Art Park founder discusses Cazenovia history

Following the Revolutionary War, great tracts of land in Central New York once held by the British, became available. The Holland Land Company, a Dutch consortium, was greatly interested in acquiring the land. They instructed their agent in Philadelphia, the Frenchman Theophilus de Cazenove, to look into the matter. ln 1792 he sent the young Dutch naval officer, Col. John Lincklaen, to appraise the land. He arrived at the southern shore of the lake, then called "Owhotghigo" by the Native American who lived near the lake's north shore. Lincklaen was inspired by the beauty of the lake and possibly of the surrounding land. He returned to Philadelphia with the recommendation that the Holland Land Company acquire 120,000 acres in six townships extending south from the lake in what was then called Road Township and later the Cazenovia Establishment.

John Lincklaen returned from Philadelphia to found the village of Cazenovia, named for his mentor, Theophilus de Cazenove. The village became the headquarters for his operation. He hired a surveyor to layout the village and the land of Road Township. This was done in a rigid grid of numbered lots of approximately 55 acres each. Roads were built to connect the lots in the Lincklaen Establishment to the village and southern settlements.

Attracted by the availability and reasonableness of the land, many families moved west from the seacoast colonies to homestead Cazenovia. ln 1801, widow May Hackley moved to Cazenovia with hertwo teenage sons. She purchased the 50-acre plot number 5, for $5.83 an acre. The plot was located two miles east of the village and one mile south of the Great Western Turnpike (now Route 20) on the Joe Road. The road had been named for the builder, Joe Messinger. The name was later changed to Stone Quarry Road for the quarry bordering it.

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