The Erie Canal is a canal in New York, United States, part of the east–west, cross-state route of the New York State Canal System. It ran 363 miles from where Albany meets the Hudson River to where Buffalo meets Lake Erie, it was built to create a navigable water route from New York City and the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. When completed in 1825, it was the second longest canal in the world and affected the development and economy of New York, New York City, the United States; the canal was first proposed in the 1780s re-proposed in 1807. A survey was authorized and executed in 1808. Proponents of the project wore down opponents; the canal has 34 numbered locks starting with Black Rock Lock and ending downstream with the Troy Federal Lock. Both are owned by the federal government, it has an elevation difference of about 565 feet. It opened on October 26, 1825. In a time when bulk goods were limited to pack animals, there were no railways, water was the most cost-effective way to ship bulk goods.
The canal was denigrated by its political opponents as "Clinton's Folly" or "Clinton's Big Ditch". It was the first transportation system between the Eastern Seaboard and the western interior of the United States that did not require portage, it was faster than carts pulled by draft animals and cut transport costs by about 95%. The canal gave New York City's port an incomparable advantage over all other U. S. ushered in the state's 19th century political and cultural ascendancy. The canal fostered a population surge in western New York and opened regions farther west to settlement, it was enlarged between 1834 and 1862. The canal's peak year was 1855. In 1918, the western part of the canal was enlarged to become part of the New York State Barge Canal, which extended to the Hudson River running parallel to the eastern half of the Erie Canal. In 2000, the United States Congress designated the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor to recognize the national significance of the canal system as the most successful and influential human-built waterway and one of the most important works of civil engineering and construction in North America.
The canal has been used by recreational watercraft since the retirement of the last large commercial ship, Day Peckinpaugh, in 1994. The canal saw a recovery in commercial traffic in 2008. From the first days of the expansion of the British colonies from the coast of North America into the heartland of the continent, a recurring problem was that of transportation between the coastal ports and the interior; this was not unique to the Americas, the problem still exists in those parts of the world where muscle power provides a primary means of transportation within a region. An ancient solution was implemented in many cultures — floating vessels move more than land vehicles since friction becomes less. Close to the seacoast, rivers provided adequate waterways, but the Appalachian Mountains, 400 miles inland, running over 1,500 miles long as a barrier range with just five places where mule trains or wagon roads could be routed, presented a great challenge. Passengers and freight had to travel overland, a journey made more difficult by the rough condition of the roads.
In 1800, it took 2-1/2 weeks to travel overland from New York to Cleveland, Ohio. The principal exportable product of the Ohio Valley was grain, a high-volume, low-priced commodity, bolstered by supplies from the coast, it was not worth the cost of transporting it to far-away population centers. This was a factor leading to farmers in the west turning their grains into whiskey for easier transport and higher sales, the Whiskey Rebellion. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, it became clear to coastal residents that the city or state that succeeded in developing a cheap, reliable route to the West would enjoy economic success, the port at the seaward end of such a route would see business increase greatly. In time, projects were devised in Virginia, Maryland and deep into the coastal states; the successes of the Canal du Midi in France, Bridgewater Canal in Britain, Eider Canal in Denmark spurred on what was called in Britain "canal mania". The idea of a canal to tie the East Coast to the new western settlements was discussed as early as 1724: New York provincial official Cadwallader Colden made a passing reference to improving the natural waterways of western New York.
Gouverneur Morris and Elkanah Watson were early proponents of a canal along the Mohawk River. Their efforts led to the creation of the "Western and Northern Inland Lock Navigation Companies" in 1792, which took the first steps to improve navigation on the Mohawk and construct a canal between the Mohawk and Lake Ontario, but it was soon discovered that private financing was insufficient. Christopher Colles surveyed the Mohawk Valley, made a presentation to the New York state legislature in 1784, proposing a shorter canal from Lake Ontario; the proposal was never implemented. Jesse Hawley had envisioned encouraging the growing of large quantities of grain on the western New York plains for sale on the Eastern seaboard. However, he went bankrupt trying to ship grain to the coast. While in Canandaigua debtors' prison, Hawley began pressing for the construction of a canal along the 90-mile (140 km
Seneca River (New York)
The Seneca River flows 61.6 miles through the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York in the United States. The main tributary of the Oswego River – the second largest river flowing into Lake Ontario – the Seneca drains 3,468 square miles in parts of fourteen New York counties; the Seneca flows east, is wide and deep with a gentle gradient. Much of the river has been channelized to form part of the Erie Canal; the Seneca River begins at Geneva in Seneca County, as the outflow of Seneca Lake, flowing east past Waterloo and Seneca Falls. Skirting the northern end of Cayuga Lake at the Montezuma Marsh, it turns north, receiving the Clyde River from the west, forming the Seneca–Cayuga county line the border of Cayuga and Wayne counties; the river passes under Interstate 90, flowing northeast past Weedsport, across the middle of Cayuga County into Cross Lake. Below Cross Lake the Seneca River enters Onondaga County, it turns north east, past Baldwinsville and Liverpool, along the northern edge of metro Syracuse where it receives the outflow of Onondaga Lake.
