Oswego in Oswego County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
A Natural Port for Commerce and Conﬂict
The river access to the lake made Oswego a natural hub for commerce, as well as a place to transfer goods, travelers, and armies from river and land carriers to lake vessels. Many of the vessels were built here. Through the centuries the type of vessels used for shipping activities underwent a dramatic evolution.
Early Shipping Vessels
The first vessel used for trade in and around Oswego Harbor was the Native American pack canoe. In the 18th century the longer and heavier French bateaux replaced the canoe because it was stabile enough to carry large quantities of trade goods.
Early settlers preferred the Durham boat, which made it possible to transfer heavy commercial cargo on the still turbulent Oswego River.
Vessels of War
In 1808 Lieutenant Melancthon Woolsey, and several naval officers arrived at Oswego to build the first American vessel-of-war on the Great Lakes - the brig Oneida. The Oneida was launched in the spring of 1809, carrying sixteen guns, and was later used in the War of 1812.
The Steam Era
Before the completion of the railroad, the steamer was the principle means of passenger travel and commercial transportation. Numerous steamers navigated the lake, landing and receiving passengers to and from Oswego by the
Lake Steam Screw Propeller
The Vandalia, built in Oswego, was the first ship on the lake to use the lake steam screw propeller.
A Thriving Port City
This mid 19th century etching shows the docks crowded with lake and canal vessels.
Erected by Seaway Trail, Inc.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway marker series.
Location. 43° 27.327′ N, 76° 30.416′ W. Marker is in Oswego, New York, in Oswego County. Marker is on East 1st Street (New York State Route 481) north of East Mohawk Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. This marker is located in the downtown area, on the high ground overlooking the East side of the Oswego River, across the street from the old armory building (157 East 1st Street), along the O & W Railroad Pedestrian Promenade & Bikeway, under a canopy, with seven other Seaway Trail markers. Marker is in this post office area: Oswego NY 13126, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Oswego Canal (here, next to this marker); Age of Iron Horses (a few steps from this marker); The Fur Trade River Industries (a few steps from this marker); War for Empire (a few steps from this marker); People of the River (a few steps from this marker); Seaway Trail (a few steps from this marker); Bicentennial Peace Garden (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Oswego.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 28, 2015, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 145 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on July 28, 2015, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.