Early History of Syracuse
Back in time, 400 million years ago, the land of Syracuse was south of the equator and covered by a salty sea. As time passed the sea water dissipated leaving layers of halite and seashells which over time were buried in the earth. From this prehistoric period, two products would emerge as resources in the nineteenth century - salt and limestone. Many geological events occurred over the eons which shaped this land, the last being the most recent push of the Great Ice Age which was at its zenith 20,000 years ago. This last sheet of ice formed the Finger Lakes, the Adirondack Mountains, and Onondaga Lake, in addition to other land formations of central New York.
The land around Onondaga Lake had been inhabited by Native Americans for 4,000 to 5,000 years before the arrival of white men. The Five Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy inhabited this land in the 1600s. The nation was composed of the Mohawks, the Senecas, the Onondagas, the Oneidas, and the Cayugas. Each nation oversaw a different part of New York State. The Onondagas lived in the area around Onondaga Lake and Central New York.
The first caucasians in the area were the French. In 1615, Samuel de Champlain massed an attack on the Oneidas with the aid of the Hurons and Algonquins who were bitter enemies of the Iroquois. Champlain was not able to gain a foothold in central New York as the campaign failed and he returned to Canada. The attack left feelings of hatred for the French for the next forty years.
Over the next few decades the Hurons of Upper Canada found Christianity through the efforts of the Jesuit fathers. Out of envy, the Onondagas requested that a priest be sent to them. A delegation was sent to Montreal and peace with the French was proposed. On August 5, 1654, Father Simon LeMoyne arrived in the Onondaga village. He was well aware of the danger of the Iroquois but he flattered the group and won their confidence. LeMoyne spent ten days among the Onondagas and then began his return to Montreal. On the way he stopped along the banks of Onondaga Lake to choose a site for a French settlement. A greater discovery was made that day when LeMoyne drank from a spring which the Onondagas believed to be foul due to an evil spirit. He found it to be a salt water spring and he returned to Canada with salt made from the spring water. The settlement founded by LeMoyne was later inhabited until 1657, when the French narrowly escaped a massive attack by the Onondagas. In the late 1600s, the relationship between the natives and the French was tenuous and the English were beginning to show interest in the area, much to the displeasure of the French.
The British began to take an active interest in the land around Onondaga Lake in the early 1700s. They befriended the Onondagas by giving them guns, which were greatly desired. A British agent, William Johnson, acquired 200,000 acres of land in the Mohawk country near present day Johnstown. In 1751, he heard that the French were planning to secure a military post in the vicinity of the salt springs. He discussed the consequences of that action with the Onondagas and he proposed that they grant him all of Onondaga Lake and a two-mile band of land around it. The natives agreed and were paid £350 sterling. When both the Crown and the Colony of New York refused to reimburse Johnson for his purchase and take control of the land, the Colonial Council gave the land to Johnson and his heirs. In 1756, he was made sole agent and superintendent of the Six Nations of the Iroquois (by this time the Tuscaroras had joined the confederacy). He continued to have a positive relationship with the Onondagas and worked to secure their neutrality or allegiance to the British in matters with the French and the Americans. As the Revolutionary War approached both the British and the Americans sought Iroquois support. The British succeeded. At the end of the war, only the Oneidas and Tuscaroras had remained neutral or friendly to the Americans. The lands of the natives were distributed by treaties soon after the war. The Oneidas and the Tuscaroras secured the lands which they inhabited. Offers of reservations were made to the four nations that opposed the Americans. The Onondagas, Senecas, and Cayugas accepted the offer. The Mohawks refused and sought refuge in Canada similar to other British sympathizers. These results were from the United States Treaty of Fort Stanwix (now Rome) on October 22, 1784. In future years the Onondagas began selling their land in order to gain items brought by white men to the area. Their reservation diminished slowly over time. William Johnson died in 1774, and after the Revolutionary War his rich estates and the land around Onondaga Lake were lost to his heirs and became public lands of New York State.
