The History of Skaneateles Lake
If Skaneateles Lake could talk, it would have a lot to say about the things it has seen during the past two hundred years. At 16 miles it sure is pretty long. In fact, Native Americans called the lake Skaneateles or long lake. In more recent times the lake was given the nickname “The Roof Garden of Lakes” due to its altitude being higher than any of the other Finger Lakes. Three counties enjoy the pristine beauty of this lake: Cayuga, Cortland and Onondaga. The lake’s namesake village, Skaneateles, is located on the northern portion. This is where most people come to enjoy boating, swimming and walking along its shores. Fingerlakes Luxury Rentals has several Skaneateles luxury vacation rentals that will allow you to take advantage of everything the lake has to offer.
The Iroquois tribes were the first to inhabit the area. To them Skaneateles Lake was a source of food, transportation and recreation. When settlers began populating the surrounding area and building towns, they adapted the Indian name and quickly found ways to incorporate the lake into their everyday lives. The town and village of Skaneateles were officially created in 1830.
As more people settled into the area, there was increased activity on the lake with canoes and boats carrying people and supplies across the waters. Having a lake next to a town was great for attracting business and people looking for an attractive place to live. The Hamilton and Seneca turnpikes made the town more accessible. A stagecoach line opened to ferry people back and forth by land.
Wealthier residents built exquisite homes on the lakefront. Roosevelt Hall is a magnificent Greek inspired mansion. Built in 1839, the home’s white pillars continue gleaming in the sunlight today. The Reuel E. Smith House, built in 1852, is another fine example of period architecture.
While the stagecoach handled land travel, a steamboat called the Independent ferried passengers up and down the long lake. Also during this era, tourists began coming to enjoy relaxation and recreational activities in and around the lake. The Indian Queen hotel sprang up to accommodate visitors. Later visitors stayed at the Lake House, which for a time was a happening spot before it burned down.
Several factories and mills have existed in the vicinity of the lake. There were paper mills, factories that processed wool, breweries and distilleries, foundries and machine shops. Milling in Skaneateles pretty much ended after one too many destructive fires. Apparently, waterpower was good for running mills, but there wasn’t any way to douse flames during emergencies.
During the era of slavery, several local residents opened their hearts and homes to escaped slaves traveling on the Underground Railroad.
Faster, smaller boats for getting around the lake replaced large steamboats. Boats delivered early mail in the town because many roads were not passable. Tourists can still witness this old-fashioned mail delivery by hopping a U.S. Mail boat Cruise. During the 3-hour journey the boat travels the entire length of Skaneateles Lake. Mail is delivered during many stops.
These days the lake is mainly used for recreation. Boating and fishing are popular outdoor activities you’ll see people enjoying. Many fish such as bass and trout swim in these waters. Skaneateles Lake also provides drinking water to thousands of people living in Syracuse. It has the proud distinction of being one of six sources of drinkable unfiltered water in the whole country.
So for your next vacation or just a quick weekend away, consider a trip to Skaneateles lake and a luxury stay at one of our Skaneateles luxury rentals.
- Summer is in Full Swing and It Is the Perfect Time to Visit the Finger Lakes
- Forget the Hotel Room, Chose a Luxury Vacation Rental Instead
- May is the Perfect Time for A Spring Stay in Skaneateles, New York
- Looking for a Gorgeous Getaway? Take a Look at What’s New at Finger Lakes Luxury Rentals
- Plan a Cozy Vacation in Skaneateles This Winter With a Stay at One of Our Luxury Houses
- Fall in Love with One of Our Skaneateles Luxury Rental Homes
- Enjoy the Finger Lakes This Fall With a Stay in Skaneateles, New York
- Luxury is Close to Home With Our Skaneateles Luxury Rentals
- April Showers Won’t Put A Damper on a Luxury Skaneateles Vacation
- This February Fall in Love With Finger Lakes Luxury Rentals
- Celebrate The Holiday’s With a Weekend Stay At One of Our Finger Lakes Luxury Rentals
- Have A Scary Good Weekend With a Stay in One of Our Finger Lakes Luxury Homes
- Spend a Weekend in Skaneateles
- The History of the Finger Lakes
- Time to Consider a Finger Lakes Vacation Before School Starts
- 5 Things to do in Skaneateles this Summer
- There is Plenty Happening in June Around the Finger Lakes
- Skaneateles Luxury Vacation Rentals, Your Home Away from Home
- Springtime in the Finger Lakes
- Skaneateles Luxury Vacation Rentals vs. Hotels
- Start Your Next Vacation with Finger Lakes Luxury Rentals
- It’s All About Valentine’s Day Around the Finger Lakes
- Skaneateles Lake Turns Into a Winter Wonderland in December
- December is a Great Time to Visit the Finger Lakes
- There’s No Slowing Down the Finger Lakes in October
- Plan Your Early Fall Vacation with Finger Lakes Luxury Rentals
- Fingerlakes Luxury Rentals Has Two New Luxury Accommodations
- August Around the Finger Lakes
- July is Bursting Out All Over the Finger Lakes
- Summer is the Perfect Time to Enjoy Skaneateles Lake
- June in the Finger Lakes Region
- Luxury Vacation Getaways in the Finger Lakes
- March is the Perfect Time to Book Your Summer Stay on Skaneateles Lake
- March in the Finger Lakes Has Plenty to Offer Visitors
- Why Any Finger Lakes Vacation Should Start With A Fingerlakes Luxury Rental
- Here’s What’s Happening Around the Finger Lakes in February
- The Top Things to Do Outdoors in the Finger Lakes During the Winter
- See What Is Happening Around the Finger Lakes in November
- Check Out the Changing Leaves With a Weekend Stay in the Finger Lakes
- What’s Happening Around the Finger Lakes in August
- June is Heating Up the Finger Lakes
- Plenty to Do in May Around the Finger Lakes
- Mother’s Day is the Perfect Time for a Finger Lakes Vacation Rentals Getaway
- The Finger Lakes in April
- Skaneateles, New York in March
- Around the Finger Lakes in March
- Fingerlakes Luxury Rentals Has the Luxury Vacation for You
- There is a Lot Going On Around the Finger Lakes in January
- Ice Skating, Hot Chocolate and Roaring Fires the Finger Lakes Way
- Wine Season Never Ends in the Finger Lakes
- December Happenings Around the Finger Lakes
- The History of Skaneateles Lake
- Destiny USA: Just a Short Drive from Skaneateles
- Spend the Weekend Exploring the Charlie Major Nature Park
- Plan Your Fall Vacation Around the Changing Leaves
- The Finger Lakes Region in October
- Fall is a Good Time to Visit a Finger Lakes Region Farmer’s Market
- Summer is the Perfect Time to Visit Skaneateles New York
- With “Back to School” Time Approaching, Consider a Quick Finger Lakes Day Trip
- Thinking About a Finger Lakes Vacation? Bring Your Pet Along!
- August Happenings Around the Finger Lakes
- Summertime Means Baseball: The Finger Lake Region is Home to Several Professional Baseball Teams
- Tips to Consider When Choosing a Vacation Home
- In The Finger Lakes, Summer is The Time For Festivals
- Finger Lakes Luxury Vacation Rentals Adds Managed Properties to their Portfolio
- Historical Harriet Tubman Home Offers Glimpse Into the Life of a Remarkable Woman
- The Rich History of Skaneateles Lake
- Places to Stay in the Finger Lakes: Which Option is Right for You?