Do You Remember?
Now that the season of navigation has opened once more, and the windshields upon the lower bridge have been lowered, it might be the appropriate time to chronicle in this column a little reminder of those bygone years when Oswego harbor was alive with sailing vessels.
It is needless for us to devote even a paragraph pertaining to the number of elevators that once lined the east back of the Oswego river, because nearly every old-time resident knows about them than we ever did, and those who are in the younger element have learned of their existence at various times.
But it is not of the elevators we are writing: there were other industries that were thriving with them, that are now only memories of the past. They were just as important in their existence as the schooners and other sailing craft; because it was to the latter that they catered to.
Oswego in the height of its commercial life, had within its confines three and perhaps four of the finest ship chandlery stores on the Great Lakes. These stores were located on both sides of the river. One of them we have mentioned before and it carried on its business in two different localities. It was better known as the John S. Parsons Ship Chandlery, and before that the Daniel L. Lyons store.
On the east side, at the foot of East Cayuga street, on the corner of First, there was a firm known as McCarthy and Marsh, who were also ship chandlers of great importance. So much so, they were known in every fresh water port, of any consequence.
This store supplied some of the large sailboats and other craft with anything that was needed in the navigation line - and that line too in more accessories than we could name, even if we wished to.
There is a large vacant space where that chandlery once stood, but in those peak years of the olden era, it was a bustling corner of real activity - McCarthy & Marsh made it stand out.