Onondaga Lake Park: The Great Depression's Gift to Central New York - DVD
The Onondaga County Emergency Work Bureau was established in 1931 to deal with acute local unemployment problems caused by the Great Depression. The Bureau decided that honest work, rather than charity, was a more acceptable path to follow and as a result, thousands of unemployed men were quickly put to work on public improvements that would benefit generations to come.The largest project undertaken by the local Bureau was the reclamation and beautification of the eastern shore of Onondaga Lake. The abandoned Oswego canal was filled in and a cement parkway was built from the city line to Liverpool. An unpaved road continued past the Village, following the path of the old canal bed to just above Mud Lock. The whole area was turned into a beautiful park, with lush landscaping, historic restorations, and inviting recreational areas placed along both sides of the new roads.
Joyce Mills discusses the local Emergency Work Bureau and all the projects undertaken by the relief workers during the 18 months they spent building the park. A partial list of their projects includes the Danforth Salt Swimming Lake, Gale's Salt Well, the Jesuit Well, Griffin Field, the "French Fort," the Salt Museum, Willow Bay, and the restoration of Mud Lock.
Joyce Mills is a former elementary school teacher and retired Liverpool Public Library media specialist. She currently volunteers at the Village Museum and gives local history lectures.
Running Time: 38:13
©2013 Liverpool Public Library