“Skaneateles, at the outlet of the lake, is the second of those attractive lake cities (Cazenovia being the first) that we encounter in traveling this great western thoroughfare. It contains four churches, an academy, and five grist-mills that can make forty thousand barrels of flour annually, also four saw, four carding and cloth-dressing mills, two woollen factories, two furnaces and foundaries, two machine-shops, four tanneries, two carriage factories, two taverns, eight stores, three hundred houses, and two thousand one hundred and fifty inhabitants.
“The site of the village is unsurpassed in its complete command of the lake, that is as transparent as air; its banks romantic, picturesque, and rising into eminences of several hundred feet at its southern termination; it abounds with trout in its deep cool waters, that reflect, like a mirror, the hills and slopes, woods, meadows, and pure white farm houses.
“Petrifactions also abound here; on the east, and on a level with the water, are organic remains of the cornu ammonis, imbedded in slate. Three miles north of the outlet, the creek sinks into the rocks below the falls of seventy feet, and is lost for some distance, but this is often the case in Florida, and in limestone countries. The Indian name of this lake, as preserved, means LONG; it is fed by springs, and is fifteen miles long by one half to one and a half wide.”
— The North American Tourist (1839) by A.T. Goodrich