Oswego Harbor - June 3rd-5th, 1994


The 1994 program, the last of the regularly scheduled programs on the canal system for the Bicentennial of the Western Inland Lock Navigation Company (1792-1820), was started at the furthest western point in the inland navigation - Oswego.

It was here 200 years ago that the network of inland waterways finally made their connection to the Great Lakes and the western territories beyond.

By bringing "Discovery" to Oswego, the boat and crew had now traversed the entire navigation system of the 1790s - on land, if not completely by water.

Click on any image to enlarge
City of Oswego harbor The present City of Oswego straddles the point where the inland navigation from Schenectady entered the Great Lakes, with batteaux landing below the cliffs of Fort Ontario.

In the 1790s, batteaux coming west would land in a cut at the base of the cliff on which Fort Ontario stood; near where the present marina is located (see image above).

We had been invited to participate in the Oswego Panorama- a weekend-long event focused on the history of the harbor and the parade of the fleet up the Oswego River. For us, this event was the starting point of a navigation that would bring us up the Oswego River and into Onondaga Lake, at Syracuse, with waterfront programming along the way from June 3rd to July 10th.

Trucked to Oswego Harbor Thanks to the generosity of the Thruway Authority, "Discovery" arrived at Oswego Harbor in about four hours - a trip that would have taken eight days in the 1790s.
Lifting boat into river Lifting the boat off the truck was facilitated by a harbor crane, watched over by John Anson and George Haswell.
Anson enters boat to steady it John jumps into the batteau as it hits the choppy water of Lake Ontario to help hold it away from the bulkhead wall.
Mooring at Maritime Foundation slip The slip where "Discovery" was moored was next to another replica boat project - the Oswego Maritime Foundation Schooner Project. When completed, the huge vessel would be used as a floating classroom out on Lake Ontario.
Mulligan pilots batteau Bob Mulligan pilots the batteau out toward Lake Ontario, with a heavy duty military tug in the background.
Interview at Oswego Due to the city-wide weekend waterfront program and the urban setting, the crew spent a lot of time being interviewed. Here John Anson provides local color.
Parade of boats in Oswego The next day, "Discovery" joined the parade of boats that filled Oswego Harbor, but the traffic was a bit of a shock to a crew more used to wooded streams and quiet channels.

 


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