Throughout the 1700s, adventurers ventured in and out of the area around Onondaga Lake on waterways and native trails. The first settler to live among the natives was Ephraim Webster who came to central New York to trade with the Onondagas after having experiences with other Iroquois nations. He learned the Iroquois customs, language, and skills. Webster spent the rest of his life living among the Iroquois after adopting their way of life. He worked for the government on different occasions as a peacekeeper in native matters and as a spy at the British Fort at Lake Ontario (today the city of Oswego). Since he lived the lifestyle of a native, Webster was able to pass as an Iroquois at the fort. Out of respect the Onondagas gave him a square mile of land in Onondaga Valley at the site of the fort built by William Johnson thirty years previously. His trading post and camp were located on the east side of Onondaga Creek near where the creek emptied into Onondaga Lake. The place would be known throughout history as Websters Landing. He received the deed to his land in 1796. Webster died in 1824 from typhoid fever. Many legends surround his adventurous life, but it was known for certain that he served in two wars, assisted in surveying land in New York State, was an interpreter in native negotiations, and was a friend to natives and whites alike.
In 1788, while hunting near Johnstown, Webster met General Asa Danforth and convinced him to settle in Onondaga. The natives approved of the arrangement and during the summer of that year, Danforth brought his family six miles up Onondaga Creek (south from the lake) to land which they called Onondaga Hollow. Danforth's son's close friend Comfort Tyler accompanied the family. Life in the settlement was difficult as common conveniences were not available locally. Also, life with the natives was uncertain as the British often agitated and bribed them to make life unpleasant for the settlers. On September 12, 1788, a state treaty was negotiated in which the Onondagas relinquished part of their reservation which included Onondaga Hollow. The land was now open to settlers and the natives had only hunting and fishing rights on the land. Tyler and Danforth began making salt for the family, but did not produce it to sell. Danforth built a sawmill and gristmill and Tyler laid the first roads and built bridges, and in the future would support the building of churches and schools.
While Onondaga Hollow was slowly expanding, much activity was occurring at the salt springs. More men and their families were arriving to make a living from the springs. The next settler came in 1789 and by 1792 a sixth family had arrived. They lived and worked in an area east of lower Onondaga Lake called Salt Point. Life in this area was very difficult. Great labor was required to boil salt and the living conditions were almost unbearable. At this early stage most of the the production methods were very basic. A kettle was hung on a branch which was suspended on two poles over a fire. Wet salt remained when the water evaporated and was emptied and left to dry. Much wood was needed to maintain the fires which was not a problem at this early stage in the industry. An early salt boiler produced 600 bushels which was worth one dollar per bushel. The salt springs were located on the south end of Onondaga Lake which was covered in swamps and bogs for much of the warm months of the year. Malaria was rampant and laborers and their families suffered through severe chills, fevers, and nausea. In 1793 out of a total population of 33 people, 30 were sick and the following year the population had grown to 63, but 23 died that year. Those that lived through the summer and fall seasons grew strong in the winter and enjoyed the bounty of others as they traded salt for produce, meat, cheese, flour, and maple syrup. People who visited Salt Point in the winter arrived via Iroquois trails on the high ground in the area. The settlers lacked roads in Salt Point at this time.
Salt Pointers were very protective of the land on which they were squatters in addition to the salt springs and they did not take kindly to visitors usurping the resource. In 1793, a man who would greatly improve the life of the settlers and help advance Onondaga County politically arrived at Salt Point. James Geddes left his previous job as a schoolmaster in Carlisle, Pa. to manufacture salt. One drawback was that he could not buy land adjacent to the salt springs, since at that time the Iroquois retained common rights to the lake and land therefore the state could not sell the land. He decided to return home and form a company in his home state for the manufacturing of salt at Salt Point. He would later return.
Until 1794, the vast area around Onondaga Lake was part of Herkimer and Tioga Counties (both of which were included in Montgomery County until 1791). Judge Seth Philips, General Asa Danforth, and Moses DeWitt petitioned for the formation of a smaller county for a greater sense of homerule and the convenient location of a county seat. Over the next 25 years, other counties would be formed and Onondaga would lose land to form Tompkins and Oswego Counties. Afterwards Onondaga County would retain one-quarter of its original size and at 812 square miles would be the size of the present day county. The Surveyor-General named the townships after classic individuals who inspired heroic actions including Camillus, Cicero, Fabius, Hannibal, Lysander, Marcellus, Pompey, and Manlius to name a few.
James Geddes returned to the area in April of 1794. Instead of landing near the salt springs or further south at Websters Landing, he continued to the most southwest point of the lake. This area is within the town of Geddes of today. At that time three other areas were involved in the manufacturing of salt. To the lower southeast of the lake was Salt Point which later became the village of Salina. Further north was Green Point, of which today the only remaining namesake is a senior citizen housing complex, and further north on the east side of the lake salt was made on the present lands of Liverpool.
