Oswego County, New York

Oswego County, New York

Oswego County Courthouse

Map of New York highlighting Oswego County
Location in the U.S. state of New York
Map of the United States highlighting New York
New York's location in the U.S.
Founded 1816
Seat Oswego
Largest city Oswego
  Total 1,312 sq mi (3,398 km2)
  Land 952 sq mi (2,466 km2)
  Water 360 sq mi (932 km2), 27%
  (2010) 122,109
  Density 128/sq mi (49/km²)
Congressional districts 22nd, 24th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.oswegocounty.com

Oswego County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 122,109.[1] The county seat is Oswego.[2] The county name is from a Mohawk language word meaning "the outpouring", referring to the mouth of the Oswego River.

Oswego County is part of the Syracuse, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area.


When counties were established in the British colony of New York in 1683, the present Oswego County was part of Albany County. This was an enormous county, including the northern part of what is now New York state as well as all of the present state of Vermont and, in theory, extending westward to the Pacific Ocean. This county was reduced in size on July 3, 1766 by the creation of Cumberland County in the British colony, and further on March 16, 1770 by the creation of Gloucester County, both containing territory now in Vermont.

On March 12, 1772, what was left of Albany County was split into three parts, one remaining under the name Albany County. One of the other pieces, Tryon County, contained the western portion (and thus, since no western boundary was specified, theoretically still extended west to the Pacific). The eastern boundary of Tryon County was approximately five miles west of the present city of Schenectady, and the county included the western part of the Adirondack Mountains and the area west of the West Branch of the Delaware River. The area then designated as Tryon County now includes 37 counties of New York State. The county was named for William Tryon, colonial governor of New York.

In the years prior to 1776, most of the Loyalists in Tryon County fled to Canada. In 1784, following the peace treaty that ended the American Revolutionary War, the name of Tryon County was changed to Montgomery County to honor the general, Richard Montgomery, who had captured several places in Canada and died attempting to capture the city of Quebec, replacing the name of the hated British governor.

In 1789, the size of Montgomery County was reduced by the splitting off of Ontario County from Montgomery. The actual area split off from Montgomery County was much larger than the present county, also including the present Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Steuben, Wyoming, Yates, and part of Schuyler and Wayne counties.

Oswego County was partly in Macomb's Purchase of 1791.

In 1791, Herkimer County was one of three counties split off from Montgomery (the other two being Otsego, and Tioga County). This was much larger than the present county, however, and was reduced by a number of subsequent splits.

In 1794, Onondaga County was created from a part of Herkimer County. This county was larger than the current Onondaga County, including the present Cayuga, Cortland, and part of Oswego counties.

In 1798, Oneida County was created from a part of Herkimer County. This county was larger than the current Oneida County, including the present Jefferson, Lewis, and part of Oswego counties.

In 1805, Oneida County was reduced in size by the splitting off of Jefferson and Lewis counties.

In 1816, Oswego County was created as New York State's 48th county from parts of Oneida and Onondaga counties.

In 1841, businessmen in Oswego attempted to divide Oswego County into two counties. They failed to persuade the State to do so, however. Occasionally, the topic still comes up today by dividing the county into an east part and a west part, with the east portion being renamed "Salmon County".

At various times, beginning in 1847 and as late as 1975, attempts were made to move the county seat to the Village of Mexico. However, none of these attempts succeeded.

During 1–12 February 2007, a major lake effect snowfall dumped over ten feet of snow in many places in Oswego County, resulting in several roof collapses, some communities being cut off, and some people being snowed-in in their homes. A state of emergency was declared for the county, and the National Guard was sent in to help clear the snow.

On April 20, 2002, around 6:50 am, many residents of Oswego County were shaken awake by a magnitude 5.2 earthquake centered near Plattsburgh, New York. Minor damage to a Fire Hall in Altmar was the only report of damage. No injuries were sustained.

Government and politics

Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democratic
2008 48.52% 21,909 51.11% 23,078
2004 51.01% 26,325 46.76% 24,133
2000 47.96% 23,249 47.15% 22,857
1996 37.57% 17,159 44.75% 20,440
1992 36.38% 18,530 33.36% 16,990
1988 57.37% 25,362 41.69% 18,430
1984 68.39% 31,481 31.17% 14,347
1980 53.63% 22,816 36.07% 15,343
1976 59.19% 23,949 40.36% 16,332
1972 71.84% 29,109 27.93% 11,317
1968 54.39% 20,041 39.72% 14,636
1964 33.35% 12,415 66.59% 24,788
1960 60.69% 24,013 39.28% 15,544

The Oswego County legislature has 25 members, elected from equal population districts, reduced from 36 in 1993.

