Oswego, a city, port of entry, and the capital of Oswego co., New York, on the S. E. shore of Lake Ontario, at the mouth of the Oswego river, 220 m. N. W. of New York and 145 in. "W. N. W. of Albany; pop. in 1850, 12,205; in 1860, 16,816; in 1870, 20,910; in 1875, estimated by local authorities at 25,000. The river divides the city into two nearly equal parts, known as East Oswego and West Oswego, which are connected by two iron drawbridges. The water front on the lake measures about 2½ m., and on the river about 5 m. From the river the land rises in easy slopes on each side to summits about 100 ft, high, which are about a mile apart, and descends in similar slopes toward the country on either side. The lake shore consists of a bluff rising to the height of 40 to 50 ft. at the summits of the ridges which traverse the city N. and S. Oswego is one of the most handsomely located of all the lake cities, and its climate, especially in summer, is not surpassed. The average summer temperature is about 67°; winter, 24°; annual, 46°. The streets, laid out at right angles, are 100 ft. wide, and are ornamented with many elegant public buildings and residences.
There are two public parks, one on each side of the river, which, as well as the streets in the portions occupied for residences, are beautifully shaded. The principal public buildings are the custom house and post office, of Cleveland limestone, costing $120,000; the city hall and the county court house, of Onondaga limestone, the former costing $130,000 and the latter $80,000; the state armory, of brick, with stone and iron facings; and the public library, costing $30,000 and containing 12,000 volumes. There are also several elegant school buildings, two halls, four principal hotels, and various large and substantial business blocks. In 1865, during excavations in the bed of the river, a mineral spring was discovered, which was traced back into the bank of the stream. A. well 100 ft. deep having been sunk, a constant flow of water was obtained in 1870, which is sold under the name, of the Deep Rock Spring water. The chief mineral ingre-lients are the chlorides of sodium and potas-ium, with smaller proportions of carbonate of lime and chloride of magnesium.
A large brick hotel, costing $200,000, was opened near the spring in 1874. - The railroads entering Oswego are the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western, the New York and Oswego Midland the Roine and Oswego, and the Lake Ontario (m progress). These with connecting roads afford communication with New York, the Pennsylvania coal region, and the principal points east and west. The Oswego canal '38 m. long, connects with the Erie canal at Syracuse. During the season of navigation a daily line of steamers runs to Chicago, stopping at intermediate points; and during the period of pleasure travel daily lines run to Toronto, Niagara Falls, the Thousand islands, and Montreal. The harbor consists of an area at the mouth of the river enclosed by jetties and breakwaters, with an entrance 300 ft. wide, and has about 3 m. of wharfage and a depth at low water of from 9 to 13 ft. The channel has a depth of 20 ft. at low water. W. of the entrance are a lighthouse and a beacon. Fort Ontario, on the right bank of the river, commands the city, the harbor and its approaches, and the lake. The construction of an outer and deeper harbor, to afford a wharfage of 4 m., was commenced by the United States government in 1871. Of the breakwater 2,700 ft. have been built, leaving about 3,000 ft. to be constructed.
The number of entrances in the foreign trade for the year ending June 30,1874, was 2,127, tonnage 851,059; clearances, 2,128, tonnage 323,750; value of imports, $7,356,646; of exports, $260,876. The entrances in the coastwise trade were 728, tonnage 127,423; clearances, 1,279, tonnage 228,168. The tonnage owned and registered in the district, Feb. 18, 1875, was 20,747. There are 11 grain elevators and storehouses, with an aggregate capacity of 2,165,000 bushels, at which a large portion of the western grain crops and almost the entire barley crop of Canada are handled. The receipts of lumber from Canada are extensive, and the coal trade is of growing importance, large shipments being made to Canada and the west. The following table exhibits the receipts of grain and lumber by lake, and of coal by canal and rail, the shipments of flour by canal and rail, and the value of receipts and shipments by canal, for three years:
In 1874 there were also received 47,605,053 shingles, 2,654,126 pieces of heading, 20,787,150 laths, 3,639,900 hoops, 123,325 staves, and 411,705 pickets. The Oswego river, being very constant in volume and having in the space of 12 m. a fall of 110 ft., 34 of which are within the city limits, affords extensive water power, which is made available by means of dams and hydraulic canals. The principal manufacturing establishments are 14 flouring mills, producing 600,000 barrels annually; the Oswego starch factory, the largest of its kind in the world; the Ames iron works, manufacturing portable steam engines; the Vulcan foundery and iron works, producing chiefly steam shovels and dredges; 2 ship yards, 3 boat-building yards, 12 cooperage establishments, 1 woollen factory, 3 car works, 2 breweries, 3. furniture factories, 2 carriage factories, etc. The starch factory has tire-proof buildings seven stories high and covering four acres, with which are connected a box factory, a foundery and machine shop, and immense storehouses. There are four national banks, with an aggregate capital of $695,000; two state banks, $400,000; and two savings institutions. - The city is governed by a mayor and aldermen, and has a police force and tire department.
It is lighted with gas, and is supplied with water from the river, the water being pumped into two reservoirs, one on each bank, whence it is distributed through more than 20 m. of mains. The city contains the county prison, an orphan asylum, and a home for aged and indigent women. The city almshouse is on a farm about 2 m. to the west. The public schools embrace a high school and inferior grades, and the Roman Catholics have parochial schools, besides St. Louis academy. The number of pupils enrolled in the public schools in 1874 was 4,249; Catholic schools, 1,675; private schools, 137; total, 5,961. The state normal and training school occupies a fine building, and has a model school connected with it. There are two daily and two weekly newspapers, and 16 churches, viz.: 2 Baptist, 1 Congregational, 2 Episcopal, 1 Lutheran, 3 Methodist, 2 Presbyterian, and 5 Roman Catholic - A trading post was established by the English on the site of Oswego soon after 1720, and in 1727 a rude fort was built. In 1756 the place was captured by the French and Indians, and about 150 prisoners were massacred. During the war of 1812 it was taken by the British in May of that year.
It was incorporated as a village in 1828, and as a city in 1848.