Facts and History of the Great Bear Springs
- The area known as Great Bear Springs is comprised of 236 acres owned by the City of Fulton and the 78 acre Town of Volney Park.
- Beginning in 1885 several companies derived water from the Great Bear Springs for commercial purposes: Fulton Water Works Company (1885); Great Bear Spring Company (1888) bottled water from the Great Bear Springs for distribution throughout the Northeast; and the Pure Water Supply Company (1890) distributed bottled water primarily in Syracuse. Several ruins of former wells and pump houses can be seen in the southeast quadrant. Although the water now comes from other sources, the Great Bear brand still exists today, owned by Nestle.
- The property also contains the historical Hinsmanville Lock and tow path that were a part of the original Oswego River Canal. The Hinsmanville Lock was one of eighteen locks between the Erie Canal in Syracuse and Lake Ontario and was in use from 1828 until 1917 when the four foot deep canal was refurbished and dredged to accommodate larger engine-powered barges. The deeper canal reduced the number of locks to nine and the Hinsmanville Lock was abandoned.
Friends of Great Bear
more Great Bear Pump House photos
more Town of Volney Canal Park photos