The city has functioned as a major crossroads over the last two centuries, first between the Erie Canal and its branch canals, then of the railway network.
Marie de Gannentaha, on the northeast shore of Onondaga Lake.
Jesuit missionaries visiting the Syracuse region in the mid 1600s reported salty brine springs around the southern end of "Salt Lake", known today as Onondaga Lake.
The 1788 Treaty of Fort Stanwix, and the subsequent designation of the area by the state of New York as the Onondaga Salt Springs Reservation provided the basis for commercial salt production from the late 1700s through the early 1900s; brine from wells that tapped into halite (common salt) beds in the Salina shale near Tully, New York, 15 miles south of the city were developed in the 19th century.
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