Doolittle Hall

Mary Edwards Walker in 1867. Of the available photographs, this one most nearly matches the way Dr. Walker would have appeared when she spoke at Doolittle Hall in 1864. It does, however, show her wearing the Congressional Medal of Honor that she would not receive until 1866.

On October 24, 1864, Mary Edwards Walker spoke at a local Democratic Party rally held at the Doolittle Hall, just north of Oswego’s Market Hall (now the Old City Hall). It was one of the first occasions on which any major-party convention was addressed by a woman.

The date of Doolittle Hall’s construction is unknown. It was built by Oswego businessman and developer Sylvester Doolittle (1799 - 1880), who erected a number of commercial structures in the Lake Ontario port city. In 1875 the hall was extensively renovated and reopend as the Academy of Music. It operated for eighteen years; the structure was razed in 1892. No photographs of the hall in its heyday are known to exist.