History of Marcellus, 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. 305-306

MARCELLUS, a Post-Township of Onondaga County, 10 miles W. of Onondaga, 60 miles W. of Utica, and 157 W. of Albany; bounded N. by Camillus, E. by Onondaga and Otisco, S. by Spafford, and by Sempronius of the County of Cayuga, W. by Owasco and Brutus of Cayuga County. Its extent N. and S. is 11 miles, and 9 1/2 E. and W. -

This town embraces about half the length of Skaneateles and Otisco Lakes, which discharge northward, in streams of a good size for mills, and abounding with fine sites.  The surface is gently undulated with swells of a moderate elevation, and the soil is rich and fertile. There are ledges of fine blue limestone, of an excellent quality. -

Skaneateles creek drives 4 grain mills, 4 saw mills, 3 fulling mills, 3 carding machines, an oil mill, and 2 trip hammers, in this town. On the Otisco creek, which runs N. from Otisco Lake, through the E. part of Marcellus into Camillus, there are 19 mills and 1 furnace.  The land is held by right of soil, and well cultivated. The Seneca Turnpike, a part of the grand chain of good roads from Albany to Niagaram, leads across this town. -

The inhabitants manufacture much of their clothing in the household way. Near the N. line of this town, a considerable proportion of the waters of Skaneateles creek disappear, and are lost in the chasms of the limestone ledges: In the next valley E. of this, flows the Otisco creek, lying considerably lower than the Skaneateles; and in this creek are very large springs, near the E. line of marcellus, supposed to be fed by the subterranean passage from the larger stream. However this may be, the waters of the Otisco, for a short distance below these springs, possess strong petrifactive qualities, not observable above. The limestone of this country abounds with petrifactions. There are 4 Post-Offices in this town, and 2 considerable Villages. Marcellus, on the Otisco formerly called Nine Mile Creek, 6 miles E. of Skaneateles, has a church, school-house, and 40 houses, with the Marcellus Post-Office. Skaneateles, a handsome Post-Village, on the outlet of the lake of the same name, 145 miles a little N. of W. from Albany, has 100 houses, stores, offices, &c., a handsome Presbyterian church, a library, several mills, and a good deal of business. It stands on the Seneca turnpike, as does Marcellus V., and here also temrinates a turnpike, of 80 miles in length, from Richfield in Otsgeo COunty.  They will shortly be intersected here by a turnpike from Homer, in Cortlandt County, to Elbridge, in Camillus. On the W. shore of the Lake, near this place, is a Friends' Boarding School, of some celebrity. Its situation is pleasant and healthy. Clintonville P.O., is on the Hamilton and Skaneateles turnpike, near the centre of the town, 4 miles E. of Skaneateles. Borodino P.O., is on the E. shore of Skaneateles Lake, 7 1/2 miles SE. of Skaneateles, on the road to Spafford and Homer. In some of the Post-Office Tables, a 'Marietta, Onondaga Co., N.Y.,' appears, but there is no such Post-Office, at this time. The place so called, is in this town, 2 miles from Amber P.O., in Otisco, and only deserves this explanatory notice. Population, 6503; farmers, 1044; 267 mechanics; 10 traders; 30 foreigners not naturalized; 8 slaves, 26 free blacks; taxable property, $480,000; school districts, 33; schools kept 8 months in 12; public monies received in 1821, $819.50; No. of children between 5 and 15, 2181; No. that received instruction in the schools that year, 2219; electors, 1161; 26894 acres of improved land; 6878 cattle, 1,420 horses, 16628 sheep; 68432 yards of cloth made in families in 1821; 13 grist mills, 15 saw mills, 3 oil mills, 10 fulling mills, 24 carding machines, 3 cotton and woollen factories, 1 trip hammer, 9 distilleries, and 3 asheries.

J.M.A.

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14 June 1997

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