The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Do You Remember?
Oswego Palladium-Times (Oswego, NY), 11 Mar 1933

Full Text
Do You Remember?

Getting back to ship chandleries in the early days of the shipping in Oswego, Pease and Barrow had a ship chandlery store in a building on the east side of Water street between Seneca and Cayuga, Harry Green had his sail loft upstairs over this store.

Further south in he same block Finney and Lyons had a ship chandlery. This firm also had a ship chandlery in Chicago, Illinois, located on the north side of South Water street between South Wells and Franklin streets and George Finney was the resident manager of that shop.

The Oswego firm of Finney and Lyons was managed by Daniel Lyons and his son, Steve, quite a young boy. There was a balcony and promenade on the river side of this block. The Northern Transportation Co. had their offices across the street from the Pease and Barrow store, on the northeast corner of Seneca and Cayuga streets.

In those days of wonderful shipping interests Oswego had, there were ferry boats plying from the foot of Water and Van Buren streets, known as the "Slip to the east side of the river." They were flat bottom scows propelled by sculling them in the stern by an oar. Young men and boys were the owners - the fare from the west to the east side was five cents and two cents from the slip over to the middle island to Charlie Farwell's lime works and Avery's salt dock.

They shipped plenty of salt, and steel rails for railroads. There were ferry scows to take the horses from the slip across to the island to hoist in the salt and rails. Those flat scows wold carry two horses, and four men a trip.

The ferry boys in those days made plenty of money in the fall f the year. I have seen as many as eight passengers and their baggage in one of these scows on one trip, and the fare from the slip to Smith's cove was 10 cents per passenger.

The ferry boys took great pride in keep their scows in good order, they were nicely painted and clean and many a good sailor and captain graduated from the ferry scows to the big lake schooners. The ferry boats were all named, like the Rover, Wild Irishman, Champion, Patsy, Sweepstakes, Corsair and Bowsan. Those ferry boys were all good businessmen.


Knox, Jay, Author
Media Type:
Item Type:
Date of Publication:
11 Mar 1933
Personal Name(s):
Lyons, Daniel ; Lyons, Steve ; Finney, George
Richard Palmer
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 43.45535 Longitude: -76.5105
Creative Commons licence:
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Do You Remember?