District Representation (2016)[3]

District Number Municipality Representative
1 Sandy Creek, Redfield, Boylston Margaret Kastler
2 Orwell, Albion, Williamstown, Richland Milferd Potter, Majority Whip (R)
3 Pulaski, Richland Shawn Doyle
4 Amboy, Hastings, Parish, Williamstown, West Monroe David Holst
5 Constantia Roy Reehil
6 Hastings, West Monroe John Martino
7 Mexico John Proud
8 Palermo, Hastings, Schroeppel Daniel LeClair
9 Central Square, Hastings James Weatherup
10 Volney, Granby, Schroeppel Robert Hayes, Sr.
11 Volney Linda Lockwood, Legislature Vice Chairwoman
12 Schroeppel, Hastings Richard Kline
13 New Haven, Scriba Kevin Gardner, Legislature Chairman
14 Scriba Stephen Walpole
15 City of Oswego Jacob A. Mulcahey
16 City of Oswego Thomas Drumm
17 City of Oswego, Scriba Shane Broadwell, Majority Leader
18 City of Oswego Heather DelConte
19 Minetto, Oswego (Town), Hannibal, Granby Marie Schadt
20 Oswego (Town) Tim Stahl
21 Hannibal Terry Wilbur
22 Granby, City of Fulton James Karasek
23 Granby Morris Sorbello
24 City of Fulton, Granby Daniel Farfaglia
25 City of Fulton Frank Castiglia, Jr.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,312 square miles (3,400 km2), of which 952 square miles (2,470 km2) is land and 360 square miles (930 km2) (27%) is water.[4]

Oswego County is in northwestern New York State, just north of Syracuse and northwest of Utica, on the eastern shore of Lake Ontario. Part of the Tug Hill Plateau is in the eastern part of the county and, at 1,550 feet (470 m), is the highest point.[5] The Salmon River Falls, a 110-foot (34 m) waterfall, is a popular sightseeing destination in the northeastern portion of the county.[6]

There are two harbors in the county, Oswego Harbor at the mouth of the Oswego River and Port Ontario on the Salmon River. The first major port of call on the Great Lakes is the Port of Oswego Authority dock.

Adjacent counties

Major highways


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 2015120,146[7]−1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790–1960[9] 1900–1990[10]
1990–2000[11] 2010–2013[1]

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 122,377 people, 45,522 households, and 31,228 families residing in the county. The population density was 128 people per square mile (50/km²). There were 52,831 housing units at an average density of 55 per square mile (21/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.17% White, 0.59% Black or African American, 0.41% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.48% from other races, and 0.93% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.30% of the population. 15.5% were of Irish, 14.0% German, 13.7% Italian, 13.3% English, 9.6% American, 7.9% French and 5.3% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000. 96.2% spoke English and 1.7% Spanish as their first language.

There were 45,522 households out of which 35.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.80% were married couples living together, 10.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.40% were non-families. 24.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the county the population was spread out with 26.80% under the age of 18, 10.90% from 18 to 24, 28.90% from 25 to 44, 22.10% from 45 to 64, and 11.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 97.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,598, and the median income for a family was $43,821. Males had a median income of $34,976 versus $23,938 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,853. About 9.70% of families and 14.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.10% of those under age 18 and 9.50% of those age 65 or over.

Oswego County is also home to two colleges: State University of New York at Oswego located in the Town of Oswego and the Fulton Branch Campus of Cayuga County Community College located in the City of Fulton.


A map of towns, cities and villages located in Oswego County, New York

Oswego County has 22 towns, 2 cities, and 10 villages.




Census-designated places


Swimming places in the county include

on Lake Ontario[13]
Unofficial swimming places include
Swimming on Oneida Lake
Pool swimming includes

See also


  1. 1 2 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. White, Shannon. "Oswego County Legislature". oswegocounty.com. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  4. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  5. Oswego County Clerk's Office, NY
  6. Minetor, Randi (2014). Hiking waterfalls in New York: a guide to the state's best waterfall hikes. Guildford, Conn.: Falcon Guides. pp. 67–69. ISBN 0762787503. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  7. "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  8. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  9. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  10. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  11. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  12. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  13. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Visit Oswego County's Beaches and Pools
  14. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Oswego County Division of Promotion and Tourism: Swimming

External links

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Coordinates: 43°28′N 76°12′W / 43.47°N 76.20°W / 43.47; -76.20

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