The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Oswego Commercial Times (Oswego, NY), July 18, 1850

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Lumber Business of Oswego

In this department of trade, as in the manufacture of flour, Oswego excels, it is believed, any other point on in the United States. During the season of 1849, over fifty three million feet of lumber were landed here, and estimates founded upon the receipts for the present time, carry the imports for 1850, to one hundred millions.

The shipments of lumber this way have been largely extended this season, and considerable quantities are arriving here from the ports on lakes Erie and Huron, as high up as Green Bay. The reason given for the diversion of lumber by this route is, that it passes to tide water by the Welland and Oswego canals, at $1 to $1.50 per thousand less in the expense of transportation than by way of Buffalo, and the whole length of the Erie Canal. The unequaled facilities for the transshipment of lumber at this port, also give it decided advantages over any other for the business.

The two Islands near the west shore of the river on the lower harbor, and the other nearly opposite on the east shore, connected with the main shore by a swing bridge over the channel, through which vessels pass into the cove, form the principal depositories for the lumber landed here, and where large quantities are transshipped from vessels to canal boats.

These Islands, around which vessels lay and discharge their cargoes, are of sufficient magnitude to accommodate a large amount of business. That on the east side, at the foot of 1st street, forms the leading lumber market of the city, where the offices of the extensive importing firms of Smith & Post, Hamilton Littlefield, Clark & Page, Mulford & Co., and B. Randall Jr. & Co. are located. The ground has been leased for a term of years by Mr. Littlefield, under whose auspices an extensive establishment has been erected in the center of the island, for the manufacture and preparation of lumber.

This establishment, under the charge and management of Mr. J.D. Colver, has in operation two of Woodworth's latest improved planning machines, two saws for splitting panel stuff, buzz saws, &c.;, all propelled by a powerful steam engine. here lumber is prepared and fitted for any desired purpose and a large business is done in supplying orders for prepared lumber, from all parts of this and the eastern States, and even from New Jersey. We note this branch of business as showing the advantages of our position, and as among the flattering indications of the progress and prosperity of our rapidly growing city.

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July 18, 1850
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Richard Palmer
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Oswego Commercial Times (Oswego, NY), July 18, 1850