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Oswego River Canal
Oswego River Canal. Photo courtesy Oswego County Department of Promotion and Tourism

Oswego River Canal

In 1825, the same year that the Erie Canal was completed, $160,000 was authorized by the state to build the Oswego Canal. The Oswego Canal, which was completed two years later, connects the Erie Canal with Lake Ontario. Oswego gets its name from a Native American word, osh-we-geh, which means "pouring out place" -- referring to the place the river waters pour into Lake Ontario.

For close to a century, the Oswego branch of the Erie Canal ran adjacent to the Oswego River and was important waterway for trade. In 1917, completion of the New York State Barge Canal System deepened the canal to 14 feet from its original four feet depth. The canal system comprises four canals: the Oswego Canal, the Erie Canal, the Cayuga-Seneca Canal, and the Champlain Canal. The part of the 23.7 mile Oswego River on the canal system is used extensively for both commercial and recreational purposes.

The homes along the Oswego River are built in a range of architectural styles that include Federal, Greek Revival, Italinate, and the Second Empire, which reflect the different time periods the area was settled.

Documentation includes one photograph and a fact sheet.

Originally submitted by: Charles E. Schumer, Senator.



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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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