Crawford Collection

Collection Owner:
Cover Image:
Crawford Collection
Lacy and Gleason family members on porch of Gleason Mansion - Image Source

Collection Facts

Dates of Original:
c. 1880 - 1980

Historical Context

Liverpool is a lakeside village located in Onondaga County, just outside of Syracuse, New York. The village is named after the city of Liverpool in England. Liverpool was also a fitting name because both Liverpools became well-known for their salt production. After the salt production era came to a close, Liverpool willow baskets became the village's main export. The Syracuse Northern Railroad opened in 1871, giving Liverpool greater opportunities for trade. At the close of the nineteenth century, Liverpool also became a cigar manufacturing hub. The Oswego Canal closed its waterways in 1918, and in 1931 the Onondaga Lake Park was created where a good portion of the canal laid. The Onondaga Lake Park has the Salt Museum and East Shore Recreation Trail within its borders.

Toby Crawford III was a Liverpool native who loved to collect historic photographs from various sources. His interest in the history of Liverpool began during the 1930s when he heard Crandall Melvin Sr. lecture at several Chamber of Commerce meetings. Once the interest was there, Toby Crandall III realized he had a lot of materials at home to research. His father, Jasper T. Crawford II, was a photographer and had saved a box of glass-plate negatives that were taken around the late 1800s. Toby Crawford III made contact prints of the glass negatives and started asking long time residents of the area to look at the pictures and help him identify locations or people. Soon he was recording the interviews and asking if he could look through old scrapbooks or photograph collections. When he found a picture that he did not have, he would make a copy stand print of it and add it to his collection. George “Waxy” Miller and James T. Rogers were two photographers whose photos were within Crawford’s collection. Both gentlemen were professional photographers with studios in Liverpool.

Scope of Collection

The Crawford Collection contains photographs and glass negatives taken by various photographers including Toby Crawford III’s father, George “Waxy” Miller and James T. Rogers. The photographs and glass plate negatives are visual representations of the history of Liverpool and the village’s residents.

Special Content:


View the interactive Google Map of the Crawford Walking Tour with streetview.