The river flows north to join the Oneida River at Three Rivers on the Onondaga–Oswego County line, forming the Oswego River. From the confluence, the Oswego flows a further 23 miles north, emptying into Lake Ontario at the city of Oswego; the Seneca River watershed drains a total of 3,468 square miles, or about two-thirds of the greater Oswego River basin. There are about 4,370 miles of streams in the Seneca basin; the Seneca receives the outflow of seven of the eleven Finger Lakes: Canandaigua, Seneca, Owasco and Otisco. Canandaigua Lake flows via the Clyde River into the Seneca River. Keuka Lake empties into Seneca Lake via the Keuka Lake Outlet. Owasco and Skaneateles Lakes join the Seneca through their eponymous outlet streams, while Otisco Lake flows via Ninemile Creek into Onondaga Lake, which in turn empties into the Seneca. LeftBlack BrookClyde RiverCrusoe CreekSpring Lake OutletMuskrat CreekRightKendig CreekSilver CreekSucker BrookSampson CreekDemont CreekCayuga LakeCrane BrookOwasco RiverSkaneateles CreekDead CreekCrooked BrookOnondaga Lake The river is named for the Seneca people, whose traditional lands extended between Lake Erie and Seneca Lake.
The Onondaga inhabited the area in present-day Onondaga County, around Onondaga Lake and Syracuse, the Cayuga inhabited the river valley and lakeshores in between. All three were part of the Iroquois League, believed to have been established between 1570 and 1600. For hundreds of years before the arrival of Europeans, the river was an important Native American trade route; the first Europeans to reach the Seneca River were Jesuit missionaries in the late 1600s, who established an outpost, St. Stephen, on the river shortly below its origin at Seneca Lake. In 1821 the Seneca Lock Navigation Company completed eight locks along the upper Seneca River above Cayuga Lake to allow navigation to Seneca Lake. By 1828 this had been replaced by a state-owned waterway, the Cayuga-Seneca Canal, which contains eleven locks in 21 miles. Construction of the Seneca reach of the Erie Canal began in the 1820s; the channel between Three Rivers and Cayuga Lake was widened and straightened to accommodate barges, other reaches were bypassed via the construction of parallel canals.
The canal path had to cross the Seneca River at several points, so locks were built to lower boats down to river level, where they were towed across aided by temporary wooden bridges. In 1849 work began to separate the canal from the river, in order to reduce the impact of flooding and sedimentation; the Montezuma Marshes at the outlet of Cayuga Lake were a major obstacle to the Erie Canal path. The stone Seneca River Aqueduct, which carried the canal over the Seneca and Clyde Rivers, opened in 1857 after eight years of construction. At 840 feet it was the second-longest aqueduct on the Erie Canal system. Most of the aqueduct was dynamited in the 1910s to allow navigation on the Barge Canal. Certain points on the Seneca River was an early center of development for industry. Seneca Falls is the location of the only significant natural drop on the river, utilized in the early days to power water mills. Where the river had no natural falls, mill dams were built, one of the earliest of, at Baldwinsville.
