As many of our readers know, I have authored nearly a dozen books and travel guides pertaining to all aspects of Upstate New York.  While researching my book "The Unknown Museums of Upstate New York" a few years ago, I was totally caught off guard when I visited a small museum in far northern Oswego, New York, a museum that up until that time I had never even heard of.  Since then, I have found that many, many others have also never heard of this place.  And that should be changed, for this tiny museum tells a harrowing story of escape, fear, safety, redemption and ultimately freedom.  It is a very important story.

In 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered a staff assistant in the Department of Interior to go to Italy, find 1,000 refugees and then escort them back to the United States.  FDR proclaimed that he was welcoming these poor souls to the US as "his personal guests for the duration of the war."  By doing this he circumvented the stringent immigration laws enacted during World War II.

Ruth Gruber was the name of the assistant, and she was able to find, process and accompany 982 refugees, 90% of them Jewish, and bring them to America.  It was a frightening journey across the North Atlantic, with the Germans hunting for the ship she and her refugees were on.  Eventually they made it to New York City safely and then on to, of all places, Oswego, NY where they were housed at Fort Ontario, a decommissioned military fort.

This small but riveting museum tells of this little known wartime story and the role the camp, the local people, and the immigrant refugees themselves all played in this little known saga.

Have you heard of the "Safe Haven Museum" in Oswego before?  No?  Don't worry, most haven't.  Plan a visit now.

You will not soon forget it.

Is This Little Known Museum One of Upstate New York's Most Important? We Think So!

The "Safe Haven Museum," located near the grounds of historic Fort Ontario in Oswego,, tells the harrowing story of 982 World War II European refugees (90% Jewish) who came to this northern New York city in 1944 to escape the ravages of war. It is a compelling story!

Gallery Credit: Chuck D'Imperio

Here Are the 10 Snowiest Places in Upstate New York!

This list shows the Top Ten Snowiest Communities in New York State. Some of the numbers these places put up are incredible! The regions stick mainly to the perennially snowiest places we are familiar with such as the North Country, Adirondacks, Western New York, and the Tug Hill Plateau.

There are several online places that list the "snowiest places in New York State." Surprisingly, they all have different rankings and all use different data. So we decided to use the New York State Ski Blog as our source. Thousands of skiers rely on this site for accurate weather conditions around the state. So we did too.

FYI...since the winter of 2022 is definitely not over these statistics are for last year. We have no doubt that the rankings will change next year. I mean, have you seen the photos coming out of western New York recently? WOW!

Gallery Credit: Chuck D'Imperio