Ogdensburg in the only city in St. Lawrence County with a history of commerce and trade; an international bridge connects the city to Prescott, Ontario, Canada.
The City recently built a new community-visitor center. The Dobisky Visitor’s Center is located on Riverside Avenue right on the banks of the St. Lawrence River. Visitors who may be boating on the St. Lawrence River can use one of the City’s transient slips, take advantage of the Center’s lounge, kitchen and hot showers, as well as a quick meal at the snack bar. The interpretive panels inside the visitor’s center tell of the colorful history of Ogdensburg from the rum-running days, to one of its most famous sons; artist and sculptor Frederic Remington.
While Frederic Remington was actually born near Canton, the Frederic Remington Museum is housed in the Parish Mansion only a couple of blocks from the marina and Dobisky Visitor’s Center. Remington was born in the early 1900s and is best known for his bronze sculptures and oil paintings with a Western or North Country subject. One of his bronze sculptures still graces the Oval Office of the White House.
Remington was also an illustrator for many popular magazines of his day, such as Collier’s, Ladies Home Journal and Harper’s. Many of these drawings, as well as his paintings and the largest collection of his bronze sculptures are on display at the Museum located at 303 Washington Street. Adjacent to the Museum is the Kid’s Place. This education center provides opportunities for children from 4 to 14 to explore aspects of Remington’s world and artistic process. Frederic’s wife Eva Caten Remington lived at the Parish Mansion following Remington’s death. His nickname for her was Kid.
After exploring Remington’s view of the St. Lawrence, venture out on the Maple City Trail for about 3 miles along the banks of the Oswegatchie River. Or travel about 30 minutes south to the small hamlet of Schermerhorn Landing to pick up a shuttle to Singer Castle. This turn of the 20th century castle was owned by the Frederic Bourne family and used as a summer retreat. The Castle is situated on Dark Island and is only accessible by boat from Schermerhorn Harbor or from a tour boat out of Alexandria Bay further west. If there is dock space available at the Castle, private vessels may also stop and hop on one of the guided tours.
Traveling east from Ogdensburg along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail (State Highway 37), don’t miss Jonesey’s Riverside Ranch, which shows off its collection of elk and bison, as well as serving up bison burgers at its ice cream stand. And just a few miles east of Jonesey’s is the River Myst Winery, offering a wide variety of their own special blends including Red Mills Red, St. Lawrence White, Barnhart Black Cherry, Whitehouse Bay Peach and many more.
During the summer the main event of the year is the International Seaway Festival. It begins the third weekend in July with the Founder’s Day weekend, a re-enactment and encampment of the French and Indian War. The last physical battle of the F & I War was fought near Ogdensburg at Forts La Presentation and Levi. While neither forts are still standing, the Fort La Presentation Association is working to rebuilt that fort at Lighthouse Point, the very ground where the original stood and the re-enactment is conducted each year.
The Seaway Festival lasts 10 days and features a huge fireworks display, the area’s largest parade, as well as amusement rides, special events, concerts, battle of the bands, special activities and fun for the entire family.
Ogdensburg is also home of the Battle of Ogdensburg winter battle re-enactment in February commemorating the battle from the War of 1812. The re-enactment is part of Ogdensburrrrg’s “River Shiver” which features a polar bear plunge, ice fishing derby, hockey tournaments shiver ball and lots of donuts and hot cocoa.
For more information visit the Ogdensburg Chamber of Commerce.
Ogdensburg is 32 miles west of Massena, 19 miles southwest of Canton, and 29 miles to Potsdam.
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