While Skaneateles is best known for its beautiful lake, the town itself has a very interesting and long history. The roots of the town can be traced all the way back to 1794. The first people who settled this area had the challenging task of clearing areas of land that could be used for cultivating different crops. Although the area’s heavy forestation made this a difficult task, those who persevered were rewarded with access to very high quality soil. After being part of Marcellus for several decades, Skaneateles became its own distinct town in 1830.
A Thriving Area of Finger Lakes Commerce
Modern Skaneateles is regularly recognized and recommended for the quality of its shops. What’s interesting is while the individual shops haven’t been around for centuries, Skaneateles’ reputation for being a town of commerce does go back that far. The key reason that this village quickly developed into a hotspot for businesses was because of its prime location on the Indian trail. Since this location naturally brought in travelers, it didn’t take long for the town to expand. What began with a single tavern and mercantile business quickly grew into a range of different stores. In addition to the economic benefits, this rapid development also allowed the town to promptly add a church and school. Even though life at the start of the 19th century presented plenty of challenges, Skaneateles created a desirable community for its residents from the very beginning.
Significant Innovation in the Finger Lakes
Long before Silicon Valley was known as the center of US innovation, Skaneateles played its own significant role in creating products that helped to make people more productive. One great example of the village’s innovation came from Amos Miner and his accelerating wheel-head. Miner came up with this idea when he was stuck in bed after being injured while clearing land. Once he regained his health and strength, he patented the product, built a factory and ended up having his invention sold throughout many surrounding areas.
In 1829, the town’s first newspaper was started. Over the next half a century, the village’s primary paper would go through several different phases as a result of healthy competition among multiple publishers. Thanks to the growth of commerce and continued innovation in the area, by 1836, Skaneateles had over 250 homes. Additionally, there were 8 stores, nearly a dozen mills, a library, post office and academy.
Experience Skaneateles’s Rich History for Yourself
Not surprisingly, this article is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of Skaneateles’ history and everything the town has to offer. If you’re looking for a place where you and your whole family can have a wonderful Finger Lakes Vacation, you won’t be disappointed by this lovely village. Whether you consider yourself a history buff or simply want to have a fun and relaxing experience in a quaint town, you can count on Skaneateles Lake to deliver the type of time that you want to enjoy.