The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Oswego Palladium-Times (Oswego, NY), March 9, 1933

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More Records on Early Schooners on Lake Ontario.

Large number Were Built In Oswego Between 1848 and 1858

Additional information as to the vessels on Lake Ontario in the early days of lake navigation, when Oswego was the center of water borne traffic in this part of the country, has been received by the Palladium-Times since the publication recently of a list of craft built at Oswego in the ten year ending in 1858.

In 1848, according to this information, there were two steamboats on the entire lake. These hailed from Sackets Harbor and the combined tonnage was but 292 tons. The Ontario was largest 242 tons and the Sophia was rated at 50 tons. The sailing vessels hailing from Lake Ontario ports, with the tonnage of each, in 1848 was as follows:

Oswego- Schooners, Charlie and Ann 110 tons; Betsey, 65 tons; Oswego, 62 tons; Niagara 62 tons, Minerva, 62 tons; Julia, 50 tons; New Haven, 42 tons; Henrietta 35 tons; Oswego Trader, 30 tons; Morning Star, 35 tons; Sally Anne, 29 tons; Black Bear, 26 tons; Sloop Geneve 35 tons.

Sackets Harbor - Schooners, Eckford, 130 tons; Ontario 87 tons; Sachem 85 tons; Julia 62 tons; Lady Washington, 49 tons; Woolsey, 49 tons; Comet, 430 tons; Appoiona , 35 tons; Farmer’s Daughter 85 tons; Munro 28 tons; Phoenix 28 tons; Kingston Packet, 25 tons; Northern Trader, 25 tons; Sloop, Arcadia 48 tons; Triumph 28 tons.

Henderson- Schooners, Swallow 80 tons; Bertha 27 tons.

Salmon River- Schooners, Ploughboy, 35 tons; Independence 40 tons; President 26 tons; Bulldog, 26 tons.

Ogdensburg- Schooners, Genesee Packet, 60 tons; Oswegatchie 55 tons.

Sodus- - Schooners General Brown 80 tons; Olive Branch 35 tons; Java 32 tons.

Pultneyville- Schooners Nancy. 35 tons; Laura 40 tons.

Genesee River- Schooner Mary 55 tons; Clarissa 35 tons; Mulany, 31 tons. Levantha, 32 tons

Niagara- Crazy Jane, 25 tons.

Total 59 vessels; total tonnage 2,443.

The combined tonnage of this entire lake fleet was less than the cargo capacity of one of the larger steamers on the Great Lakes several of which came into Oswego last season.

Sacket Harbor was second to Oswego at that time in point of tonnage on Lake Ontario.

It should not be thought that the vessels mentioned above were the largest operating on the Great Lakes bout the year 1859. Maritime records show that in 1842 a steamboat called the Lady of the Lake, 423 tons, was built by a stock company in Oswego. She was run until 1852, when sod as a ferry between Cape Vincent and Kingston. Another steamboat, the Rochester, built at Oswego in 1843, was of 354 tons and ran out of this port until 1848. The Niagara 433 tons was built at French Creek now Clayton, and the Cataract was also built at Clayton in 1847. The size of the cargo carriers was gradually increasing , for there is record of the Ontario of 900 tons built ( ?) In 1847 at Clayton, and the Bay State, fabricated and assembled at Clayton in 1849. Cost of the Ontario was put $80,000 a very large sum in those days.

An Oswego shipyard turned out the Northern 1850, 905 tons, but Clayton outmatched this with the New York 994 tons in 1852.

History was made at Oswego in 1841 by Sylvester Doolittle when he built the propeller Vandalia. This was the first screw wheel craft on the Great Lakes. Ericcson , the celebrated inventor, who later designed the Monitor, which fought off and defeated the Merrimac in one of the decisive battles of the Civil war, was designer of the engine of the Vandalia. Other screw wheel boats built at Oswego, were the Oswego in 1842, the Chicago in 1845; then successions the Racine and the New York. Three boat went to other lakes. the Chicago to Lake Superior and the other two to Lake Champlain.

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March 9, 1933
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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-Times (Oswego, NY), March 9, 1933