Friends of Fort Ontario

History of Fort Ontario’s Storm Warning Tower to be Explored

[14 August 2014]  A lecture on Fort Ontario’s Coastal Warning Display tower and its history will be given on August 27th at 7:00 pm in the Enlisted Men’s Barracks at Fort Ontario by Jenny Emmons, the fort’s curator.

The 75-foot tower is located on the western edge of Fort Ontario’s grounds approximately 50 yards from the old fort’s southwest bastion. Longtime citizens of Oswego may remember it still being in use through the 1960’s but, for the most part, its history and purpose has been lost to the hundreds of people who pass by it every year.

Jenny Emmons has been a staff member of the Fort Ontario State Historic Site since 2002 and performs the duties of both curator and office manager. Her interest in the storm warning was sparked by her husband, a long-time Friends of Fort Ontario volunteer and an enthusiast of both history and weather. He had begun preliminary research into the tower’s importance in 2008, but due to illness was unable to fully pursue it. After his death in 2010, Emmons took the topic on as a side project with the goal of presenting her findings in a talk highlighting the tower’s history and purpose within Fort Ontario’s general history. It is her hope that this talk serves not only to draw attention to this landmark’s significance in the past, but may also spur interest in its preservation for the future.

The August 27th program is sponsored by Friends of Fort Ontario; admission is free and open to the public.  Fort Ontario State Historic Site is located at the north of East 4th Street in the City of Oswego.  For more information on the program or fort contact Jenny Emmons, Curator, at (315) 343-4711.