The first major step in state involvement with salt manufacturing occurred in 1795 when the Onondagas relinquished their common rights to the land around Onondaga Lake and Onondaga Creek. The state now owned the land. Then in 1797, the state began to take a more formal hand in the running of and revenues from the salt industry. Salt lots were to be surveyed and available for multi-year leases, a superintendent was to be named, and salt prices were to be fixed. The Salt Springs Reservation comprised 15,000 acres and the industry itself was a major benefit to the state of New York for the next 100 years. Many salt boilers did not seek nor want state involvement which they deemed as interference. As a means of avoiding paying duty many salt boilers smuggled large quantities of salt before being visited by the superintendent who had almost absolute power and personally attested to each bushel manufactured. Also, the Salt Springs Reservation covered Salt Point and the Geddes works, not Green Point and Liverpool, areas in which salt boilers were still considered squatters and could be prosecuted, although they were not.
In 1798, Salt Point became the village of Salina. It was designed with 16 blocks, each 396 square feet, which would be further divided into four house lots. The Surveyor-General Simeon DeWitt employed James Geddes to lay out the village. Although Geddes had no formal training in this field, DeWitt saw great potential in him. Soon Geddes sold his interest in the Geddes salt works to pursue other avenues and surveying continued to be an important role for much of his life. The previous year he had surveyed the Salt Springs Reservation and the first road in Salt Point.
Prior to the village road layout by Geddes the main roads through Onondaga County were laid out in the middle section of the county (around Manlius, Onondaga Hill, Onondaga Hollow, Marcellus, etc.) running east-west. In the village of Salina, the first two streets surveyed by Geddes were Free Street and Canal Street (now Hiawatha Blvd. and North Salina Street, respectively). Next came Center and Salt Streets which are now LeMoyne and Park Streets. Although there was organization to the land, Salina continued to keep a shanty town quality. As time passed, lots were sold and proper buildings began to be built. One benefit was the arrival of more settlers including a physician and a justice of the peace. Mail was being sent from Comfort Tylers post office in Onondaga Hollow.
James Geddes did not chose to live in Salina or Onondaga Hill, another village he surveyed that summer, but instead made his homestead three miles west of his old salt works in the Fairmount of today. By this time he had sold his interest in the salt works, continued surveying, and began to study law. In 1800, he was admitted to the bar and was appointed Justice of the Peace. He was becoming well-known and was to be further drawn into public life.
In 1801, a county seat was chosen for Onondaga. Six villages vied for the title, with the major competition between Onondaga Hollow and Onondaga Hill. These areas were the main contenders as they were more civilized places to live at that time. People did not choose to live in Salina and other areas which would later become Syracuse unless they were involved in salt manufacturing due to the swamps and illness. Salina also did not compete for the honor as the citizenry were too engrossed in the manufacturing of salt. In the end Onondaga Hill became the county seat.
A year before, Comfort Tyler, then a state assemblyman, secured a charter for the Seneca Turnpike Company. With $100,000 he initiated the construction of a turnpike road (a toll road) on the old state road between Utica and Canandaigua. The road was finished in 1812 and was fairly flat and improved communications between the eastern and western areas. Part of this road continues today as Genessee Street in Syracuse. Another road completed in the early 1800s was the Cherry Hill Turnpike (1803-04) which passed through Cazenovia and intersected the Seneca Turnpike at Manlius. In 1807, roads from Onondaga Hill to Ox Creek to Oswego and from Ox Creek to Salina were given approval. A road was approved in 1809 from Free and Salt Streets in Salina to the Town of Cicero. The Cold Spring Road was approved in 1817, from Liverpool to the Seneca River at Cold Springs. In 1820, Geddes laid a road between Salina and the Geddes Works. To deal with the swampy bogs he first filled the area with brush and debris from the swamp. This road is todays Hiawatha Blvd.
People living north of the turnpike needed a road for their use and they petitioned James Geddes, now a state assemblyman, to support their cause. He devised a bill which would allow sale of 250 acres of the Salt Springs Reservation to obtain funds to pay for a road across the reservation. Geddes found the most appropriate chunk of land in the swampy and forested area. Abraham Walton of Utica bought the land for $6,500 and from then on the land was known as the Walton Tract. For the next few years little interest was held in the Walton Tract. A couple of people bought land and built buildings, one being a tavern which was beneficial for the travelers on the Seneca Turnpike. But no one wanted to stay long in an area that was swampy and smelly. The owners (Walton and his partners) did not live in Onondaga County, let alone on their land.
