Geneva

In Ontario County, the Pulteney Associates began a new settlement in 1786 on the former Seneca village of Kandesaga. Named Geneva, the settlement became the headquarters of the New York Genessee Land Company whose purpose was to bring in new settlers from the Northeastern states. Some of these new residents were slave-owners, and a strong African-American community soon emerged in the region as a result. The village of Geneva was incorporated in 1806 and it became a city in 1897. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_57TVXW0QFo

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Downsville

New Englanders began to settler along the banks of the East Branch of the Delaware River in Delaware County at the time of the American Revolution and the river has played an essential role in the development of the region. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rXBnDGIda0

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Groton

In 1797, John Perrin and his wife became the first to settle an area of land northeast of Ithaca. The Perrins built a log cabin and cleared land for others to follow. As the settlement grew, Perrin filled a variety of roles – as the first innkeeper, merchant, brick-maker and distiller in the expanding community. Originally part of the town of Locke, in 1817 a separate town was established and named Groton, a reference to two towns of that name in Connecticut and Massachusetts, from where many of this community’s first settlers came. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gtzl9gIhbdE

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Cooperstown

In 1786, William Cooper traveled from his home in New Jersey and founded a settlement at the southern end of Otsego Lake. Cooper had purchased 10,000 acres of land near the lake, and within weeks he had sold all the property to eager farmers and settlers. Initially known as the Village of Otsego, in 1812 it was renamed Cooperstown in honor of its founder. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzRo_X9_qsQ

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Walton

In 1785, Dr. Platt Townsend, Robert and Gabriel North, William Furman, Joshua Pine and their families, left their homes in Long Island to settle a wilderness area along the West Branch of the Delaware River. The land was part of a large patent granted fifteen years earlier to New York businessman William Walton by King George III. Led by Dr. Townsend, the five families arrived, built log cabins and became the first settlers of what would later be known as “Walton.”

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Auburn

The City of Auburn is located at the northern end of Owasco Lake. Originally known as Hardenbergh’s Corners, it was settled in 1793, and named after its founder John Hardenbergh, a veteran of the Sullivan-Clinton campaign. The settlement was renamed Auburn in 1805, and within ten years had grown to be the largest village in Central and Western New York. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4swdb9BEY4

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Newark Valley

In 1790, Elisha Wilson purchased land along the east branch of Owego Creek in New York’s Southern Tier. The following year, Wilson, Abraham Brown and John Carpenter left their homes in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, to settle the area. After a month’s journey, they arrived at the site. Log cabins were built, land was cleared, crops were planted – and Wilson, Brown and Carpenter became the first permanent settlers of the area originally known as “Brown’s Settlement” – now known as Newark Valley. https://youtu.be/Tmf2knOOr64

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Trumansburg

In 1792, Abner Treman was awarded 600 acres of land in New York State for his service in the Revolutionary War. Located on the western rim of the Cayuga Valley, Treman’s parcel had been occupied for centuries by the Haudenosaunee. Abundant with timber and fertile farmland, Treman, his brother-in law John McLallan and their families settled in the area, cleared land, planted crops and built a grist mill. A small community developed and quickly grew. Incorporated in 1872 as “Tremain’s Village,” it was later renamed “Trumansburg.”

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Oneonta

A path on the campus of Hartwick College climbs to a prominent geological formation known as Table Rock. From this spot travelers can see spectacular panoramic view of the town of Oneonta. Historians disagree on the origin of the town name, but it is generally accepted to be derived from the Iroquois word pronounced “o-neny-onda,” meaning “place of open rocks.”

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Owego

Amos Draper was a successful trader in Upstate New York in the years following the American Revolution, and he was especially fond of an area along the Susquehanna River in present day Tioga County. In 1787, Amos and his wife Lydia built a log cabin on the north bank of the Susquehanna River near the confluence with Owego Creek – establishing themselves as the first settlers in what would become the village of Owego. https://youtu.be/vhwdjxEp7t0

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Corning

Between 1789 and 1792, the first white settlers began to arrive in the Chemung River valley near the present-day city of Corning. They used waterpower to fuel numerous sawmills – cutting lumber that was shipped to cities as far away as Baltimore. In 1833, the Chemung and Feeder Canal helped connect this new community to additional markets, and the arrival of the railroad by the 1850s spurred further development. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjQy7Y2cVek

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Binghamton

In 1787, a wealthy Philadelphia banker named William Bingham saw a vision for a new community at the confluence of the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers. However, Bingham died in 1804, before his vision was fully realized. It was left to Bingham’s land agent, Joshua Whitney, to forge ahead with the settlement’s streets, bridges, and courthouse. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wf2NW5K5vu8

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Bovina Center

In 1792, settlers from New England started a new community in the rolling hills of Delaware County, and were later joined by a group of Scots in 1800. In 1820, this community became the town of Bovina. General Erastus Root suggested the name Bovina because the area was good for the raising of cattle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o52Wv4Ty3d8

