Gazetteer of New York, 1860 & 1861 page 524
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height, the upward movement being gradual and intermittent. The pauses by wbich it was inter¬
rupted are marked by ancient beach lines, ridges, and terraces found at different heights above the
lakes. The Oswego Falls are now 11 feet high ; and, as they have receded s. 12 mi., to the village
of Fulton, with an ascending average grade of about 9 feet per mi. in tbe excavated bed of the river,
they must have diminished in height and grandeur from age to age during the whole period of re¬
cession. This hypothesis is sustained by geographical and geological analogy with the Falls of the
Genesee and the Niagara. The aggregate fall of the river within the 12 mi. is 110 feet, of which
34 feet are within the limits of the city; and the whole fall is so distributed by 6 successive dams,
built by the State for canal and slackwater navigation, that the water of the river may be used by
raceways nearly the whole distance, affording one of the finest water-powers in the world. The
river forms the outlet to the 11 lakes which cluster in the basin of Central New York, and drains
a wide extent of territory. These lakes form natural reservoirs which prevent floods or undue ex¬
haustion, the extreme elevation and depression of the river not exceeding 3 feet, so that destructive
freshets, so common to great water-power rivers, never occur. The mouth of the river admits vessels
of the largest class navigating the lakes; and the erection of piers and a lighthouse by the U. S.
Government renders it one of the safest and most accessible harbors on the lakes, susceptible of inde¬
finite enlargement, and combining canal and r. r. transportation with the advantages of position
as the nearest lake port to tidewater. A hydraulic canal extending along both sides of tbe river is
studded with mills, elevating warehouses, and other manufacturing establishments.


The city is handsomely laid out, with streets 100 feet wide, intersecting each other at right angles.
e. and w. banks of the river are connected by two bridges, built by the city,—the lower one,
an iron bridge with a draw for the passage of vessels, on Bridge St., the upper on Utica St., at the
terminus of the Oswego & Syracuse R. R. The principal public buildings are an edifice recently
erected by the U. S. Government, containing a custom house, post-office, and U. S. courtroom,1 a
city hall,2 jail, orphan asylum, city hospital, city library, and 12 churches.3

The Orphan Asylum is situated upon tbe elevated ground in the southern part of th4 city, com¬
manding a fine view of the city, harbor, and lake. It was founded in 1853, mainly through the
influence of the ladies of Oswego, and continues to be principally supported by them. Orphans
and children of destitute parents, from earliest infancy to 8 years of age, are admitted and cared
for and afterward placed out in respectable families. A primary and Sabbath school are connected
with the institution. The number of inmates ranges from 50 to 100.

The City Library was founded by a donation of $25,000 from Hon. Gerrett Smith. The edifice is
finely located upon the
e. side of the river; and the library at present contains 9,000 volumes.4

The Public Schools are graded and free; they are under the care of a Board of Education and
Superintendent. The system embmces the primary, junior, senior, and high school departments; and
pupils can receive instruction from the primary branches to an extended academic course. In 1857
there were in the city 23 school districts, in which were employed 47 teachers,—8 males and 39
females. The number of children between 4 and 21 was 5,516, of which 4,175, or 75 per cent.,
attended school during some portion of the year. The total receipts and expenses during the year
was $26,341 14; the number of volumes in the district libraries, about 3,000.

The commerce of Oswego is very extensive, and is increasing much more rapidly than the popu¬
lation.5 Being situated near the foot of lake navigation, and nearer to N. Y. than any other lake port,
it has commercial facilities superior to those of most of the Western cities. A considerable share of
the produce of the West flows through this port on its way to the seaboard markets; and it is tbe
principal entrepot of the agricultural products of Canada West. The salt of Onondaga is mostly
distributed through the Great West from this place ; and vast quantities of the manufactured goods
of the East are sent through the same channel. The official report of the value of the lake and
canal trade, derived from the Custom House and Canal Collector’s Office, for 1845, was $7,951,409,
and for 1856 was $50,612,603, showing an annual average increase of nearly 20 per cent. The
amount of registered tonnage in 1846 was 15,513 tons, and in 1856 it was 46,467 tons.6

The manufacturing interests of the city have attained to considerable magnitude, although the
water-power of Oswego River is occupied but to a limited extent. Flour made from the wheat

with 2 stories above, having an aggregate height of wall of 36
feet above the basement.

5 Pop. in 1855, 15,816. Estimated in 1858,18,000.

6 The operation of the late Reciprocity Treaty with England
has proved, as was anticipated, most favorable to Oswego. The
importation of grain at the port in 1856 was 13,504,074 bushels ;
and tl^ peculiar manufacturing and commercial advantages of
the place have made it the great flour and grain market of Cen¬
tral New York and Northern New England.


This edifice is constructed of Cleveland sandstone and iron,
and is entirely fireproof. Its cost was about $120,000.


This building contains the rooms of the Common Council
and Board of Education, and the offices of the City Clerk, Re¬
corder, and other city officers.


s 2 Prot. E., 2 Presb., 2 Bap., 2 M. E., 2 R. C, Univ., and
Af. Meth.


This edifice, erected in 1856, is built of brick, and is 92 by


52 feet, with a vestibule 15 by 16 feet, a basement 9 feet high,


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