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New York Counties

There are 62 counties in the State of New York. The first twelve counties in New York were created immediately after the British annexation of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, although two of these counties have since been abolished. The most recent county formation in New York was in 1912, when Bronx County was created from the portions of New York City that had been annexed from Westchester County. New York's counties are named for a variety of Native American words, British provinces, cities, and royalty, early American statesmen and generals, and state politicians.
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Oswego County, New York

Oswego County Education, Geography, and History

County Seat: Oswego
Year Organized: 1816
Square Miles: 953
Court House:

46 E Bridge Street
County Courthouse
Oswego, NY 13126-2118

Etymology - Origin of County Name

from the Iroquois word meaning "the out-pouring," referring to the mouth of the Oswego


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

County History

Oswego County was taken from Oneida and Onondaga counties in 1816; centrally distant from New York NW. 295, and from Albany 150 miles. Greatest length E. and W. 37 miles, greatest breadth N. and S. 30 milles. The surface is level upon the west, south, and southeast; in the interior rolling, and in the north rising into hills. The soil generally is of a medium quality, some of it highly fertile, better adapted to grass than grain. With the exception of the Oswego river, there are no large streams. "The towns west of the Oswego river constituted a part of the military tract. The towns east of the river constitute a part of "Scriba's patent." These lands were originally granted to Nicholas Roosevelt, of New York, who not complying with the terms of sale, they were sold to George Scriba, a native of Germany, and at that time a merchant in New York. The town of Richland, a large part of Volney, about one half of Scriba, and the town of Vienna, in the county of Oneida, upon a sale of part of Mr. Roosevelt's interest by process from chancery, were jointly purchased by Gen. Alexander Hamilton, John Lawrence, and John B. Church." The county has 20 towns. Pop.43,820. (Historical Collections of the State of New York, by John W. Barber and Henry Howe, New York; Published for the Authors by S. Tuttle, 194 Chatham-Square. Price Three Dollars. 1841.)

Oswego County is bounded by the Oneida and Oswego rivers, Lake Ontario and Oneida Lake. Native people used the rivers and lakes as highways for centuries and there were campsites with names such as Kah-ne-wo-nah (Iroquois) “Place of the Tall Pines” in Phoenix, Caugh-de-noy (Iroquois) “Eel Lying Down” in the hamlet of the same name, and Se-ugh-kay (Oneida) “Lake Pours Out” at the mouth of the Oneida River in Brewerton. Full History at NYSAC


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 1550', is the highest point.

According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,312 square miles (3,399 km2), of which, 953 square miles (2,469 km2) of it is land and 359 square miles (929 km2) of it (27.35%) is water.

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

Neighboring Counties:

  • Lewis County, New York - northeast
  • Jefferson County, New York - northeast
  • Oneida County, New York - east
  • Madison County, New York - southeast
  • Onondaga County, New York - south
  • Cayuga County, New York - southwest
  • Lake Ontario and Canada - northwest


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