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 Christmas Open House Sunday, Dec 2, 1:00 to 5:00


The historic Richardson-Bates House Museum will be open for free to the public on Sunday December 2 from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. Fully decorated with remembrances of the 1918 Christmas that took place a century ago, it is a gorgeous example of a wealthy Victorian family home. The Historical Society welcomes the community to join us in celebrating the holiday season in the spirit of an old-fashioned Christmas.``

A live performance by popular Oswego musician Paul Vandish will take place from 2 - 4 p.m. He will perform traditional Christmas music and other popular songs for all ages. Many interesting items from the collection will be on display and the gift shop has various items perfect for last minute Christmas presents. Refreshments will also be served throughout the afternoon.

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