Cortland historian to present talk on Little York Lake

The following is a republished press release from the Glen Haven Historical Society…to submit a community announcement, email Peter Blanchard at [email protected].

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HOMER, N.Y. – Little York, with its architecturally significant pavilion, is known now as the summer home of the Cortland Repertory Theatre. Though fitting for its current purpose, the building served a different one when it was opened.

Celebrated area historian Mary Ann Kane is slated to present a talk titled, “Little York: Before Broadway Arrived,” at 2:15 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 16 at the Glen Haven School and Public Library, 7325 Fair Haven Road, Homer, at the south end of Skaneateles Lake. All are welcome to attend.

In the late 1800s, Little York Lake was the only resort area located between Syracuse and Binghamton. Excursion trains run by the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad permitted passengers to spend the day at the southern end of the lake to enjoy picnicking, boating and dancing.

The Cortland Traction Co. bought nearly a hundred acres of land on the northern end of the lake in 1904. In order to increase ridership on its trolleys, it built a complex that focused on these activities and not on amusement rides.

The first floor of the unique 1906 pavilion featured a restaurant, and the second floor held a dance hall. A large dock and boathouses provided access to the lake for those interested in water sports.

The story of this development and its activities will be the topic of Mary Ann’s program. It will be preceded by a 1 p.m. picnic and the 1:45 p.m. annual Glen Haven Historical Society business meeting.

There is no charge for any of these activities, and everyone is invited. Picnickers are asked to provide a dish to share and their own table service and beverages. All attendees should bring their own lawn chairs.

Interesting programs such as this one are scheduled from June through October. The 1901 Glen Haven School and Public Library, designed by prominent New York City architect Ehrick K. Rossiter, is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites.

The restored building is open to visitors from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturdays in July and August and at other times by appointment. The last teacher of the school when it closed in 1968 and her daughter, an alumna of the school, host an elementary school field trip program entitled, “A Day in the Life of a One-Room School.”

For more information about any of these activities, please contact Charles Jermy at (607) 749-4365 or [email protected].


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