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Big Flats

Located in Chemung County, along the banks of the Chemung River in Chemung County, is the town of Big Flats. First settled in 1787, the town was created from parts of Elmira in 1822, and was named for the large river flats around the river. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AR-8ZfVdl8

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Bath

In 1793, Colonel Charles Williamson, a land agent for Sir William Pulteney of Bath, England, saw the valley at the head of the Cohocton River in Upstate New York as an ideal location for a new village. In 1796, the community of Bath was formed, and the village was first incorporated 1816, but was not organized until 1836. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRRvmnyFR4g

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Endicott

Nicknamed the Magic City, the Village of Endicott started as a planned village by the Endicott Land Company in 1900. Within 6 years, the new community was incorporated and included major factories built and operated by the Endicott Johnson Shoe Company. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIAXCl6LzYo

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Deposit

Taking its name from that lumbering process, in 1811 the Village of “Deposit” was formed in Delaware County. Years later the village absorbed neighboring Deansville, of Broome County. As a result, Deposit has the rare distinction of being located within two counties. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjssUVWm3sg

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Hancock

The drifting waters of the East and the West Branch of the Delaware River meet in the in heart of the village of Hancock in Delaware County. The community was settled shortly before the American Revolution and was founded on the strength of lumbering and rafting along the river. In the mid-19th century, French and German settlers also joined the early transplanted New Englanders who helped to create the town. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKjM-1011Hk

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Greene

A historical marker stands on the banks of the Chenango River, at the site where Stephen Ketchum built a log cabin in 1792. Having traveled from Saratoga County to the Chenango River valley, Ketchum settled on land purchased by the State from the Oneida and Tuscarora people. A party of French refugees soon joined Ketchum and a settlement was formed. Originally known as “Hornsby,” the town was later renamed “Greene,” in honor of Nathanael Greene, a Continental Army general in the Revolutionary War. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHqMJaVxs3g

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Hammondsport

At the head of Keuka Lake in Steuben County sits the village of Hammondsport. Settled in 1796, it was first surveyed in 1808, by Judge Lazarus Hammond. Hammond saw potential in this new settlement, but growth was slow until the opening of the Crooked Lake Canal in 1833 allowed the community to be connected with the Erie Canal. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odSFJY34RWQ

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Delhi

In 1785, Abel Kidder and his brother John traveled from western Massachusetts and settled in an area on the west branch of the Delaware River. Others soon followed, including Gideon Frisbee and Thomas Farrington. Frisbee converted his log house into a tavern to serve the growing settlement as well as travelers through the area. The community continued to grow and in 1798, the Town of Delhi was formed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6ynM-7FB8I

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Cortland

In 1791, Joseph Beebe, his wife Rhoda and brother-in-law Amos Todd, paddled up the Tioughnioga River from Windsor, to settle in Lot no. 42 in the Central New York Military Tract. After building a temporary log cabin, the men returned to Windsor for provisions, leaving Rhoda to fend for herself for several months in the isolated wilderness. Soon a village and a new county – both named Cortland, in honor of Pierre Van Cortlandt, the first lieutenant governor of New York State – were established. Incorporated as a city in 1900, Cortland is located in the geographic heart of the state.

Bainbridge

In the late 1780’s pioneers from Vermont settled on rich farmland along the Susquehanna River. The settlement grew, and in 1791 the town of Jerico was formed. In 1814 the town was renamed “Bainbridge,” in honor of William Bainbridge, commander of the USS Constitution during the War of 1812. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shkBE4jijes

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Windsor

In 1785, John Doolittle arrived in present day Broome County from New England, cleared land and established a farm, becoming the first permanent settler of the area. Doolittle was soon joined by David Hotchkiss, Frederick Goodell and John Garnsey. Within twenty years from John Doolittle’s arrival, the population had grown to 1,000, and in 1807 the town of Windsor was established. https://youtu.be/MLnBqRLqGrw

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Whitney Point

General John Patterson arrived in northern Broome County in 1791 to settle what originally called Patterson’s Corner’s, along the Tioughnioga and West Otselic Rivers. In 1802, Thomas and William Whitney settled in the new community, becoming the founders of the village of Whitney Point. The village was incorporated in 1871. https://youtu.be/7TmNt3Gm2dc

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Watkins Glen

In 1794, John W. Watkins and several other partners purchased 350,000 acres of land near the outlet of Seneca Lake in what is now Schuyler County. The group was intent on creating a new village at the location, surrounded by the natural beauty of the area. The village was originally called Jefferson in 1842, but became Watkins in 1852, and finally, in 1926, Watkins Glen. https://youtu.be/WCEDQbN4q9I

