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Salina, Onondaga County, NY

from A Gazetteer of the State of New York, 1824

A Gazetteer of the State of New-York, by Horatio Gates Spafford, LL.D., 1824, pp. 461-463

SALINA, a Post-Township of Onondaga County, 5 miles N. of Onondaga, and 130 W. of Albany; bounded N. by Lysander and Cicero, E. by Cicero and Manlius, S. by Onondaga, W. by Camillus. This Town embraces the principal salt-springs and salt-works of this State, with the Onondaga or Salt Lake. The outlet of this lake communicates with Seneca river on the N. line, through which is opened an extensive boat navigation.  The salt trade, and the manufacture of that article, employ a very large proportion of the inhabitants, who are necessarily collected into clusters around the various works. These Springs belong to the people of this State, and for the incomes, &c., see Revenue and Expenses. An officer is appointed to superintend the public interests in these works, who pays the revenues derived from them into the public funds. The Erie Canal crosses the S. part of this Town, from which is a side-cut to Salina Village, at the head of the Onondaga Lake, where there is a capacious basin, for boats in the salt trade.  The completion of the navigation of this, will be the means of increasing the manufacture of salt here, and in other parts of this region, to an extent that it could never have attained otherwise. Onondaga Lake, 6 miles long, and averaging 1 mile wide, is about the cnetre of this Township, 9 miles long, and averaging 4 1/2 in width. Salina consists of the land reserved by law of this state for the use of the Salt Springs, and 8 or 9 lots of the original Township of Manlius. But a small part of the land of this Township is in a state of cultivation, the State having reserved the lands in wood, for supplying fuel to the salt-works. The Canal will now do this, and as the timber has been principally consumed, the lands will soon be sold to individuals, and improved. THe water from which the salt is made, rises in the marshes around its borders, or in the margin of the Lake. Wells of 8 to 12 feet deep, supply 15 to 20,000 gallons per day, containing 16 to 25 ounces of salt per gallon of water. The quantity of first rate water is immense, and there is no reasonable ground for doubt that a supply of it might be had, here, for making several millions of bushels of salt every year. THe water contains, besides common Salt or the Muriate of Soda, several other substances, in small proportions, such as muriate of lime, sulphate of lime, oxyde of iron, and Epsom salts. But with a little care in the manufacture, these substances are excluded, so that they do little injury. Several materials are used in the process for this purpose, the best of which, say the most experienced manufacturers, are blood, milk, glue, and eggs. They are put into the pickle, collect the impurities, rise to the surface in scum, and are all taken off together. Lime, alum, resin, ashes, and ley of wood ashes, are also used by some, but only partially, as they are supposed to act inuriously. It has always been the practice at these works to hasten the processes to completion, and of course to make only fine salt; but experiements are now makiong to produce coarse salt, and there can be no doubt of its practicability, or of its great important to the public. To do thise, it is only necessary to prepare the pickle, and allow it time to form its own crystals, at perfect leisure, when the crystallization will be natural, not forced, and the Salt will be more pure and far more valuable. i have long wondered that these facts have been so stangely overlooked. The quantity of Salt made in this Town, yearly, for othe 2 late years, has been near a half million of bushels, and the average price at the works something less than 12 1/2 cents per bushel, exclusive of the duty of 12 1/2 cents imposed by the State, which goes to the Canal fund. See ONONDAGA LAKE, between which and Seneca River, a canal is to be made, lowering the Lake down to the level of the River, and draining the marches. There are 4 considerable Villages in this Township, known by local names, each having a Post-Office of its own name: Salina, Liverpool, Syracuse, and Geddes, or Geddesburgh. Salt is made at all these places, except Syracuse. Salina Village, is situated at the head of the Onondaga Lake, 5 miles N. of the Onondaga C.H., 36 SSE. of Oswego, 50 from Utica by land, and 62 by the Canal. It has a side-cut from the Canal at Syracuse, and at both ends of this are extensive basins. This side-cut is to be connected with the Salt Lake at this place by 5 Locks, descent 38 feet.  It has 60 manufactories of Salt, about 100 dwelling houses, a Church, school house, and Masonic Lodge, and the Salina Post-Office. -

About 1 mile S. of this is the Post-Village of Syracuse, on the Erie Canal, having a side-cut to Salina, and a basin. It stands also at the junction of the Seneca turnpike and the Canal, and the road from Onondaga Hollow, and has about 50 houses, and a school-house. Near this Village, the Canal is carried over the Onondaga Creek, in a stone aqueduct of 4 arches, of about 40 feet chord; and there is also a stone bridge over the Canal. -

One mile E. of this is the western extremity of the long level of 69 1/2 miles, of the Erie Canal, and the firs tLocks W. of Frankfort, 2 near together, of 10 feet lift, each; there is 1 at Syracuse of 6, and 1 mile W. another of 6 feet. See ERIE CANAL. There is a grist mill and saw mill at Syracuse, the only ones in this Town. The Post Village of Liverpool, 3 miles N. of Salina, on the E. shore of the Lake, has about 50 houses, 25 Salt Works, and a school-house. The Post-Village of Geddes, is on the Erie Canal, in the W. part of this Township, has about 45 houses, a school-house, and 12 or 14 Salt Works, with considerable business. These manufactories, or Salt Works, have 10 to 16 kettles each, of the capacity of 70 to 125 gallons. One of them, in complete operation, will make 35 to 55 bushels of Salt every 24 hours, and consume 2 to 2 1/2 cords of wood. If I understand my Correspondent rightly, works are about to be erected at Syracuse for the making of coarse salt, to encourage which there was a law passed last winter. Lodi, 1 1/2 mile E. of Syracuse, is as yet but a village on paper. The lots will be exposed to sale this Summer, and it has a handsome town plot, on the Canal, at the western extremity of the Rome summit level. See FRANKFORT, for the eastern extremity. In 1823, 696,000 bushels of salt were made in this town, on which $87000, accrued as duties to the Canal fund, being an increase of $20,500, from the amount in 1822. Population, 1814: 111 engaged in agriculture, 362 in manufactures, and 18 in commerce; 3 foreigners not naturalized; 15 free blacks, 4 slaves: taxable property, $73700; electors, 454; 1000 acres of improved land: 435 cattle, 172 horses, 297 sheep: yards of cloth, 1413: 1 grist mill, 1 saw mill, 1 oil mill, 2 asheries: 4 school districts and school-houses, 1 in each Village; public monies, $271.62; number of children, 484; number taught in 1821, 329.

A.K., J.M.A., J.H., J.G.

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14 June 1997

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