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When counties were established in the British colony of New York in 1683, the present Oswego County was part of Albany County.
This was an enormous county, including the northern part of what is now New York state as well as all of the present state of Vermont and, in theory, extending westward to the Pacific Ocean.
The area then designated as Tryon County now includes 37 counties of New York State.
The county was named for William Tryon, colonial governor of New York.
This county was larger than the current Onondaga County, including the present Cayuga, Cortland, and part of Oswego counties.
In 1798, Oneida County was created from a part of Herkimer County.
In 1784, following the peace treaty that ended the American Revolutionary War, the name of Tryon County was changed to Montgomery County to honor the general, Richard Montgomery, who had captured several places in Canada and died attempting to capture the city of Quebec, replacing the name of the hated British governor.Part of the Tug Hill Plateau is in the eastern part of the county and, at 1,550 feet (470 m), is the highest point.There are two harbors in the county, Oswego Harbor at the mouth of the Oswego River and Port Ontario on the Salmon River.One of the other pieces, Tryon County, contained the western portion (and thus, since no western boundary was specified, theoretically still extended west to the Pacific).The eastern boundary of Tryon County was approximately five miles west of the present city of Schenectady, and the county included the western part of the Adirondack Mountains and the area west of the West Branch of the Delaware River.
In 1816, Oswego County was created as New York State's 48th county from parts of Oneida and Onondaga counties.