About Oswego & Central New York

Sunset over Lake Ontario

The Richard S. Shineman Foundation focuses on Oswego County

The Foundation will make grants to organizations that are located in or benefit Oswego County through specific projects or programs. Our vision is to be a transformative "Catalyst for Change" and create vibrant life for all residents in Oswego County. 

Oswego, New York:  "The Port City"

Oswego is located on Lake Ontario in central upstate New York.  The small city of nearly 20,000 residents is approximately one hour north of Syracuse and one hour east of Rochester.  Oswego is home to the State University of New York at Oswego, a thriving nuclear industry, and a busy port.  It is also a nationally renowned destination for fisherman and many visitors who appreciate the beauty of Lake Ontario.


Historical Fort Ontario

Oswego became a trade hub in the 18th Century because of its central location on Lake Ontario. Fort Oswego was used by the British because of its strategic location as a port of trade.  Later, during the French and Indian War, the French defeated the British at the Battle of Fort Ontario and took control of the Fort. The French held the site until Oswego was taken back by the British during the War of 1812.  Today, you can appreciate the historic heritage of the Port City by visiting Fort Ontario- especially observing the historical reenactments.  Soldiers in period costume fire cannons at tall ships circling in the harbor as modern day spectators look on.


Cannons over Fort Ontario. Image © Samantha Decker (http://www.samanthadeckerphoto.com)

Humanitarian spirit

Another fascinating chapter of Oswego history is commemorated at Safe Haven Museum.  During World War II Oswego citizens welcomed 1,000 displaced Jews from Europe and housed them at Fort Ontario.  The generosity of Oswego residents towards these Jewish refugees remains a point of pride for Oswego.

SUNY Oswego

The State University of New York at Oswego is a central aspect of life in the Port City, bringing thousands of undergraduate and graduate students into the community each year.  SUNY Oswego's website describes the hostory of the institution:  the College "was founded in 1861 as the Oswego Primary Teachers' Training School by Edward Austin Sheldon who embraced and popularized some of the most innovative teaching methods of his day. In 1913, the campus moved from the city of Oswego to the current lakeside location following the construction and opening of what is now known as Sheldon Hall.  In 1942, state legislation elevated the institution from a normal school to the degree-granting Oswego State Teachers College. In 1948, Oswego became one of the State University of New York's charter members. To meet the expanded need for specialized instruction, the institution broadened its academic perspective to become a full-fledged arts and sciences institution in the SUNY system and featuring a range of liberal and professional studies by 1962."  Source:  SUNY Oswego website.

Today, the college is home to approximately 8,000 undergratuate and graduate students.  Many of these students attend the college full time, and live on campus or in the community.  

Cannons over Fort Ontario - Image © Samantha Decker (http://www.samanthadeckerphoto.com)