Richardson Bates House Museum receives $15,000 Grant

OSWEGO, NY — The City of Oswego has announced a $15,000 grant for roof renovations on the Richardson Bates House Museum.

The Richardson Bates House Museum is a preserved house from the 1800s, and is in need of roof renovation from damage over the years. It is also home to the Oswego County Historical Society. The area around the skylight is leaking and causing water damage, putting documents and artifacts in danger.

“It’s the weirdest roof in the world because of this lowered section between what is essentially four different buildings, or four different roofs, and the insides of them all pour down and drain into this rectangular pool,” President of Oswego County Historical Society Mary Kay Stone said.

The leak has gotten worse within the past year. Museum Assistant Senna Handley daily documents where and how much water there is. “The first thing I do is check the floor to make sure it hasn’t gotten to the second floor…but then I go up to the attic and inspect all the buckets,” Handley said.

Fixing the leak is essential to preserve the many artifacts that are stored in the attic. It will also give more time to the workers and volunteers to concentrate on cleaning and preserving the objects in the house.

“She (Handley) is so devoted to the artifacts that she’s cleaning things that haven’t been cleaned in decades,” said Stone.

Mayor Barlow saw the damage at a Christmas event which influenced the grant for the museum.  

The Richardson Bates Museum opens regularly for tours in April, but tours can also be made by appointment before then.