New York Cultural Heritage Tourism Network

Safe Haven Museum & Education Center

Safe Haven Museum & Education Center

2 East Seventh Street
Oswego NY 13126

Category: Museum & Related Organizations

Description: This century-old building on the National Register of Historic Places was once the Administration Building for the Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter. Dedicated in 2002, the museum was created to honor the refugees who came here and the people of the community who welcomed them into their midst.

Our Story: The Safe Haven Museum and Education Center is dedicated to keeping alive the stories of the 982 refugees from World War II who were allowed into the United States as "guests" of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Safe Haven tells a very unique story as this was the only one of its kind in the United States. These refugees were housed at Fort Ontario in Oswego, New York, from August 1944 until February 1946. The museum highlights their journey to Oswego, their life at the shelter and interaction with the community and the choice of many of them to remain in the United States after the war. This story in history, unknown to many, is a memorial to suffering and the triumph of the human spirit

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