The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Oswego Palladium (Oswego, NY), Monday, July 20, 1857

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A Visit to Little Sodus - The Lake Ontario, Auburn & New York Railroad. - An invitation was extended by the people of Fair Haven or Little Sodus, last week, to the Board of Trade and citizens of oswego, to visit that locality on Saturday, for the purpose of meeting a number of prominent gentlemen from New York, Philadelphia, and Auburn, to exchange civilities and survey the project and prospects of the Railroad now in the process of construction from Sodus to Auburn, and which is intended to connect with the New York and Erie road by a line from Auburn to the Ithaca and Owego road; and also to discuss the advantages of extending the road to Oswego; &c.,&c.

Accordingly, on Saturday morning, some twenty gentlemen embarked on the tug Wm. Morgan, destined for "Fair Haven," in fulfillment of the polite invitation. The heat in the city at the time was about 110 in the sun, but after getting out of the harbor into the Lake, a cool, delicious breeze rendered the trip delightful. The beautiful, staunch little steamer Morgan showed herself to be one of the "fast" kind, making the distance from Oswego harbor to Sodus Bay in 75 minutes. The passage was highly enjoyed by the party, and on reaching the Bay the splendid tug Ontario was found lying there, having been chartered for two days for the purpose of showing the "lions" around the Bay, which "is to be" the terminus of the Railroad.

On making fast along side the Ontario, the party made their way to the hotels of the place, and finally assembled together with the gentlemen from abroad on the back piazza of the "upper house" and had a formal introduction "all around." Among those present were Mr. Platt, President of the road, and Mr. Keyser, a Director, both from New York; another Director from Philadelphia, whose name we do not remember, the Engineer of the road, several Directors from Auburn, Darius Cole, Esq. of Fair haven, and a number of other gentleman of that place.

A social intercourse took place; the prospects of the new road, the commerce of Oswego, and "the identity of interest between Oswego and Sodus," were elaborately expatiated upon. The Fair Haven folks are quiet sanguine in their expectations, and "city lots" are held at high figures. We understood that Darius Cole, Esq., had sold 300 acres to the "Company" for $45,000, and for the tongue of land running down into the Bay, where the future storehouses, docks, &c., are contemplated, embracing perhaps 50 acres, $35,000 had been offered and refused. The great course of business is to be coal, and the Bay it is anticipated, will become the great Coal Depot of the Lakes. the road is nearly all graded, and the expectation is to have the rails down to Auburn next winter.

About 1 o'clock dinner was announced, and a committee of the "Oswego delegation" was despatched to the Morgan to bring up some "stores," consisting of, mainly, of a "basket" of "Newark Cider" in "bottles," handsomely labeled. After dispatching a liberal quantity of fine fresh fish, well cooked, with excellent potatoes, - now a great luxury, - plenty of fresh raspberries, and garden vegetables, washed down with an abundance of delicious sweet cider from the cellar of Darius Cole, Esq.., - the sparkling "Newark" was uncorked, and sentiments and "wet toasts" were "fired off" in rapid succession by the different delegations and before the party left the table, the Road was entirely completed and extended to Oswego, the locomotive was "seen" in full career for Oswego Harbor, a thriving commercial town had sprung up on the banks of Sodus Bay, a thousand sail were anchored in its pellucid waters, and Oswego and Sodus had been "united" in "identity of interests"!!

Having accomplished this much, the party thought work enough for one day, with the mercury at 100, had been performed; and after toasting the citizens of Sodus, and Darius Cole, Esq., particularly, they adjourned.

The "Oswego delegation," between 2 and 3 o'clock, were ready to re-embark. And after waking the echoes of Little Sodus Bay with several stentorian airs from he "calliopes" of the Morgan and the Ontario, and rousing the whole village of Fair Haven to its feet, with "three times three" cheers, the Morgan swung round and was "off" at a 2:40 pace for the mouth of the Bay, and after landing Mr. Wells, Phrenologist, of the firm of Fowler & Wells, New York at his beautiful country seat, which is on the bank of the Bay near the Lake, she proceeded on her homeward passage.

As she rounded the headland into the Lake the flag of the tall hickory raised there last fall in the cause of "Buck and Breck," was run up and cheers came rolling off shore, which were responded to, and a "bar" or two on the Morgan's "calliope" was given by Capt. Manwarring. The cooling, delicious lake breeze still prevailed, and the powerful little steamer was skimming through the water for home at full 14 miles an hour.

"The delegation" then gave themselves up to a variety of "social" and "intellectual" pastimes, such as "throwing the lasso," melting ice in each other's pockets, smoking, skimming Panama hats and "plugs" in the air, shooting at a mark with "cat-tails," etc., etc., and discussing the "Lake Ontario, Auburn and New York Railroad, and occasionally "Newark."

When within a couple of miles of Oswego, by a unanimous vote it was decided that the "delegation: needed washing, and the Morgan rounded to, the engine stopped, and the crystal waters of Ontario said, in plain English, "come in." all that could swim repaired to the Pilot house, cast their "civilization," planted themselves on he stem of the boat and plunged in head-foremost, one after the other, and enjoyed a glorious bath. The temperature of the water was "just right," and its immense depth rendered it buoyant and delightful.

Ropes were thrown from the side of the steamer to assist in getting on board, and after plunging a few times into the unexplored depths of Ontario, and sweeping round the steamer a few times a La "porpoise" the bathers mounted up the sides of the steamer, donned their wardrobes, made their toilets, feeling rejuvenated and re-invigorated. In a few minutes the 'delegation" was landed on the docks, all highly pleased with the visit to Little Sodus and on good terms with all mankind, especially the enterprising and hospitable people of Fair Haven. May their "shadow never be less."

The following "log" of the Time of the Morgan, on her down passage, was kept by "one of the delegation": - Left Sodus Pier at 2:14 1/2 - passed Three Mile Point at 3:9 - hove to at 3:13 1/2 about 1 1/4 miles from Oswego Light House, and lay 17 minutes for bathing, and steam run down to 30 lbs. - rounded Oswego Light at 3;38 - took out line at City Hall Dock at 3:43 - whole running time from Sodus Pier to inside Oswego Pier 66 1/2 minutes - steam ranging at 50 to 60 pounds.

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Monday, July 20, 1857
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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 Palladium (Oswego, NY), Monday, July 20, 1857