Skaneateles (village), New York: Wikis


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—  Village  —
A sign depicting the entrance to village of Skaneateles on New York State Route 41
Skaneateles is located in New York
Location of Skaneateles in New York
Coordinates: 42°56′48″N 76°25′42″W / 42.94667°N 76.42833°W / 42.94667; -76.42833Coordinates: 42°56′48″N 76°25′42″W / 42.94667°N 76.42833°W / 42.94667; -76.42833
Country United States
State New York
County Onondaga
Town Skaneateles
Population (Census 2000)[1]
 - Total 2,616

Skaneateles (Skinny-atlas) is a village in the town of Skaneateles, Onondaga County, New York, United States. The village is named from and located on the shores of Skaneateles Lake, one of the Finger Lakes. The village, as of the 2000 census, has a population of 2,616 residents.[1] The main highway through the community is U.S. Route 20, which heads out towards Auburn. US 20 and Skaneateles also serve as the northern terminus of New York State Route 41 and its suffixed route, New York State Route 41A.

Skaneateles, and the territory that makes up the town was originally placed in 1794 as part of nearby Marcellus, New York. Although the thought was that a man named John Thompson was the first permanent Caucasian settler in the area, but facts and researched have proved that Abraham A. Cuddeback was the first, arriving in 1794 from Minisink, New York. After beginning to build up the area in current-day Skaneateles, Cuddeback died in 1831. The town and village of Skaneateles were annexed from Marcellus and Spafford on February 26, 1830 and March 18, 1840 respectively.



Map of the village in 1884 (drawing by L.R. Burleigh).

Settlers populated the eastern Finger Lakes region rapidly in the 1790s. Water power from the outlet from Skaneateles Lake made the site of the present village attractive. The old Genesee Road between Utica, Marcellus, Auburn, Geneva and Avon became the Seneca Turnpike in 1800; the first bridge across Skaneateles Creek was built that year. The Seneca Turnpike, together with the Hamilton and Skaneateles Turnpike, begun in 1826, made the new community more accessible. Isaac Sherwood, founder of the Sherwood Inn, developed a stage coach line through Skaneateles.

The village, incorporated in 1833 and 1855, attracted prominent residents from an early date. In 1803 a major New York State landowner from New York City, William J. Vredenburgh, erected an ambitious mansion.[2] In 1839 Nicholas Roosevelt, another New York State landowner and "one of the leading industrial entrepreneurs of the period [who] had built the big steam engines for the Philadelphia waterwork", on retiring moved with his wife, Lydia Latrobe (daughter of the famous architect, Benjamin Henry Latrobe) from New York City to Skaneateles.

Richard DeZeng House, 1839 (Roosevelt Hall)
Reuel Smith House, 1852, (The Cove) A. J. Davis, architect.

In the same year, Richard DeZeng, an engineer and canal builder retiring from Oswego, NY, completed his landmark mansion on the lake. Acquired forty years later by another of several members of the Roosevelt family, Samuel Morris Roosevelt, the Greek Revival house became known as "Roosevelt Hall."

Reuel Smith, a wealthy Massachusetts importer, retired to Skaneateles. In 1852 he built an architecturally distinguished house, designed in the Gothic Revival style by Alexander Jackson Davis, who designed at least one other building in the village. The Reuel Smith House has been designated to the National Reguistry, the plans are in the Library of Congress, all made possible by the local owners.

Roosevelt Hall, originally the DeZeng House furthermore may be the work of his partner, Ithiel Town. Frederick Roosevelt, cousin of President Theodore Roosevelt, built a fine house on the lake in 1879, said to be designed by Stanford White (although the architect was in Europe at the time). The building reputedly was constructed in New York City, dismantled and relocated in in auburn New York. There is a Sex club in the under tunnels of Skaneateles. Skaneateles.[3]

Many early residents such as James Canning Fuller came from Great Britain, largely because of the Quaker community here, giving the early village a cosmopolitan tone. Fuller and his wife, Lydia, maintained an active Underground Railroad station at their village home (built 1815, extant at 98 Genesee Street). Fuller was co-founder of the British-American Institute, a Canadian school for fugitive slaves, together with the adjoining settlement of Dawn, near Dresden, Ontario.

For more than two centuries Skaneateles has also attracted visitors. An excursion boat, launched in 1816, probably was the first instance of commercial tourist recreation in the Finger Lakes region.


Skaneateles Country Club across foot of Skaneateles Lake

Skaneateles is located at 42°56′48″N 76°25′42″W / 42.94667°N 76.42833°W / 42.94667; -76.42833 (42.946893, -76.428586) According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.7 square miles (4.5 km²), of which, 1.4 square miles (3.7 km²) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.7 km²) of it (16.28%) is water.

