Sunday, July 24, 2011
Cooling off by the water
After an enjoyable visit with family, we headed north to a membership campground to wait out the ongoing heat wave before starting our tour of the Thousand Island area and the St Lawrence Seaway. The campground is large with all the amenities and happily had recently put in some 50 amp sites, which have come in very handy with all the heat.
Yesterday, we braved the heat and visited the small maritime museum in Oswego, New York. We almost passed on the idea due to the high temps, but are glad we went. As always, you never know when you are going to find some unexpected historical gems. This was one of those occasions. We were expecting the usual local history, which was there in and very interesting. The gem came in the form of an ocean tug specifically built in 1943 for the European invasion of Europe- LT-5 tug. It joined a North Atlantic convey with supply barges in tow. At just over 100 feet in length, she experienced horrendous weather but still managed to arrive safely in the UK. On June 6, 1944 she departed with the rest of the invasion fleet for the landings on Normandy beach. She not only delivered her cargo of ammunition to the beaches, but shot down one of the many aircraft attacking the fleet.
After the war she was renamed the John F. Nash and was turned over to the Army Corp of Engineers. She served on the Great Lakes for over forty years and was retired in 1989.
The museum also provides good information on the port of Oswego during its long history as a key port in the early marine trade of the region.http://www.bloggerhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif.com/img/blank.gif
There is also a 1925 derrick barge and a traditional local fishing vessel on display.
Another interesting fact mentioned in the museum exhibits is that there are two local Medal of Honor recipients from the area and both buried in the old local cemetery. James H. Lee was awarded the medal for gallantry under fire during a sea battle off the coast of France during the Civil War. Dr. Mary Edwards Walker was awarded the medal for bravery while treating soldiers behind enemy lines and acting as a spy for the Union. She remains the only woman awarded the Medal of Honor. Her award of the medal became quite a controversy inside the military community and was for a lengthy period revoked but restored in 1977. She was a real suffragette before the movement really began.