THE VILLAGE OF SKANEATELES IS 175 YEARS OLD
Pat Blackler, Village Historian
On April 19, Skaneateles can say that the Village was incorporated 175 years ago, in 1833. At the centennial celebration of the same date, in 1933, there were grand festivities in the Village. I quote from an editorial in the then Syracuse Herald: “It is a wholesome, patriotic sentiment that inspires American villages to recognize their centennial anniversaries with up-to-date celebrations marked by reminiscent fervor. As in the case of Skaneateles Village, demonstrations of this class arouse a neighborhood enthusiasm which the average large city cannot match in point of local ardor.” The 100th celebration was a success from every angle; the weather was perfect, and there were thousands of visitors to the Village who were very impressed with the week-long pageant. A temporary museum was set up by the residents in a home on Genesee Street.
A civic holiday was declared by the then mayor, Charles DeWitt; all business was suspended to witness a parade that included a covered wagon driven by a descendant of the Cuddeback family (our first settler). Dr. Alexander Flick, the State Historian, and Judge Frank Hiscock spoke that day. During the week, the Central New York Firemen’s Association opened a two-day convention; 210 delegates attended and more then 2000 firemen of the 14 CNY and Southern Tier counties took part in an all-day program. The Skaneateles Firemen also were celebrating their centennial.
In 1983 the Village was to celebrate again, this time for the 150th, the sesquicentennial. Under the wonderful leadership of Dave Chase, Don Stinson, and their committee, events dotted the whole year and a souvenir booklet was published that is used today by anyone who wants to have a quick and easy knowledge of our history. The booklet has been reprinted by the Historical Society and is on sale at the Creamery. Every Village resident should have one in their bookcase. Let me quote from Mr. Chase’s foreword to the publication: “This booklet can only touch on the people, events and accomplishments that have made Skaneateles what it is today. I do hope, however, it will stimulate many of you to look further into our rich history and to become more aware of the personalities and the vital additions over the years that have enhanced the quality of living in our lovely community.”
So here we are today, the 175th, yes, the quartoseptcentennial. May the word feel right and be easily said by April 19 when both the Volunteer Firemen and the Village will celebrate the day and the year. Happy Anniversary!