When you shop online give a FREE DONATION to The Skaneateles Historical Society!|
Make your online shopping go further by using the
ShopforMuseums.com portal. Simply start at
ShopforMuseums.com, select The Skaneateles Historical Society, then use the links to click through to hundreds of your favorite stores. A percentage of your purchase amount is given back to us as a FREE DONATION. Thank you for thinking of The Skaneateles Historical Society. Your donations are greatly appreciated.
Stop and shop at our new gift shop located in the entrance of the museum. Our new items include beautiful glassware with an etching of a Teasel or Lightning Boat. These glass tumblers come in a set of four already gift boxed and are priced at $21.95. What a lovely gift for yourself or to give to someone to remember Skaneateles. You will also see boxed sets of notecards featuring a painting from our very talented local artist, Peggy Manring.
List of selected items from shop
Please help our society by making a monetary contribution.
Tuesday, November 26, 7:30 p.m.
Witter will give a presentation on how to
get started on a genealogy project. Based
on his experiences in developing a
genealogy of his family that contains
over 1,000 pages, Mr. Witter will explain
the references people can use to do
research, other than the usual online
sources. (Canceled due to icy weather. Will be rescheduled in spring.)
The Historical Society's annual Holiday Open House will be held on Sunday, December 8, from 1-4 p.m. Stop in for holiday goodies, sing-alongs with Dickens characters, and shopping in our gift shop for a wonderful selection of gift ideas. At 3:00 The "Wizard of the North, John Henry Anderson, will perform a magic show for children and adults.
The Thornden Morris Dancers will be performing on Sunday, December 15, at 3:00 p.m. Morris dancing is a form of ritual folkdance which comes from the Cotswold region in western England. Don't miss this!
| Research Assistance
Research assistance is generally available on Fridays or by appointment.
|Lightning #1 (built by Skaneatels Boats in 1938) arrived late in the day on June 6, 2011, and is now on display on a pedestal on the main floor in the Boiler House.
Comet #1373 (built in 1939) is suspended so that one can view its interior and deck from the mezzanine and its profile and bottom from the deck below.
Various smaller boats are also displayed.
|As with any such community-based endeavor, volunteers are always needed. Many hands make light work! Be a museum guide/docent, clerk in the gift shop, assist archivists and director in tending files, transcribe documents, assist in designing and mounting exhibits, and the list goes on. Whatever your talents and interests we can probably find a place for you.
DID YOU KNOW? If you were a teen-aged boy in the mid-1840s your favorite secluded swimming place in the creek would have been the Sink. Source: Beauchamp, page 52. (Beauchamp's description makes it appear as if this place was located at or near the place where the creek bends gently to the right at the intersection of the Alan Bobbett/Arbor House Inn property and the outlet.
Sidewalk Superintendents, take a look at a slideshow tracing the progression of the museum expansion.
LETTERIO CALAPAI? Letterio Calapai (1902 - 1993) was an artist who
for a short time in the early to mid 1940s maintained a studio in the space above McLaren's Bar and Grill (site of the present-day Kabuki).
It was he who designed and executed the temporary honor roll that was hand-painted on Masonite nailed over the hoarding that concealed from
view the remains of the Brounstein fire of 1936. This honor roll, dedicated on Memorial Day 1943, served the community until it was replaced
by the permanent bronze plaque in Shotwell Park on Memorial Day 1950
Dedicating himself to the teaching of art, he founded and chaired the Graphic Arts Department of the Albright Art School in Buffalo, taught
at the New School for Social Research, established the Intaglio Workshop for Advance Printmaking in NYC, and taught at several colleges and
universities. In 1984 he was deemed “a printmaker for the twentieth century” by The Chicago Sun-Times.
Wikipedia says that his work can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Bibliotheque National de France, the Fogg
Art Museum in Cambridge, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
| Welcome! Thank you for visiting.
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
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.
1940 Federal Census Data
Our index for the Population Schedules from the 1940 census for the Village and Town of Skaneateles has been completed and is now online with links to images of the sheets that were originally filled out by the census takers. Access this data through the archives menu or go directly by linking to
Hundreds of images scanned from the photographic collection of the Skaneateles Historical Society
Buy a TRIBUTE PAVER! For $125 (for a 4”x8”)
or $200 (for an 8”x8”) we’ll put an engraved brick near the new entrance as a permanent recognition of your contribution.
First, use the "Read Me First" button, which will lead you to an order form that you can print out. Print out the Tribute Paver page,
fill in your preferred lettering , and mail it to the Skaneateles Historical Society at 28 Hannum Street, Skaneateles, NY 13152. You may pay either
with the PayPal "Buy a Paving Brick" button, or by sending a check along with your Tribute Paver page.
The Warren Wallace Drug Store in the 1870s or 1880s, located at what is now 16 East Genesee Street.
It is apparent from two windows on the second floor that straddle the door rather
than three windows with the middle one directly over the door that the store was in
the block of three that held Davey's Drugs, the Ben Franklin and Harse's throughout
most of the 1930s, 1940s and after. It is not the Davey's location, because the windows on the second floor
of that third of the block are a little over-sized and are placed just a little higher. Nor is it the Harse
location, because they had a stairwell on the left ascending to the second storey.
Therefore, it must be the middle of the three.
Correction: Recently at least one picture has come to light revealing that the larger window above the Davey's location was not the original window. This means that the Davey's location cannot be so easily ruled out as the location for the Warren Wallace Drug Store.
Skaneateles Historical Society
was a recipient in 2011 of the
Onondaga Historical Association
Medal for Excellence