From the Editor:
We invite readers to submit articles for possible publication, focusing on material relevant to the history of the City of Oswego and its environs.
Submissions can cover economic, social, political, industry (manufacturing, commercial, shipping), education, religious or recreation. We also welcome any oral histories.
Articles should include documentation when necessary and helpful. In this regard, oral histories can stand on their own and/or be used as documentation when necessary.
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Category Archives: Port of Oswego
The Oswego War of 1812 Symposium returns to the Port City for its third year. It runs from Friday, April 5 to Sunday, April 7 at the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center, 26 East First Street, Oswego. The event continues the bicentennial commemoration of the historic war that firmly established America’s independence from Great Britain and confirmed its national identity.
Fort Ontario State Historic Site Superintendent Paul Lear is the chairman of the Oswego War of 1812 Symposium Bicentennial Steering Committee and will emcee the event.
The H. Lee White Marine Museum sits on the site of the former New York State (NYS) grain elevator on the northern extension of West First Street. It was, in fact, an integral part of that grain-storage operation. That pier … Continue reading
By Richard F. Palmer
It is certainly refreshing to look upon the business activity prevailing in our harbor at the present time, after the usual stagnation of the winter months in all northern lake ports. The click of the mallet and caulking-iron resound on every side – the decks of the numerous vessels are manned with busy crews engaged in “fitting out,” and everything presents an aspect of business, and everybody predicts a season of prosperity. May those predictions be verified, and the approaching season redeems the losses of the past. Vessels are arriving and departing daily, and our business men are actively engaged in completing their arrangements for heavy commercial transactions.
— Oswego Commercial Times, April 3, 1860 Continue reading
The exportation of coal remained the one business index of port activity which showed consistent improvement. Certain regions in Pennsylvania enjoyed a complete monopoly of the Anthracite Coal industry, so that the source of supply was singular and not subject to change. Continue reading
For many years the commercial face of Oswego had been gradually maturing as lumber began to assume more and more importance in the business index of the port. The lumber trade here was by no means a new one. The tree growth of the section was early noted for its density and variety. In Colonial days, much of the pine had been cut and shipped to England where it had been utilized in the manufacture of masts and spars. Lumber continued to be a thriving local business as late as 1860, but the chief lumber trade at the port throughout its development, was a matter of importation. Continue reading
The exportation of salt in the years that followed the dawn of the new Republic was symbolic of the growth and expansion of a small disintegrated people into a vast cohesive nation. Born out of the necessity of war that effectively shut us off from the European markets, only 600 bushels of salt were produced during its first year, but as the tide of civilization moved westward, as the ever-changing frontiers were pushed back by the swelling throng of immigrants, so also did New York State’s first great industry expand. Every mule pack, every knapsack, every vessel sailing out of Oswego harbor was supplied with salt as a commodity of prime necessity. In the first few years of the 19th Century, over 600,000 bushels were exported from Oswego alone. Continue reading
The Fur Trading Era (1610 -1796) was roughly divided into three sections: the Dutch from 1610 to 1650; the French from 1650 to 1700; the English from 1700 to 1775. However there seems to be no documentary evidence covering the Dutch influence. That the French not only traded at Oswego in the 17th Century, but also distinctly claimed and utilized the territory, is amply supported by documents. In 1680 the English traders from Albany had begun to make annual trading expeditions to the mouth of the Oswego River, but the French had already established definite trading posts all along the shores of the Great Lakes, and were not inclined to give up to the English a port so important as Oswego. Continue reading