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Experience Skaneateles: History

new hope millsThe heart of Central New York is home to endless historical gems. Skaneateles and its surrounding areas offer endless opportunities for exploration, ranging from turn-of-the-century architecture and stops along the Underground Railroad to some of the most beautiful hiking trails you'll find in New York State.

reuelDay 1

Located in the Skaneateles Historic District, the Skaneateles Bakery uses local ingredients to create both old-fashioned American baked goods and innovative, contemporary sandwiches. Perfect for a scrumptious breakfast!
-Skaneateles Bakery: 19 Jordan Street, (315) 685-3538

Next, head to The Creamery, Skaneateles' Historical Society Museum. Here, you'll find hundreds of items related to farming, manufacturing, recreation, transportation, art, architecture, the press, and commerce – including locally manufactured boats, carriages, wooden toys, medical instruments, sleigh, and chairs
-The Creamery: 28 Hannum Street, (315) 685-1360
Suggested time: 1.5 hours

Following The Creamery, enjoy a scenic walk amongst the following properties in and about the Skaneateles area. All are listed on the National Register of Historic Places; the first four are within walking distance of The Creamery and the Village center. 
-Skaneateles Historic District: Jordan, Fennell, East and West Genesee Streets
-Reuel E. Smith House (1848): 28 W. Lake St.
-James and Lydia Canning Fuller House (1815): 98 West Genesee St.
-Hazelhurst (1864): 150 E Genesee St.
-Brook Farm (1902): 2870 W. Lake Rd.
-Community Place (1830): South of Skaneateles at 680 Sheldon Road
-Kelsey-Davey Farm (1810): 1861 Old Seneca Turnpike
-Borodino (Grange) Hall: 1861 East Lake Road, Borodino
-New Hope Mills (1823): 181 York St, Auburn (Glen Haven Rd. and NY 41A),
(315) 252-2676
Suggested time: 1.5 hours

Next, explore the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Built in fits and starts, of limestone and marble, footed on quicksand and crowned with bronze, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument stands today in Lake View Cemetery to remind us of hundreds of young men who marched south to do battle so that the United States might remain united.
-Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Lake View Cemetery (1796)
Suggested time: 30 minutes

Visit the John D. Barrow Art Gallery to learn more about John Dodgson Barrow (1824 - 1906), one of those rare artists equally admired for portraits and landscapes. Born in New York City, in 1839 he moved with his family to the small central New York town of Skaneateles. This museum contains 268 paintings, highlighting the local community in the mid- to late-1800s
-John D. Barrow Art Gallery: 49 East Genesee Street, (315) 685-5135
Suggested time: 1 hour

Next, head to the Sherwood Inn for lunch! Built as a stagecoach stop in 1807, the Sherwood Inn has been a favorite resting place for travelers and locals for over two centuries. The Inn has been meticulously restored to the beauty of a bygone era with four fireplaces, pegged wood floors, antique furniture and fine wood detailing to create a relaxing harmony away from everyday cares.  
-Sherwood Inn: 26 West Genesee Street, (315) 685-3405

Directly across from the Sherwood Inn, next to the lake, Shotwell Memorial Park includes monuments to those from Skaneateles who served in the Spanish-American War, World War I and II and the Vietnam and Korean Conflicts.
Suggested time: 30 minutes

End your day with quick drive into Auburn, where you'll find the Seward House Historical Museum. William Henry Seward was one of the foremost politicians of nineteenth century America; a New York State Senator, Governor of New York, a U.S. Senator, and served as Secretary of State in the Lincoln and Johnson administrations. This beautiful estate is surrounded by two acres of lush garden and trees. The elegant interior has been restored to its original beauty and features an unmatched collection of political and travel souvenirs, decorative arts and photographs that spans William Seward's nearly forty-year political career.
-Seward House: 33 South Street, Auburn, (315) 252-1283
Suggested time: 3 hours, including drive

Day 2

Begin your second day with a hearty breakfast fare, served in a restaurant known more for their gourmet hamburgers: Johnny Angel's Restaurant.
-Johnny Angel's: 22 Jordan Street, (315) 685-0100

Next, enjoy a scenic U.S. Mail Boat Cruise on Skaneateles Lake. Mail has been delivered by boat on Skaneateles Lake since steam boats were on the water, in the 1800s, except during the two world wars. Enjoy a narrated history of the lake and its landmarks aboard the Barbara S. Wiles, a 36-passenger mahogany vessel first launched in 1937 and one of the few U.S. Mail Boats still in operation.
-Midlakes Navigation: 11 Jordan Street, (315) 685-8500
Suggested time: 3 hours, including box lunch

After lunch, make your way over to the Women's Rights National Historical Park. Here, you'll discover four historical properties and a Visitor Center, including Wesleyan Chapel, site of the First Women's Rights Convention, and the Elizabeth Cady Stanton home where Ms. Stanton raised seven children and did extensive networking to create a reform movement.
-Women's Rights National Historical Park: 136 Fall Street, Seneca Falls, (315) 568-0024
Suggested time: 3 hours, including drive

And, for an extended stay, or your next visit:

The Erie Canalway Trail route follows both active and historic sections of the Erie Canal, the renowned inland waterway that opened the frontier of the fledgling United States to settlement and commerce, transforming the nation in the process.
Suggested time: a few hours, or a few days!

Committed to preserving the only existing weighlock building in the United States, the Erie Canal Museum collects and conserves Canal material, champions an appreciation and understanding of Erie Canal history.
-The Erie Canal Museum: 318 Erie Boulevard East, Syracuse, (315) 471-0593

The New Hope Mills Complex is a historic grist mill complex located on Glen Haven Road near the intersection with Route 41A in the hamlet of New Hope in the town of Niles in Cayuga County, New York. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this complex includes the mill building, two vernacular dwellings, a 1910s gambrel roofed storage barn, a 1935 saw mill, two concrete faced dams, and a 1-acre mill pond.
-New Hope Mills: Glen Haven Rd. and NY 41A, (315) 252-2676

A comprehensive local history museum, the Onondaga Historical Museum is a facility operated by Onondaga Historical Association (OHA) Museum & Research Center, a private organization that has been collecting, preserving and exhibiting Onondaga County's heritage since 1862.
-Onondaga Historical Museum: 321 Montgomery Street, Syracuse, (315) 428-1864 Suggested time: 2 hours

Next, stop by the Skä•noñh Center, where the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Heritage Center education collaborative will host several programs in 2013. Onondaga Lake is one of the most important places for the founding of the Haudenosaunee, or "People of the Longhouse" with the coming together of the Peacemaker, Hiawatha and the Tadodaho thousands of years ago. The Onondaga Nation remain among the last sovereign Indigenous peoples in the U.S., if not the World, who still govern themselves by their ancient ceremonial Longhouse practices.
-Skä•noñh Center: 6680 Onondaga Lake Pkwy, Liverpool 13088, (315) 428-1864

Lastly, consider visiting the Salt Museum, dedicated to the industry that created the City of Syracuse and supplied the entire nation with salt. Site of an original boiling block where brine (salt water) was turned into what was then considered one of the country's most precious commodities. Collection includes actual kettles, wooden barrels and other equipment that were used in the salting process, which came to an end in the 1920's.
-Salt Museum: 106 Lake Drive, Liverpool 13088, (315) 453-6715