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Ithaca

In 1794, Simeon DeWitt received 1,400 acres located along the southern banks of Cayuga Lake from his father-in-law. DeWitt divided the land into lots and in 1807 he named the new community Ithaca. Ithaca incorporated as a village and became the county seat in 1817. https://youtu.be/6yVimUgsNlY

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Waverly

In the early 1800s, Isaac Shepard and Deacon Ephraim Strong settled on land within Town of Barton in Tioga County. Situated on the east bank of the Chemung River, the community struggled to grow. The first house was completed in 1810, and the Chemung Turnpike – now Chemung Street – was laid out. In 1853, the village was incorporated as Waverly. https://youtu.be/TsdvVUXdjuE

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Norwich

Entering Norwich from the south on Route 12, a roadside historical marker indicates the spot where Avery Power first settled along the Chenango River in 1788. More settlers from Massachusetts and Connecticut quickly followed. They traveled from Albany along the Unadilla River, following marked trees to the Power farm. The area was original known as “Indian Fields”, but five years after Power’s arrival, the town of Norwich was formed – taking its name from Norwich, Connecticut. https://youtu.be/i-ocqGgK19Q

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Oxford

In 1788, Elijah Blackman settled on what would later be known as Cork Island in the Chenango River. Three years later, after a harrowing journey, Blackman’s two oldest sons and 11-year old adopted daughter Polly arrived. The owner of the land, Benjamin Hovey, arrived that same year and named the new settlement Oxford, after his hometown in Massachusetts. https://youtu.be/aXjoZ-c-bTw

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Roxbury

In 1789, a party of twenty families traveled from Connecticut to the Catskill Mountains in Delaware County – in search of a new home. Along the east branch of the Delaware River they found the log cabin of Israel Inman, who had settled in the area just one year earlier. With Inman’s assistance, the group located a suitable spot, and started the settlement that would become Roxbury. https://youtu.be/N9v0F4b1aYw

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Seneca Falls

Located between the northern ends of Cayuga and Seneca Lake is an area once known by the Indian name “Sha-so-onse,” or “running waters.” Seneca Falls is noted for its spectacular natural beauty, described by one visitor in 1791 as the “Paradise of America.” More recently, it is believed to have provided inspiration for the fictional village of “Bedford Falls” in the 1946 classic “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

 

Sidney

In 1770, Rev. William Johnston and an Indian guide set out by canoe from Otsego Lake to explore the Susquehanna River valley, and arrived at the site of an old Indian fort near a confluence with the Unadilla River. Two years later, Johnston returned with his son, cleared land, and with the arrival of additional families, established what would be called “Johnston Settlement.” From Johnston’s Settlement, the Town of Sidney was formed, named in honor of British naval officer and Revolutionary War hero, Sir Sidney Smith. https://youtu.be/RXZx_GQZ-yo

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

 

Moravia

In 1789, John Stoyell travelled from Connecticut to establish a home in New York. He was offered a gift of land at the southern end of Owasco Lake, on the condition that he use his influence to bring new settlers to the area. With its rich farmland and spectacular natural beauty it wasn’t long before others followed. Originally known as Owasco Flats, the village grew and was later named Moravia – a name which, as historians would later recall, “had no particular significance, but sounded well.”

 

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Maine

Farmers such as Benjamin Norton and Alfred and Russell Gates first settled in the area in western Broome County that became the town of Maine in 1790s. In 1848, the town was officially formed from portions of the Town of Union. https://youtu.be/LJrRGYF9AIk

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Montour Falls

Among the many Iroquois villages destroyed during the 1779 Sullivan-Clinton Campaign was She-que-ga, often referred to by travelers as Catharine’s Town. The village, located on the southern bank of Seneca Lake in the heart of present-day Schuyler County, got the nickname from its leader, Queen Catharine Montour. After the war, an influx of white settlers came to the area and in 1802 the first post office opened. Called Havana in 1828, and incorporated in 1836, the village became a prosperous manufacturing town. In 1895, the village changed its name to Montour Falls, in honor of Queen Catharine. https://youtu.be/f048r9fFQqI

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Horseheads

First settled in 1789, Horseheads, New York is located a few miles north of Elmira in Chemung County. Horseheads’ unique name comes from a Revolutionary war era anecdote. https://youtu.be/UsnbDJGqRy4

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Peter Burford's 'Wines of the Finger Lakes' Tells the Story of the Local Wine Industry

Peter Burford’s book ‘Wines of the Finger Lakes’ is a treasure trove of information about this major industry. It tells of the industry’s unlikely beginnings when an Episcopal clergyman took a charge in Hammondsport and was unable to find a source for sacramental wine.  We hear about the meaning of ‘terroir’ and why the terroir of the Finger Lakes is especially welcoming to viticulture, and how the industry survived Prohibition. http://wskg.org/audio/winesmix.mp3

 

 

Photo credit: Finger Lakes Grape Program via Flickr