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Our History

Oswego’s only surviving flour mill, Bridie Manor was originally known as “Ontario Mills”. It was built by Abraham Varick in 1833. At the same time he also built the Varick Canal, which bore his name. The Canal is no longer in existence, but you passed over the dry bed of the canal as you entered the building.

 

Mr. Varick was a shrewd and enterprising businessman. As the “Random Ashlar” stone was excavated to build the canal, each stone was hand cut and hoisted in place to erect Ontario Mills, which has outlasted every other structure on the canal. Each Stone was placed so well the building has withstood a destructive fire in 1878, and all the rigors of the Oswego winters. At its base the walls are 60 inches thick, and graduate to 24 inches in the attic. Each floor contains 2500 square feet. Many of the hand hewn beams, 12 inches thick, still stand in place, apparently as strong today as they were in 1833.

 

No doubt the structure is an integral part of Oswego’s industrial history. It played a major part in producing over one million barrels of finely ground wheat annually, surpassing even Rochester. A replica of the mighty wheel still stands in place where it always did, a reminder of the days when it received the rushing waters from the Varick Canal to power the huge grist stone. The grist stone is still in the sub basement, sealed off by some former tenant.

 

Picture yourself sitting on our deck, and seeing bulk wheat being unloaded on the riverside, and carried to our back door. Or looking out our banquet room windows and watching grist flour being loaded onto canal boats. All this ended with the flash of fire in 1878.

 

Oswego Atlas of 1880 lists the property as “The Walls of Ontario Mills”. In 1892 it was restored and documented as “Oswego Indurated Fibre Company”, operated by M.J. Cummings, which manufactured more bath tubs and water closets than any other in existence at the time. In 1901, a deed records the building as “Mohawk Manufacturing Company” and in 1918, “The New Fabric Mills”. Apparently this was the last industry in the building, although it passed through several hands until Allen Davis bought it in 1942 and used it for fruit storage. Choeguen Corp. purchased it in 1975 and began the meticulous restoration which resulted in the building as you see it today.

 

While restoration was going on, a mysterious stone ring was uncovered on the outside of the building. It now forms the base of the foundation on the north side.

The building was then sold to Thomas Galloway in 1983 and leased to several Restaurants; Mr. Galloway named the area “Bridie Square” after his wife, Bridgit.

In 1987, the Restaurant was leased to the Lombardo family and purchased by them in 1988. Adopting the name “Bridie”, they named it “Bridie Manor”.

          

At Bridie Manor we can accommodate any size banquet and party,
Specializing in wedding packages.

Large to Small, We Cater to all!

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Lunch and Dinner
7 days a week

"Riverview Restaurant"
1830 Bridie Square.
Oswego NY 13126
(315) 342-1830

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