FORT ONTARIO

      My family lived across the street from Fort Ontario in Oswego, NY when the U.S Army moved in to this historic location of the French and Indian War era. There was at the time a fort (dating back to the 1700's and still standing, within a compound that we kids called the "fort". After the war we used to sneak in and play "soldiers" within the walls occupying ourselves for hours.) Anyway, we often observed the "real soldiers" doing their exercises along the road and just inside the chain link fence. This was the same fence that the refugees from Europe stood along inside visiting with townspeople like my family. Their's was the only contingent of refugees ever allowed on American soil during the war, having been brought there by the gov't to live out the war years in safety. Pres. Rosevelt gave the order and his wife Eleanor inspected the encampment later, much to the surprise and excitement of the city fathers! I remember the day that the refugees arrived by train down by Lake Ontario. They were literally hanging out of the train windows exchanging greetings with all who went down to see. (Later, several refugee children attended the same school as me (2nd Ward Elementary), and after the war many of these families remained to make Oswego their permanent homes.

      If anyone from Oswego, NY reads this and wishes to E-mail me, it would be fun hearing from you. (aswego1@aol.com)

          - Tony Gianetto

LINKS

Biography of Tony Gianetto, Oswego, NY

Back To Justin Oral History, Home Front Anecdotes

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