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Syracuse City Guide
The first settlers in the Syracuse area were a group of French Jesuits, soldiers, and furriers who arrived sometime in 1656 to set up a mission. At the invitation of the Onondaga Nation, the French established the Ste. Marie de Gannentaha mission on the northeast shore of Onondaga Lake. The mission lasted less than two years, however, due to intimations from the neighboring Mohawk Nation that the French visitors would suffer a horrible fate if they remained among the Onondaga. The settlers abandoned the mission in the middle of a cold, March night in 1658.
A trading post was established on the site following the Revolutionary War, but it was the discovery of salt in the swamps in 1784 that brought more settlers flocking to the area. Salt production became a major staple of the community, which was dubbed "Salt Port." The settlement went through several name changes over the next few decades, including Bogardus Corners, South Salina, and Corinth. When the village applied for a post office in 1824, the U.S. Postal Service rejected the name Corinth because there was already a post office by that name in New York. Inspired by the salt industry in Syracuse, Italy, the village adopted that name as their own.