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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.
| Special Projects
We are now on the final phase of our museum expansion that began in 2007: the addition to the Boat Building.
We still need approximately $8,000 to complete this project. If you are interested in helping, please see the Donations link below and donate to the Special Projects Fund. Or, send a check to the Skaneateles Historical Society and mark it Boat Building Addition.
Please help our society by making a monetary contribution.
Tuesday, May 28,7:30 p.m.
Our May 28 program will be the Story of
the Interactive Lake Model.
We will talk
about how the initial idea came about
and each of the steps involved, from a
search for a model builder, the design of
the cabinetry, the design of the
interactive interface, the wiring and the
building of the software/hardware
platform, and the development of the
interactive content for the visitor.
Tuesday, June 25,7:30 p.m.
Eric Pitman, a life-long resident of Skaneateles, will discuss and share the history of antique decoy collecting
and his passion for following that path, with emphasis on decoys from the Finger Lakes region. He will bring
examples that were made in the late 1880's all the way through the 1970's with many different species that
can be seen throughout the region at various times of the year. Eric has been pursuing his passion for over 40
| 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.
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
|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 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 Census Data
View the Population Schedules from the 1940 census for the Village and Town of Skaneateles at
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.
Skaneateles Historical Society
was a recipient in 2011 of the
Onondaga Historical Association
Medal for Excellence