Fort Ontario, in Oswego, New York, has been involved, in one way or another, in nearly every war in American history.
The first Fort Ontario was built by the British in1755 to protect their only fur trading village on the Great Lakes from the French, who controlled the fur trade throughout the region.
The Fort was totally destroyed a year later, when the French unsuccessfully attacked, and the British rebuilt it in 1759. During the Revolutionary War, American soldiers burned the fort down, but the British held on. They rebuilt and remained until 1796, 13 years after the American Revolution. The fort was then handed over to the Americans.
The third fort lasted until The War of 1812. The British attacked on May 6, 1814, and were victorious. What remained of the fort was once again rebuilt directly upon the 1759 pentagon-shaped remains.
Later in American hands, the fort was expanded. During World War I, Fort Ontario was the site of the largest Army hospital in the Northeast. And during World War II, it was home to 982 European refugees welcomed to the United States.
Today, Fort Ontario is part of the New York State park system. Visitors can wander through the many buildings and tunnels.
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