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The 19th century pinnacle of population for Oswego was 22,428 in 1875, after which it began a slow decline. port on the Great Lakes, was designated as a port of entry regulated by U. Customs by a law passed by Congress on March 2, 1799.
These included ship carpenters, caulkers, ship smiths, and sail makers.
During the winter of 1859-1860, there were 68 sailing vessels and 80 canal boats moored in the harbor.
During the off season one would be hard pressed to find a room for the night as the local hotels and boarding houses became winter quarters for hundreds of sailors.
— Oswego Commercial Times, April 3, 1860 This paper is intended to give a perspective on the heyday of maritime life at the port of Oswego in the mid 19th century.
Between 18, Oswego was one of the most lively and prosperous ports on the Great Lakes. In that decade, 18 steamboats, 55 schooners, two brigs, four barks and 136 canal boats were turned out at the local boat and shipyards.