Oswego City Directories

Cover Image:
Oswego City Directories
Oswego City Directories 1852-53 Directory Cover - Image Source

Collection Facts

Dates of Original:

Historical Context

Oswego is a port city on Lake Ontario in Upstate New York. The region has deep ties to the Iroquois and is named after an Iroquoian word that means a “pouring out place” referring to its location at a river mouth of the Oswego River. The area was established as a trading post by the British in the early 18th century and occupied by the British at Fort Ontario through 1796. Oswego County was formally incorporated in 1816; the City of Oswego was incorporated in 1848. Oswego was the main hub for transportation not only as a port city, but also through canals and railways. Because of easy transportation by water and energy through waterpower, the industry thrived in the mid to late 1800s. The population in the last 100 years has varied between 18,000 and 25,000 people.

Scope of Collection

The collection includes late 19th to 20th-century city directories for Oswego. The directories contain listings for businesses and residences in Oswego and neighboring areas. The Oswego County Historical Society has a complete collection of City directories from 1852 to 1981 plus some extras, but this digital collection does not repeat any of the directories available on NYHeritage in the section by Oswego Public Library which covers 1852 to 1929 with a few gaps.