In 1800, Joshua Forman moved to Onondaga Hollow bringing with him his wife, father, and four brothers. He opened a law office with his brother-in-law in that village. Forman ventured 40 miles north and leased land around Oswego Falls and built a gristmill which started settlement of that area. In 1805, while serving in the New York State Assembly, he heard an idea for an inland waterway connecting Lake Erie to the mouth of the Hudson River. He had heard the idea from James Geddes, who heard of the plan from Surveyor-General Simeon DeWitt (who thought it was merely a romantic notion), who in turn had heard it from the current originator Gouverneur Morris. The idea had been bantered around periodically since the 1720s. In the 1790s a canal was built from the mid- to eastern part of the state. It was much more costly than planned due to lock repairs and the tolls were exceptionally high.
Geddes believed the canal project held great merit. He had often thought the level stretches of the state held much promise for communication and transportation. After hearing Geddes opinions, Forman began to study the topography of the state. In 1807, Forman was elected to the assembly on the Canal Ticket. In Albany, mixed feelings were found for the project. In 1808, Geddes bankrolled a trip to western New York to determine the best course for the canal. Talk of the time promoted a canal from the Hudson to Lake Ontario but he believed an interior route was best. On that trip he found a passage in the area of the Genessee River which had been the only area that he could not attest to proper topography for the canal. The obstacles for an interior route had been removed. In his report, Geddes noted several reasons for an interior route including that if Lake Ontario were used trading ships could be diverted to Canada, an interior route would be free of the dangers of wind and waves, it would be safer in the event of war with Britain, land values would increase along the shores, and it would bring wealth and prosperity to the state. In 1812, a law passed which authorized borrowing $5,000,000 for construction of the canal. At that time immediate concerns with the War of 1812 surfaced. By 1814, differences of opinions about the canal caused the legislature to repeal the law authorizing the borrowing of the money. Geddes, Forman, and other supporters then waited out the war to continue the campaign for the canal.
The war ended in 1815, but construction of the canal did not begin until 1817 due to continued political wrangling. James Geddes was appointed to lead the canal engineers for the entire project. Also that year, the NYS legislature increased the duty on salt from three cents to 12 1/2 cents a bushel to aid in funding the canal. Salt manufacturers paid that duty for 17 years and in the end funded three-sevenths of the canal with that alone. The section of the Great Western Canal that went through Onondaga County was initially to flow through Salina, but the citizens did not want to relinquish their land so it instead went through what would become the village of Syracuse. This turn of events would help make the once swampy odoriferous area into a major city.
In April 1820, crowds waited along the canal to watch the first boat navigate the 94 mile course between Montezuma and Utica. Even until this point enemies of the project called the canal, Clintons Big Ditch and Clintons Folly. (DeWitt Clinton was the governor of New York at that time). But the maiden voyage of the Montezuma in the canal was a success and nay sayers changed their tunes. The original canal was 40-feet wide at the top, 28-feet wide at the bottom, and four feet deep. It was enlarged in 1836 to be 76-feet wide at the top, 52-feet wide at the bottom, and seven-feet deep. At the celebration following the opening of the canal, Joshua Forman finally received praise for his years of effort promoting the idea of the canal and his work during the building of the canal.
In 1815, Abraham Walton died and within the next year new owners controlled the Walton Tract which was also at times called Milan. Then the area was named Cossitts Corners when Sterling Cossitt of Marcellus bought the tavern. This area continued to be avoided by settlers due to the swampy fetid living conditions. The people of Salina were surprised that anyone would continue to live there. In 1818 in Cossitts Corners, the owners enlisted Joshua Forman to act as agent in developing the tract. He advertised the advantages of the area including the location of the intersection of the Great Western Canal and the Seneca Turnpike, the proximity to the salt works, and water power from Onondaga Creek where three mills were already in operation. The village needed to be resurveyed as it had grown disorganized since James Geddes original layout. Forman had his younger brother Owen and John Wilkinson, who studied law with Forman, lay out the village. Todays Genessee Street was called Turnpike, Water Street was Canal Street, and James Street was called Dock Street (it would also later be called Foot Street).