In 1915 a dam 80 feet high was built at Seneca Falls to generate hydroelectricity. Below Onondaga Lake, the Seneca River is moderately polluted by industrial and domestic waste, including high levels of mercury, PCBs, dioxin and ammonia; the New York State Department of Health advises limited consumption of fish from the lower river. Parts of the river are infested by non-native zebra mussels, which have depleted the level of dissolved oxygen, impacting fish populations; the population density of mussels in one particular section of the river below Cross Lake is considered among the highest in North America. List of rivers of New York Media related to Seneca River at Wikimedia Commons
Lake Ontario is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. It is surrounded on the north and southwest by the Canadian province of Ontario, on the south and east by the American state of New York, whose water boundaries meet in the middle of the lake. Ontario, Canada's most populous province, was named for the lake. Many of Ontario's most populous cities, including Toronto, Canada's most populous city, Hamilton, are on the lake's northern or western shores. In the Huron language, the name Ontarí'io means "Lake of Shining Waters", its primary inlet is the Niagara River from Lake Erie. The last in the Great Lakes chain, Lake Ontario serves as the outlet to the Atlantic Ocean via the Saint Lawrence River, it is the only Great Lake not to border the state of Michigan. Lake Ontario is the easternmost of the Great Lakes and the smallest in surface area, although it exceeds Lake Erie in volume, it is the 13th largest lake in the world. When its islands are included, the lake's shoreline is 712 miles long.
As the last lake in the Great Lakes' hydrologic chain, Lake Ontario has the lowest mean surface elevation of the lakes at 243 feet above sea level. Its maximum length is 193 statute miles and its maximum width is 53 statute miles; the lake's average depth is 47 fathoms 1 foot, with a maximum depth of 133 fathoms 4 feet. The lake's primary source is the Niagara River, draining Lake Erie, with the St. Lawrence River serving as the outlet; the drainage basin covers 24,720 square miles. As with all the Great Lakes, water levels change both among years; these water level fluctuations are an integral part of lake ecology, produce and maintain extensive wetlands. The lake has an important freshwater fishery, although it has been negatively affected by factors including over-fishing, water pollution and invasive species. Baymouth bars built by prevailing winds and currents have created a significant number of lagoons and sheltered harbors near Prince Edward County and the easternmost shores; the best-known example is Toronto Bay, chosen as the site of the Upper Canada capital for its strategic harbour.
Other prominent examples include Hamilton Harbour, Irondequoit Bay, Presqu'ile Bay, Sodus Bay. The bars themselves are the sites of long beaches, such as Sandbanks Provincial Park and Sandy Island Beach State Park; these sand bars are associated with large wetlands, which support large numbers of plant and animal species, as well as providing important rest areas for migratory birds. Presqu'ile, on the north shore of Lake Ontario, is significant in this regard. One unique feature of the lake is the Z-shaped Bay of Quinte which separates Prince Edward County from the Ontario mainland, save for a 2-mile isthmus near Trenton. Major rivers draining into Lake Ontario include the Niagara River, Don River, Humber River, Trent River, Cataraqui River, Genesee River, Oswego River, Black River, Little Salmon River, the Salmon River; the lake basin was carved out of soft, weak Silurian-age rocks by the Wisconsin ice sheet during the last ice age. The action of the ice occurred along the pre-glacial Ontarian River valley which had the same orientation as today's basin.
Material, pushed southward by the ice sheet left landforms such as drumlins and moraines, both on the modern land surface and the lake bottom, reorganizing the region's entire drainage system. As the ice sheet retreated toward the north, it still dammed the St. Lawrence valley outlet, so the lake surface was at a higher level; this stage is known as Lake Iroquois. During that time the lake drained through present-day Syracuse, New York into the Mohawk River, thence to the Hudson River and the Atlantic; the shoreline created during this stage can be recognized by the beaches and wave-cut hills 10 to 25 miles from the present shoreline. When the ice receded from the St. Lawrence valley, the outlet was below sea level, for a short time the lake became a bay of the Atlantic Ocean, in association with the Champlain Sea; the land rebounded from the release of the weight of about 6,500 feet of ice, stacked on it. It is still rebounding about 12 inches per century in the St. Lawrence area. Since the ice receded from the area last, the most rapid rebound still occurs there.
