Around Skaneateles Lake in Five Generations

Glen Haven Historical Society hosts picnic and illustrated talk

— Elsie Gutchess will share a foundational part of her family’s history in an illustrated talk entitled, “All the Way Around Skaneateles Lake,” at 2:15 p.m. on Sunday, August 19, at the Glen Haven School and Public Library, 7325 Fair Haven Road, at the head (south end) of Skaneateles Lake. All are welcome to attend.

As a young girl in the 1890s, Elsie’s grandmother, on her horse, visited the Glen Haven Water-Cure on the southeast end of the lake, and, when later married, she and Elsie’s grandfather bought the Cady sawmill and the Fair Haven house that went with it located on the southeast lake corner. In the 1930s, Elsie’s parents purchased a large forested tract between New Hope and Carpenter’s Point on the west-central side and there, at lakeside, they built a camp.

As Elsie has characterized it, “To a child, its charm was no running water, no electricity, no phone. When we outgrew it in the 1940s, my parents bought the Fall Brook Point property, and we all spent several decades there. Still no phones, but boats!”

By the 1950s, Elsie had married into a family with a log cabin on Vaniderstine Brook near the southwestern end of the lake, and, after making her home on the West Lake Road between Skaneateles and Mandana, she opened a toy store in the Village of Skaneateles.

In the 1970s, a brother and sister-in-law bought the Potter Camp next to Elsie’s south-end log cabin and raised their family there. Later, one of their sons married and bought a lakefront home on East Lake Road near Willow Brook where he and his wife are now raising their children with lots of water activities.

As Elsie notes, “In my travels around the lake, I’ve met many wonderful people. And some real characters. This talk will be my recollections of those people, buildings, events and lake activities, mostly from the late 1930s to about 1980. I will welcome any of the audience who can embellish on my tales. (We each must take responsibility for our memories and the sharing of same so the youngsters can know and appreciate our good old days and all that transpired before their electronic world came along.)”

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