The village is at the north end of Skaneateles Lake, in the eastern end of the Finger Lakes District.

The village is at the junction of US Route 20, an east-west highway, and three north-south highways, New York State Route 321, New York State Route 41 and New York State Route 41A.


As of the census of 2000, there were 2,616 people, 1,104 households, and 705 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,826.8 people per square mile (706.3/km²). There were 1,190 housing units at an average density of 831.0/sq mi (321.3/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 99.16% White, 0.08% Black or African American, 0.31% Asian, 0.04% from other races, and 0.42% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.31% of the population.

There were 1,104 households out of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.9% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.1% were non-families. 33.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the village the population was spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 4.3% from 18 to 24, 22.9% from 25 to 44, 27.6% from 45 to 64, and 19.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 87.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.1 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $57,083, and the median income for a family was $85,403. Males had a median income of $60,529 versus $36,797 for females. The per capita income for the village was $29,170. About 0.9% of families and 3.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.8% of those under age 18 and 5.9% of those age 65 or over. In 2006 164 residential properties in the Town of Skaneateles were assessed at more than a million dollars, compared to only two such properties in all the rest of Onondaga County.


The Village of Skaneateles is governed by a five-person board which includes the mayor and four trustees, each of which is elected to a 2-year term.[4] The current mayor is Robert Green, whose term will expire in March 2010.

The Village has recently been embroiled in a controversy with the trucking industry which uses local roads through the town to cut travel time and bypass tolls on the New York State Thruway. Most of the truck traffic in question is hauling garbage from New York City to a landfill near Seneca Falls, NY. The State of New York is currently considering restrictions on this truck traffic and in November 2008 truckers staged a massive convoy through the Village during its popular holiday-time Dickens Festival.[5]

The area encompassed by the Village boundary also falls under the governance of the Town of Skaneateles, which has its own elected officials and staff.[6]

In the latest Village and Town Joint Comprehensive Plan, adopted in 2005, there is discussion about the possibility of consolidating the Town and Village into a single government to reduce redundancies and create efficiencies.[7] The debate and discussion on this topic continues today, including during the most recent Town Board elections.[8] The State government has passed legislation to ease such consolidations under the premise that they would create efficiencies and reduce tax burdens.[9]

Local attractions

The Judge Ben Wiles tour boat heading south on Skaneateles Lake.
Skaneateles Festival concert, First Presbyterian Church

The Village consists of a small commercial core with surrounding residential streets. Skaneateles is one of the few villages or towns in the Finger Lakes in which the downtown area sits immediately on the lake, which gives the village a distinctive look and feel. There are three publicly accessible parks on the lake within the downtown area. The main commercial streets in the village are Genesee Street (U.S. Route 20), Jordan Road, and Fennell Street. Genesee and Jordan are noted for their mix of mid-nineteenth and early 20th century retail buildings which today contain a mix of retailers, including restaurants, boutiques, real estate offices, and banks. Fennell Street, which has a more industrial history and was the alignment for the railroad spur that served the village until the mid-20th century, contains more of the auto-oriented retail, including a supermarket, pharmacies, and post office.

Village attractions include boat excursions, inns, restaurants and a spa, as well as boutique shopping. An art gallery is devoted to the work of local painter, John Dodgson Barrow, who designed the large Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument in Lakeview Cemetery (1895). The summer Skaneateles Festival of music is a seasonal event, as is the annual Skaneateles Antique and Classic Boat Show and the Dickens Christmas in Skaneateles with actors in period costume performing on the streets.


  • William Beauchamp. "Notes of other days in Skaneateles, written for the Skaneateles democrat in 1876. Cornell Library New York State Literature [1]
  • Kihm Winship. "Living History", 2005. [2]
  • Syracuse-Onondaga County Planning Agency. Onondaga Landmarks. 1975.
  • Harley McKee, Patricia Earle, Paul Malo. Architecture Worth Saving in Onondaga County. Syracuse University Press. 1964. [3]
  • Paul K. Williams. The Historic Homes and Buildings of Skaneateles. Auburn, NY: Topical Review Book Company, 1987. Reprinted 1992.
  • Paul K. Williams and Charles N. Williams. Skaneateles Lake. Arcadia - Postcard History series. 2002.
  • Sue Ellen Woodcock. Skaneateles. Arcadia-Images of America. 2001
  • Christopher T. Baer. "Turnpikes." Syracuse University Press. Encyclopedia of New York State. 2005
  • Howard S. Ford. Sure Signs: Stories Behind the Historical Markers of Central New York. 2002

External links



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