This means the lake bed is tilting southward, inundating the south shore and turning river valleys into bays. Both north and south shores experience shoreline erosion, but the tilting amplifies this effect on the south shore, causing loss to property owners; the name Ontario is derived from the Huron word Ontarí'io, which means "great lake". The lake was a border between the Huron people and the Iroquois Confederacy in the pre-Columbian era. In the 1600s, the Iroquois drove out the Huron from southern Ontario and settled the northern shores of Lake Ontario; when the Iroquois withdrew and the Anishnabeg / Ojibwa / Mississaugas moved in from the north to southern Ontario, they retained the Iroquois name. It is believed the first European to reach the lake was Étienne Brûlé in 1615; as was their practice, the French explorers introduced other names for the lake. In 1632 and 1656, the lake was referred to as Lac de St. Louis or Lake St. Louis by Samuel de Champlain and cartographer Nicolas Sanson In
Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge
Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge is a wildlife preserve operated by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, encompassing part of the Montezuma Swamp at the north end of Cayuga Lake. The refuge lies between the cities of Rochester and Syracuse, New York, including parts of Seneca and Wayne counties. Most of the refuge lies in the northeast corner of Seneca County; the Montezuma Marshes were designated a National Natural Landmark in May 1973. A significant spot along the Atlantic Flyway, the Refuge provides crucial habitat for migratory waterfowl and other birds. Mammalian species that roam this refuge include raccoon, muskrat, red fox, beaver, gray fox and bats; the Finger Lakes Region was formed by the melting glaciers of the last glacial period, over ten thousand years ago. The northern and southern ends of the lakes developed into extensive marshes. First the Algonquin Indians and the Cayugas of the Iroquois Nation were the earliest known inhabitants to reap the rewards of the bountiful life in the marsh.
The name "Montezuma" was first used in 1806 when Dr. Peter Clark named his hilltop home "Montezuma" after the palace of the Aztec Emperor Montezuma in Mexico City; the Marsh, the Village, the Refuge all acquired the name. There were no dramatic changes in the marsh until the development of the Erie Canal in the 19th century, when it became apparent that feeder canals from Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake would in time link these lakes with the main line. With canal construction, there arose the possibility of draining the marshes, an act was passed relative to the draining of the Cayuga Marshes. Work first began on the canal system on July 4, 1817, the completion was marked by the first passage from Lake Erie to New York City on October 26, 1825. Construction of the Seneca-Cayuga canal began in 1818 and by 1828 boats passed from Geneva to the Erie Canal at Montezuma; the Erie Canal did not affect the marshes as the Seneca River still flowed directly from Cayuga Lake into the marshes. In 1910, the widening and reconstruction of the Seneca and Cayuga extension of the New York State Barge Canal altered the marshes.
A lock was built at the north end of Cayuga Lake and a dam was constructed at the outlet of the lake. This lowered the level of the river by eight to ten feet and the waters drained from the marshes; the meandering rivers were deepened, thereby creating additional drainage-ways. In 1937 the Bureau of Biological Survey, which became the US Fish and Wildlife Service, purchased 6,432 acres of the former marsh; the Civilian Conservation Corps began work on a series of low dikes which would hold water and restore part of the marsh habitat that had once existed. The refuge was opened in 1938 as the Montezuma Migratory Bird Refuge. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 7971 which established the Bird Refuge on September 12, 1938; the refuge provides a stopping point for waterfowl and other migratory birds. The refuge restored marsh land lost to drainage from the construction of the Cayuga and Seneca Canal that linked the Finger Lakes to the Erie Canal. In May 1973, the refuge was designated as the Montezuma Marshes National Natural Landmark by the Secretary of the Department of the Interior.
On September 22, 2000, "Harmony With Nature" - an eight-person team of musicians from around the country - performed a concert at the refuge featuring the music of the late John Denver. This concert at Montezuma NWR marked the first time a musical show had been held on federally protected wildlife land; the 10,004-acre preserve is composed of swamps and channels and is a stopping point for migratory birds. Planners hope to increase the size of the preserve through donations and purchases of surrounding properties; the New York State Thruway passes through the north end of the preserve. While passing motorists can glimpse the preserve as they speed along the Thruway, they may obtain a better view from the 3.5-mile road that begins at the visitors center south of the Thruway. The refuge has an area where bald eagles have been nesting in recent years. In addition to providing wildlife habitat, the refuge provides opportunities for people to observe wildlife; the refuge is open during daylight hours seven days a week.
