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History of Oswego High School


The Oswego High School is a product of the free public school concept of the early nineteenth century.  In 1848, when Oswego became incorporaed as a city, Dr.Edwin Austin Sheldon was a leading proponent of the concept and was instruental in establishing the first high school.  Later, in 1861, he founded the first normal school in the nation, now SUNY Oswego.   Earlier in the 1830's in Oswego Town, a free public grade school was begun on Bunker Hill Road by Alvah Walker, the father of Dr. Mary Edwards Walker.

The first high school building, the Academy, was built in 1831 across from the park on W. Third, between Cayuga and Seneca Streets, but was not used as a school immediately.  The school met in a house on W. Fourth between Seneca and Schulyer Streets.  In 1851, it was moved to the Academy building.

The high school of the Class of 1962 was built in 1923, at a cost of $500,000.  The main entrance was on W. First., where a large statue of Winged Victory greeted students and visitors.  

The property on which OHS waa built was that of Thomas Kingsford, founder of the Oswego Starch Factory in 1858.  A large greek revival stone mansion stood on this site.  On W. First and Mohawk stood the Wardwell Robinson house, which Kingsford bequeathed to the school district in 1921.  The high school was housed here until 1971, when the new Oswego High School was opened on West Utica and Liberty near the Otis Field, the old high school football field.

Our Oswego High School was used briefly as a middle school.  In 1982, it became Harbour House Condominiums.
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