brief talk about the Battle of Oswego, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhqJTmB2o28

To hear a brief talk about the Battle of Big Sandy Creek, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kawjMd2Ucj0