The 3.5-mile Wildlife Drive is a one-way auto tour that provides many opportunities to observe and photograph wildlife. The main feature of the drive is the 1,600-acre wetland which hosts a rich diversity of waterfowl and other wildlife; the drive is open most of the year with the exception of winter. The two-mile Esker Brook Trail and the 3⁄4-mile Oxbow Trail are available to hikers and walkers. A visitor center and gift shop are open from April 1 to December 1 and have educational brochures and specimens about the refuge and its wildlife. List of National Wildlife Refuges List of National Natural Landmarks in New York Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge webpage New York State's Northern Montezuma Wildlife Management Area webpage Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex
Squaw Island (Canandaigua Lake)
Squaw Island is located at the north end of Canandaigua Lake, near the city of Canandaigua, New York, United States. It is one of two islands in the 11 Finger Lakes, it is described as New York's smallest state park. It formed from the alluvial deposits of nearby Sucker Brook. Limestone from the brook's bedrock dissolved in its waters forms rare lime carbonate oncolites, known locally as "water biscuits", on its shores. Rises in the lake level following the damming of Canandaigua Outlet have reduced the island to a small portion of its former land; the state and local activists have worked together to shore it up against erosion and prevent it from disappearing. The island is located 500 feet south of the mouth of Sucker Brook and 600 feet southwest of the end of the docks at the north end of the lake in Canandaigua. Although both those locations are in the city, the island itself is outside its boundaries, in the town of Canandaigua; the surrounding waters, like much of the shallow north end of the lake, are no deeper than 25 feet it is sometimes possible to wade to it from shore.
It is 145 feet long by 55 feet wide, for a total area just under 8,000 square feet. Several mature deciduous trees grow on the island, its terrain is level rising above the water level. A 10-short-ton granite boulder is located in the middle. Canandaigua Lake, like all the Finger Lakes, was formed at the end of the last Ice Age about 11,000 years ago, from the glacial meltwater flooding the deep glacial moraines that typify the terrain of western Central New York. Squaw Island began to form as a sandbar created by the interactions between the sediments carried in Sucker Brook and the counterclockwise currents along the lakeshore. Prior to European settlement, the island had two long gravel spits projecting to the north and southwest; the first humans known to have settled in the region, the ancestors of the Iroquois Native American tribes, did not live on the island though it was larger than it is now. However, flint arrowheads and other artifacts found on the island suggest it was used for hunting waterfowl and deer.
It may have been used as a staging area for Iroquois warriors in the area mobilizing against the Sullivan Expedition of 1779, during the Revolutionary War. While it is believed that the island got its name from its purported use as a place of refuge for Iroquois women during that time, the island's easy accessibility from the shore makes that use unlikely, thus casts doubt on that story as the origin of the name, it seems more that it emerged from the island's use as a hunting and fishing spot. There have been some efforts to change it in the 21st century, as with other places with "squaw" in the name, since the use of the term is seen as insensitive. In 1900, paleontologist John M. Clarke published a paper about the rare oncolites that had long accumulated on the island's north shore; the disc-shaped white rocks, known locally as "water biscuits", were light yet strong when wet but brittle enough to break by hand when dry. They were formed, Clarke wrote, when lime that had dissolved in the water from the limestone bedrock that Sucker Brook flowed over precipitated after algae that had grown on pebble or gravel substrates used up enough of the free carbon dioxide in the water, a process that repeated itself enough times to form the biscuits.
He called it "a most interesting instance of the influence of plant growth upon lime deposits" and compared to similar phenomena recorded in European lakes that help explain the formation of similar structures found in fossil records elsewhere. Clarke's paper attracted the interest of Mary Clark Thompson, a Canandaigua native and daughter of former governor Myron H. Clark. After the 1899 death of her husband, New York City banker Frederick Ferris Thompson, she had returned to Sonnenberg Gardens, her estate in Canandaigua, used the fortune she had inherited from him to finance civic improvements, she used her influence and connections to have the island, state property since the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua, declared a New York State Museum Reservation in 1918 in order to protect it. The following year she had the large granite boulder moved to the center of the island, with an explanatory plaque affixed to it. Throughout the rest of the 20th century, Squaw Island would face threats greater than those that could be held at bay by making it a protected area.
Damming of Canandaigua Outlet drove up the lake's water level, leaving most of the two spits permanently underwater. The delta was dredged out of existence in the late 1950s to allow better lake access from a marina to the west. In 1975 it was made part of the state's newly created Historic Preservation Trust. Two years the state's Department of Environmental Conservation, which by managed the land, tried to sell it to the Town of Canandaigua, within whose boundaries the island sat, for $1. In the mid-1980s the state's Office of Parks and Historic Preservation dredged Sucker Brook all the way to the Parrish Street bridge in the city of Canandaigua in order to expand facilities for a state marine park and boat launch. DEC sank cedar took other measures to protect its shores from erosion; the DEC designates the property as Squaw Island Unique Area. Further protect
Ithaca, New York
Ithaca is a city in the Finger Lakes region of New York. It is the seat of Tompkins County, as well as the largest community in the Ithaca–Tompkins County metropolitan area; this area contains the municipalities of the Town of Ithaca, the village of Cayuga Heights, other towns and villages in Tompkins County. The city of Ithaca is located on the southern shore of Cayuga Lake, in Central New York, about 45 miles south-west-west of Syracuse, it is named for the Greek island of Ithaca. Ithaca is home to Cornell University, an Ivy League school of over 20,000 students, most of whom study at its local campus. In addition, Ithaca College is a private, liberal arts college of over 7,000 students, located just south of the city in the Town of Ithaca, adding to the area's "college town" atmosphere. Nearby is Tompkins Cortland Community College; these three colleges bring tens of thousands of students, who increase Ithaca's seasonal population during the school year. The city's voters are notably more liberal than those in the remainder of Tompkins County or in upstate New York voting for Democratic Party candidates.
