Founded in 1896, the Oswego County Historical Society has preserved and promoted the history of the greater Oswego area for more than 100 years.

In 1946, the historical society received a generous gift of a historic 19th century Italian Villa to serve as the permanent head quarters for a public museum.

Listed on the National Register of Historical Places, the Richardson-Bates House offers a unique glimpse of the lifestyle of a wealthy and  prominent Oswego family, as well as a museum dedicated to interpreting the history of the people and places in Oswego County through exhibits and educational programs.

Please visit to learn more!

  • Museum

  • The Richardson-Bates House was built in two stages as a private residence for Maxwell Richardson, a local attorney, real estate broker and two-term mayor of Oswego. In 1867, Max commissioned Rochester architect Andrew Jackson Warner to design the Tuscan Villa style residence for him and his family. The opulent interior decor reflects the 19th century Victorian fascination with art, culture, education and history.

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  • Admission

    • Adults – $8.00

    • Students & Seniors – $5.00

    • Children (6 – 12) – $3.00

    • Children Under 6 – Free

    • OCHS Members – Free

    • Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult

  • Video

Victorian Holiday Open House Dec 1st

The Oswego County Historical Society cordially invites the public to celebrate the holiday season at the annual Christmas Open House at the Richardson-Bates House Museum at 135 E. Third St. in Oswego on Sunday, December 1 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The special theme for this year is “Walk Back in Time.” The museum will be fully decorated in the style of the Victorian Christmas celebrations that took place in the decade of the 1880’s.
A Christmas tree in the room gets dressed with many of the Society’s collection of period children’s toys of the Victorian era, including an original Columbian Doll made in the Town of Oswego by the Adams sisters, a cast iron stove and a Noah’s Ark toy. This year the tree will be lit with Victorian Christmas clip-on LED candles.
The museum gift shop has various items perfect for Christmas presents and stocking stuffers, including mugs, Christmas ornaments, a needlepoint kit of the Museum, and a selection of books on local history including the newly published “Oswego Legacies: Lost to the Ages” by Robert Perkins. We also have the Oswego Public Library 2020 Calendar with Justin White, board trustee, featured on the December page standing with his favorite book in our period library.
Cookies and holiday punch will be served throughout the afternoon. Some individuals may be wandering around in period appropriate clothing, and the public is invited to wear anything looking Victorian as well.
The event is free and open to the public.

Contact the Richardson-Bates House Museum for more information at 315-343-1342 or by email at

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