Forman decided that the village should be called Corinth. John Wilkinson made an application for a post office in Corinth, but was denied as the name was already in use in the state. On February 4, 1820, thirteen men which entailed all citizens (women were not counted as citizens) of the community met to choose a name. Suggestions included: Algiers, Wales, and Barbara. In the end John Wilkinson told about a poem he had once read entitled Syracuse about a town in Sicily. After reading the poem he had researched the history and geography of Syracuse, Sicily and compared it with his home in Onondaga County. Both had lakes about the same size with marshes which contained salt and fresh water springs. Also, the town north of Syracuse, Sicily was named Salina. The vote was unanimous - the Walton Tract, Milan, Cossitts Corners, and finally Corinth would now be called Syracuse. The state accepted an application for a post office making it official and Wilkinson was appointed the postmaster of the village. As suspected, when the canal was completed, more people settled in Syracuse. Stores opened, a school was built, and skilled laborers began plying their trades.
Joshua Forman continued looking for ways of advancing the village he had started. Back in 1812, the state had provided Thomas Wheeler two acres to experiment with making salt using artificial heat. In 1821, the legislature passed bills encouraging solar salt manufacturing and authorized the use of land near the banks of the Erie Canal between Salina and Syracuse. Forman organized the Syracuse Coarse Salt Company. He then formed another company, The Onondaga Solar Coarse Salt Company which he headed. Coarse salt was made with solar evaporation and fine salt was the main product of Salina in which the brine was boiled. Coarse salt was coarser than boiled salt, was suitable for packing meats, and for grinding into table and dairy salt. It was purer than fine salt, less expensive to produce, and helped conserve the wood supply in the area. A small amount of salt boiling also occurred in Syracuse. At this time salt was produced in Geddes, Syracuse, Salina, and Liverpool.
Syracuse was growing, but Joshua Forman was concerned that it would never reach a prominent level of stature with the odoriferous swamps and yearly outbreaks of malaria. He discussed the situation with James Geddes and they determined the solution would involve straightening, widening, and deepening the channel where the water leaves Onondaga Lake and enters the Seneca River. Obstructions in the area would also be removed. In addition to increasing the water flow and ending the stagnant swamps at the southern end of the lake, valuable land would also be reclaimed from the flooded areas. Geddes took the proposition to the Assembly and on February 28, 1822, $4,500 was appropriated to lower Onondaga Lake. Parts of the city that are today the heart of downtown were uncovered by the draining including around Warren and Salina Streets in the area of Genessee St. When completed, this act greatly improved living conditions in Syracuse and more people moved to the area. Some new businesses included: a weekly newspaper, a drugstore, a grain dealer, grocery stores, general stores, and a saddlery.
In the 1820s while most of the villages of Onondaga County were slowly developing, Syracuse was growing by leaps and bounds. In 1822, the owner of the remaining holdings of the Walton Tract sold the land to James and Isaiah Townsend, William James, all of Albany, and James McBride of New York City. Current residents of this area will recognize those last names as prominent streets in Syracuse. They formed The Syracuse Company for development of the Walton Tract. The Syracuse Company had buildings for stores and offices built along the canal (Water Street of today). The village expanded and business grew.
The village of Salina was incorporated in 1824, and Syracuse followed in 1825. Judge Joshua Forman was chosen president of the board of directors. The trustees began to deal with the issues of licensing of tavern-keepers, procuring a village seal, licensing of grocers, fire protection, and the need for hayscales, a village pound, investigation of the water supply, and a burial ground. Rules for behavior and decorum were set forth, though not always followed. Streets were named as they are today including: Genessee Street, Salina Street, Clinton Street, West Street, and Franklin Street.
In 1827, talk of moving the county seat could be heard. The buildings in Onondaga Hill needed renovation and an assemblyman from that area proposed that they be renovated but remain in Onondaga Hill. Aaron Burt promoted the idea of Syracuse being the county seat and presented 6,000 signatures from all over the county asking that if the new buildings were built, that they be located in Syracuse. In 1829, the bill passed putting the county seat in Syracuse. At this point Salina entered a bid for the honor. After much discussion, it was decided that the county buildings would be built between Salina and Syracuse at the intersections of North Salina, North Townsend, Ash, and Division Streets. (Division Street was the boundary between the two villages). Several years later the county offices and buildings were relocated again but this time to the center of Syracuse, as the previous location was inconvenient and distant from the law offices in both villages and no sidewalks were available to the location. In 1830, a bank charter was authorized and the Onondaga County Bank located in Syracuse became the first bank in the county. The Salina Bank was chartered in 1832.
