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.Syracuse was named after the original Greek city Syracuse (Siracusa in Italian), a city on the eastern coast of the Italian island of Sicily.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.It is the north flowing brine from Tully that is the source of salt for the "salty springs" found along the shoreline of Onondaga lake.The rapid development of this industry in the 18th and 19th centuries led to the nicknaming of this area as "The Salt City".Estimates are not comparable to other geographic levels due to methodology differences that may exist between different data sources.Some estimates presented here come from sample data, and thus have sampling errors that may render some apparent differences between geographies statistically indistinguishable.
At the 2010 census, the city population was 145,252, and its metropolitan area had a population of 662,577.
Joshua Forman wanted to name the village, Corinth, however, when John Wilkinson made an application for a post office in that name in 1820, it was denied because the same name was already in use in New York State in Saratoga County.
Wilkinson, having read a poetical description of Syracuse, Sicily (Siracusa), saw similarities between the gentle hills sloping to the lake and the salt springs that had both "salt and fresh water mingling together".
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When traveling through the United States, it's like the song goes: you can see mountains, prairies, and oceans, sometimes within the same day.