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“Very nice displays”

Fort Ontario State Historic Site
Ranked #2 of 22 things to do in Oswego
Certificate of Excellence
Oswego, New York
Level Contributor
114 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Very nice displays”
Reviewed November 26, 2013

Nice well kept Fort site that also has displays of the different phases of the fortifications in the Oswego Harbor area. Starts in the early 1700s and takes you up to the 1940s.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank Robert M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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118 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Oswego, New York
Level Contributor
37 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“You can actually FEEL the history in the breezes off Lake Ontario”
Reviewed November 25, 2013

I've been visiting Fort Ontario since high school (you know those class trips you never really appreciated except to get out of the school building for the day?). I've seen a total make over of the place since then!

Back then, many (many, many) years ago, the site was basic. In the last fifteen years, under the guidance of the current site manager (begun by his predecessors), the post has returned to it's 1868 historic past. The enlisted barracks contain numerous displays outlining the Fort's history, as well as rooms with vintage furnishings throughout. My favorite building is the Officer's living quarters. If there aren't ghosts there, and there is suspicion there is, at least you can vividly imagine what their lives must have been like living there. I LOVE the decor, and the smell of old-wood. When the curtains move in the summer breeze, you know it was exactly like that one hundred and fifty years ago for the women who ran those homes.

Fort Ontario has numerous activities that also bring the fort to life. My favorite is the ghost walk, which is differently interpreted from year to hear. Some years a re-enactor plays the part of one of the soldiers that were housed there. And died there. The character tells visitors about his life. Some years there are ghost "hunters," who look for evidence that there are ghosts. The visitor gets to decide if the ghost hunter's findings are valid. But even if they choose the negative, at least they can imagine life (and death) there.

Mostly, Fort Ontario is a wonderful way to spend a day! In the summer, sunshine pales the ghostly imaginings, with re-enactment weekends trying (successfully?)to bring them back! But the site is a marvel in spring and fall also. If I had to pick one thing to do on an Oswego visit, it would have to be at one of the several history sites.

Visited October 2013
2 Thank Booklady14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beverly, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Best fort take”
Reviewed November 12, 2013

A beautifully maintained fort. It was not open for tours as it's too late in the season, but when we were there in the early fall it was open and an interesting take. There's so much history going back to the French and Indian wars. There's a nice gift shop also with historic keepsakes.

Visited November 2013
1 Thank Fran R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Syracuse, New York
Level Contributor
36 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2013

Love this Fort!! I have been coming to it for years! Now I get to bring my son and watch his enthusiasm for the excellent historic property. If you ever are in Oswego, don't miss the opportunity to visit Fort Ontario. Great History, great people, and a great time.

Visited July 2013
Thank tommyj0428
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
779 reviews
498 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 354 helpful votes
“A Fascinating Look at History”
Reviewed September 25, 2013

Fort Ontario provided a fascinating look at historical events over a more than two hundred year period. The fort was captured, was burned down, was recaptured and rebuilt, was burned down, was rebuilt, changed hands, was burned down, was enlarged, etc. It was also used to house troops for the two world wars, and even served as a home for almost one thousand refugees liberated from Italy during WWII. There is a museum on the property that tells the story of the refugees but it was not open while we were there. We delighted in being able to walk the ramparts, explore the casements, and troop the historical buildings on the site. Hours are limited so check the website before scheduling a trip to Oswego.

Visited September 2013
Thank Melodycthomas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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