As of 2010, the city's population was 30,014. A 2017 census estimate stated the population was 31,006. Namgyal Monastery in Ithaca is the North American seat of the 14th Dalai Lama. Indigenous people occupied this area for thousands of years. At the time of European contact, this area was controlled by the Cayuga Nation, one of the powerful Five Nations of the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois League. Jesuit missionaries from New France are said to have had a mission to the Cayuga as early as 1657. Saponi and Tutelo peoples, Siouan-speaking tribes occupied lands at the south end of Cayuga Lake. Dependent tributaries of the Cayuga, they had been permitted to settle on the tribe's hunting lands at the south end of Cayuga Lake, as well as in Pony Hollow of what is known as present-day Newfield, New York. Remnants of these tribes had been forced from Virginia and North Carolina by tribal conflicts and European colonial encroachment; the Tuscarora people, an Iroquoian-speaking tribe from the Carolinas, migrated after defeat in the Yamasee War.
During the Revolutionary War, four of the six Iroquois nations were allied with the British, although bands made decisions on fighting in a decentralized way. Conflict with the rebel colonists was fierce throughout western New York. In retaliation for conflicts to the east, the 1779 Sullivan Expedition was conducted against the Iroquois peoples in the west of the state, destroying more than 40 villages and stored winter crops, it destroyed the Tutelo village of Coregonal, located near what is now the junction of state routes 13 and 13A just south of the Ithaca city limits. Most Iroquois were forced from the state after the Revolutionary War; the state sold off the former Iroquois lands to stimulate development and settlement by European Americans. Within the current boundaries of the City of Ithaca, Native Americans maintained only a temporary hunting camp at the base of Cascadilla Gorge. In 1788, eleven men from Kingston, New York came to the area with two Delaware people guides, to explore what they considered wilderness.
The following year Jacob Yaple, Isaac Dumond, Peter Hinepaw returned with their families and constructed log cabins. That same year Abraham Bloodgood of Albany obtained a patent from the state for 1,400 acres, which included all of the present downtown west of Tioga Street. In 1790, the federal government and state began an official program to grant land in the area, known as the Central New York Military Tract, as payment for service to the American soldiers of the Revolutionary War, as the government was cash poor. Most local land titles trace back to these Revolutionary war grants; as part of this process, the Central New York Military Tract, which included northern Tompkins County, was surveyed by Simeon De Witt, Bloodgood's son-in-law. De Witt was the nephew of Governor George Clinton; the Commissioners of Lands of New York State met in 1790. The Military Tract township in which proto-Ithaca was located was named the Town of Ulysses. A few years De Witt moved to Ithaca called variously "The Flats," "The City," or "Sodom".
Around 1791 De Witt sold them at modest prices. That same year John Yaple built a grist mill on Cascadilla Creek; the first frame house was erected in 1800 by Abram Markle. In 1804 the village had a postmaster, in 1805 a tavern. Ithaca became a transshipping point for salt from curing beds near Salina, New York to buyers south and east; this prompted construction in 1810 of the Owego Turnpike. When the War of 1812 cut off access to Nova Scotia gypsum, used for fertilizer, Ithaca became the center of trade in Cayuga gypsum; the Cayuga Steamboat Company was organized in 1819 and in 1820 launched the first steamboat on Cayuga Lake, the Enterprise. In 1821, the village was incorporated at the same time the Town of Ithaca was organized and separated from the parent Town of Ulysses. In 1834, the Ithaca and Owego Railroad's first horse-drawn train began service, connecting traffic on the east-west Erie Canal with the Susquehanna River to the south to expand the trade network