Syracuse, New York, the seat of Onondaga County. It lies in the central part of the state on Onondaga Lake, at the edge of the scenic Finger Lakes region.
Syracuse is a major commercial, industrial, and transportation center in a rich agricultural region and has diversified manufacturing. Electronics equipment and electrical machinery account for much of the industrial production. Other products are fabricated metal goods, chemicals, drugs, processed foods, and fine china. The city is served by major north-south and east-west Interstate highways, the New York State Barge Canal, railways, and an airport.
Attractions in the city include the Everson Museum of Art, noted for its collection of American paintings; the Canal Museum, which traces the history of canal building in the United States; and the performing arts center in the Onondaga County Civic Center. Nearby are a reconstructed 17th-century French fort and the Salt Museum, which has exhibits on the city's early salt-processing industry. A major annual event is the New York State Fair, held here in late summer. Educational institutions include Syracuse University and LeMoyne College.
Syracuse has the mayor-council form of government.
The French established a fort near the site of Syracuse in the mid-17th century but abandoned it after two years. The first permanent white settlers came to the area in the 1780's and began processing salt from local springs. During the early 19th century the salt industry and improved transportation facilities, including the Erie Canal and several railways, stimulated growth. The city was incorporated in 1847. Diversified manufacturing gradually replaced salt production, and Syracuse continued to grow rapidly well into the 20th century. Expansion tapered off after World War II.