Onondaga Lake (ŏnəndäˈgə, –dôˈ–) [key], brackish lake, 5 mi (8 km) long and 1 mi (1.6 km) wide, central N.Y., NW of Syracuse. In 1654, Father LeMoyne, a missionary, was taken to salt springs along the lake shore by the Onondagas. He showed them how to obtain salt from the water by boiling it. In 1795 the lake was purchased from the Native Americans by New York state for its salt resources. The Salt Museum on the lakeshore near Liverpool contains relics of the early salt industry, which thrived in the mid-19th cent.
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