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Max, Harriet Richardsson

Max, Harriet Richardsson

Max Richardson lived in an era called the Victorian Period, when wealthy people were traveling to exotic places, collecting art and cultural artifacts, reading, and socializing.  Max was a real estate attorney, insurance broker, civic leader, and two-term Mayor of the City of Oswego. Max lived in this house with his widowed mother, his divorced sister Harriet Richardson Bates, and her son Norman.  Norman's children donated the house and its contents to the Oswego County Historical Society in 1946.

Max's house, completed at a time when Oswego's economy was slowing, was a sign of his optimism that Oswego would return to the prosperity that came from shipping activities on the canal and harbor in the 1860s.
Andrew Jackson Warner designed Max's 1872 tower addition, borrowing styles from Italian renaissance structures. Oswego architect John Seeber designed the south addition in 1887 to complete the Italian Villa look.

The Drawing Room, the largest and most formal of the public spaces, functioned as a great art gallery, presenting the family's refined culture and taste to visitors.  Formal visitors were received in the smaller Reception Room, while the Drawing Room was for larger formal affairs.

Educated Victorians loved to read and were fascinated with science and nature. Bedrooms frequently contained massive bookcases to support their desire for knowledge.  The third floor of the tower contained Max's cultural and natural history objects, collected while traveling in Europe and the Middle East.

Website: https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=86574

Related albums • See other albums

Great Lakes Seaway Trail Scenic Byway

Related locations

NY, Oswego Co, Oswego

Related people

Harriet E. Richardson
Maxwell Bennett Richardson

Posted By: Ray Gurganus

  1. Website:Historical Marker Database;

Updated: 8-4-2020