A Walking Tour of Syracuse, New York

A Walking Tour of Syracuse, New York

by Doug Gelbert

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There is no better way to see America than on foot. And there is no better way to appreciate what you are looking at than with a walking tour. Whether you are preparing for a road trip or just out to look at your own town in a new way, a downloadable walking tour from walkthetown.com is ready to explore when you are.

Each walking tour describes historical and architectural landmarks and provides pictures to help out when those pesky street addresses are missing. Every tour also includes a quick primer on identifying architectural styles seen on American streets.

The salt springs that would come to define Syracuse were first discovered by Jesuit missionaries back in the 1650s. But it was not a pretty sight. For as far as the eye could see was dark, impenetrable swampland. Ephraim Webster was the first settler of European descent to try and make a go of it here, establishing a trading post near the mouth of the Onondaga Creek in 1786. James Geddes dug the first salt well in 1794 and ten years later, as a member of the State legislature, he obtained funds to build a 10-mile corduroy road across the marshy land to get the salt out to market and kick-start development in the region. Gradually the swamp was drained and soon the Erie Canal arrived. The canal not only facilitated the shipment of salt from the Onondaga Valley but caused farmers to shift production from wheat to more profitable pork and curing pork required salt. Until the brine fields and wells shut down in the early 1900s, almost all of the salt used in the United States came from “The Salt City.”

By the time the villages of Salina and Syracuse were merged to form the City of Syracuse in 1848 there were enough people living here to immediately make the new city one of the fifteen largest in the country. Salt production had fueled the growth but the industrial base quickly diversified. By 1860 Syracuse had several foundries, machine shops and factories producing agricultural implements, boots and shoes, furniture, saddlery, hardware and silverware. It was said a greater variety of products were coming from the city in the heart of the state than from New York City. Charles Dickens, who gave a reading in the Weiting Opera House in 1869 wrote of his experience in the rapidly growing city, “I am here in a most wonderful out-of-the world place, which looks as if it had begun to be built yesterday, and were going to be imperfectly knocked together with a nail or two the day after tomorrow.”

Manufacturing drove Syracuse well into the 20th century with the population peaking at 221,000 in 1950. Today’s population is about 2/3 of that but the metropolitan area has a population of over 700,000. Our walking tour will begin in Clinton Square, the historic center of downtown through which the Erie Canal once flowed and nineteenth-century freight and passengers were transferred to a parade of canal boats arriving at the Packet Dock...

Product Details

BN ID: 2940011840371
Publisher: Cruden Bay Books
Publication date: 11/18/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 23 KB

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