Our Historic Home: The Creamery
The Creamery opened in 1899 as a place for local farmers to sell their milk and for residents to buy dairy products. In 1918 the Skaneateles Creamery Company was sold to the Best Ice Cream Company. They in turn sold it in 1948 to the Borden Milk Company, which ended operations here the following year. A local businessman bought the building for storage space and in 1989 donated it to the Village.
The Skaneateles Historical Society was given the opportunity to renovate the Creamery as a museum and as a home for the Society. In 1992, thanks to gifts of time, talent, and funding from the entire community, the Creamery proudly reopened.
The Creamery is open from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on selected Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays throughout the year, depending upon the season. For specifics, see the
box near the top of this page.
Extensive materials are available for historical and genealogical research related to the Skaneateles area. Some materials are available in the meeting room that is open to the public, but original archival material is available only on Fridays when a researcher is present to assist, advise, and supervise.
The Town Historian and the Village Historian work closely
together and with the Society. The Town Historian is Ms. Beth Batlle,
c/o the Town Hall, 24 Jordan St., Skaneateles, NY 13152-1110
(email: firstname.lastname@example.org). The Deputy Town Historian is Charlie Major, email@example.com.
The Village Historian is Mr. Jorge Batlle, c/o the Village Office, 46 East Genesee Street, Skaneateles, NY 13152
If you need help, try to decide which would be more appropriate, and do
not submit duplicate inquiries. Although they do not have the time to provide
complete genealogical research, they are happy to offer suggestions and
send photocopies of relevant materials for a modest fee.
Please keep in mind that the information relates only to
the Town of Skaneateles.
Our artifact collection features hundreds of items related to farming, manufacturing, recreation, transportion, art, architecture, the press, and commerce. Of special interest are the locally manufactured boats, carriages, wooden toys, medical instruments, sleigh, and chairs. In addition to the exhibits devoted to dairy farming and the business of the creamery, there is a fine display of the raising and marketing of fuller's teasels. This was an industry limited to very few places in the U.S. The exhibits devoted to transportation cover the Skaneateles Short Line RR, the interurban trolley that ran through the village, and the large excursion boats that plied the lake. As can be expected the lake played a significant role in the history of the community. One can learn about the immense waterpower that was available along the outlet and about how Skaneateles became the source of water for the City of Syracuse. And the list goes on.
The Interactive Lake Model
The newest display at the Museum at The Creamery is this exciting interactive lake model. Approximately 9’ long and 3’ wide, it allows visitors to press 12 different buttons that light up small LED bulbs to show points of interest around the lake. More information about each point is displayed on a 52” flat screen monitor mounted above the model. The lake’s topography has been enhanced to better show the high cliffs at the south end of the lake. The depths of the lake are also visible. In addition, the model delineates the watershed and many of the spring-fed tributaries that contribute to the lake’s proud legacy of being an unfiltered source of drinking water. A track pad attached to a minicomputer is being used to add additional information about the Skaneateles area; the history of the steamboats is currently available for viewing, as well as a description of the building of the lake model.
The Online Archives
Anyone doing research on Skaneateles ancestors and inhabitants may very well find exactly what they are looking for in our online archives. They include:
- The St. Mary's Cemetery Gravestone
- This database contains 3,000 records compiled by Harold
Witter. St. Mary's Cemetery was dedicated in 1856. See additional notes at
the top of the data file.
- The Lake View Cemetery Database
- This database contains over 7,900 records provided by the Village of Skaneateles Cemetery Board and transcribed by Karen Richards and Barbara Spain. These records date from 1796 through 1988.
- Our Newspaper Database of Births, Marriages, and Deaths
- This database contains over 22,300 records compiled from
the old newspaper announcements indexed at the Skaneateles Historical
Society offices by Jim Dougherty and Ted Prindle. Records from The
Columbian date from 1831 through March 1853. Records from the Democrat
date from 1843 through 1880. Records from the Free Press date from 1881
through 1899. Records from The Skaneateles Press dated from 1900 through
- Census Indexes
- Our collection covers many Federal and New York State Census records for the 19th and 20th centuries.
HERE TO VIEW ARCHIVES
our Archives Directory to view the files. Download time is relatively fast, and
if you wish you can save the entire individual files easily to your computer
to search with your favorite program.
there is a record of a newspaper announcement in our database file that
you would like to see, please write to us and provide a stamped self
addressed return envelope. A suggested donation of $5 for services and
copies will be appreciated.