In 1817 an epidemic of Asiatic cholera began in Calcutta, India and slowly began to spread continent by continent. It arrived in America in 1832. Little was known about the causes of the disease and the citizenry of Syracuse were ordered to clean up their dwellings and businesses. Disinfecting and purifying the air was recommended by medical professionals and quarantine was advised. Because individuals who could carry the malady could easily travel into Syracuse on the Erie Canal, the officials were very concerned. The village was divided into four wards and inspectors were designated to inspect cellars and supply residents with sufficient lime. The first cholera death occurred on July 17, 1832. A workers sudden illness and death was initially believed to be caused to his drinking too much cold water after extreme physical exertion, but then another became ill and died 12 hours later on the next day and cholera became suspected. It is not certain how many people died as estimates range from 100 to near 300. Undertakers and cemetery workers worked night and day to make caskets and bury the dead. Many people left the villages and stayed in the country to avoid the highly contagious disease. It passed after many months only to reappear in 1834.
Railways began to appear in New York State in the 1830s. The initial lines were established first in the eastern portion of the state and in 1838 the Auburn and Syracuse Railroad was put into action. The Syracuse and Utica Railroad was opened in 1839. After much discussion a railway depot was built on Washington Street to facilitate the riders. Local railways were also started to move stone from quarries in Onondaga. John Wilkinson was highly influential and instrumental in bringing the railways to this area. The first train coaches were only slightly better than stagecoaches. Initially railroad tracks were made of wood which would come apart at the joints and the ends would thrust up through the floor of the passenger cars. Passengers risked physical injury from these wood pieces called snakeheads. In 1845 legislation was passed that required all rails to be made of iron to avoid injury. Three forms of long distance transportation were then available including stagecoaches, packet boats on the Erie Canal, and the railways.
By the 1840s, Syracuse had grown into a metropolitan area. With the inflow of people provided by the canal and railways the population had increased and the quality of life had greatly improved over the years since the Walton Tract was first sparsely inhabited near the swampy bogs south of Onondaga Lake. After much discussion and political wrangling, in December 1847 the act to incorporate the City of Syracuse passed the legislature. On January 3, 1848 citizens of the villages of Salina and Syracuse confirmed the city charter and combined their numbers to form Syracuse. Talk of the day sought to include other towns and villages in the area in the new city. Liverpool remained an independent village and continues as such to this day. At least parts of Geddes are now in the city of Syracuse. Onondaga Hollow is now the valley section of the city.
Syracuse grew in stature as a community initially from salt and its related industries and then from the ease of transportation as technologies advanced. Traveling in Syracuse continues to be convenient due to the highway system. A major east-west highway (NYS Thruway) and a major north-south highway (Interstate 81) intersect in Syracuse and local highways benefit area residents. A portion of one local highway, Route 690, was built on the what used to be elevated railway tracks. It is just north of Erie Boulevard which was built over the Erie Canal after it was filled in in 1925. Salt was produced in the area for 100 years with the peak year of 1862 when 9,000,000 bushels were made. In 1912 the state disposed of its holdings in the salt springs. In the 1880s, salt began to be used as an industrial ingredient instead of a final product. A mining engineer, William Cogswell, became interested in the ammonia soda process, for which he needed three things - brine, fresh water, and limestone - all of which are plentiful in this area. He obtained the manufacturing process from the Solvay brothers of Brussels and formed Solvay Process Company. The company was taken over by Allied Chemical several decades ago and was a major manufacturer in the area until a few decades ago. The village of Solvay still exists, but the time of salt has passed.
The majority of information for this historical account was found in:
Munson, Lilian Steele, Syracuse The City That Salt Built, Pageant Press International, 1969
Roseboom, William F. and Schramm, Henry W. , They Built A City Stories and Legends of Syracuse and Onondaga County, Manlius Publishing Corp., 1976
Beachamp, Rev. William M, Past and Present of Syracuse and Onondaga County New York From Prehistoric Times to the Beginning of 1908, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1908
Chase, Franklin H., Syracuse and Its Environs A History, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1924