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The Masonic Mariners of Oswego City

The Masonic Mariners of Oswego City

The H. Lee White Maritime Museum at Oswego is pleased to present the third installment of the 2023 History Lecture Series featuring Dr. Natalie Joy Woodall.  Join us on Sunday, September 17th at 1:30 pm as Woodall presents “Masonic Mariners of Oswego City: A Brief History”. 

From the earliest days of the arrival of civilians to the shore of Lake Ontario in what became the village and later the city of Oswego, the great inland sea provided industry, occupations, and wealth to generations of residents.  Ship builders, carpenters, chandlers, fleet owners all benefited from the area’s proximity to that large, navigable body of water.  During the same time Freemasonry arrived in the Port City.  Men such as shipbuilder Matthew McNair and Captain Elias Trowbridge who had become Masons elsewhere, zealously pursued their goal of establishing the Craft in Oswego and were rewarded for their efforts with the chartering of Oswego Lodge No. 127 in 1848, Frontier City No. 422 in 1857, and Aeonian No. 679 in 1868.  To these lodges came thousands of local residents, among them numerous lake sailors, mates, and captains.  Several Civil War veterans of the United States Navy would ultimately be counted among the membership. 

The stories of most of these men have never been told until now.  Dr. Natalie J. Woodall’s illustrated talk will showcase their careers and detail their contributions to the greater Oswego community.  Whether they went down with the ship or died in bed, these Masonic mariners deserve to be celebrated for courage and determination which in some cases cost them their lives.  

Dr. Natalie Joy Woodall has lived in Oswego, New York for more than thirty years.  The holder of two doctorates, she has been a teacher, college professor, newspaper reporter, and scuba instructor.  Dr. Woodall is the author of several books related to Oswego County’s participation in the Civil War as well as numerous articles on local history. Most recently she wrote a series of articles for The Palladium-Times showcasing the lives and careers of prominent Oswegonians who were Freemasons.  She is currently writing a book on the lives and careers of Oswego County’s noteworthy women.  The book, to be published by SUNY Press, is scheduled for release in late 2024.

This lecture is made possible with the generous support of Brookfield Renewable Energy, and will take place at the H. Lee White Maritime Museum, on the West First Street Pier, on Sunday, September 17th at 1:30 pm.  The event is FREE and open to the public. The Maritime Museum and Treasure Chest Gift Shop are open daily, 1-5pm.

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