So Many Charming Ladies

“On Tuesday, Sept. 1st [1846], we were present at the celebration of Skaneateles [Odd Fellows] Lodge No. 193 where we had the pleasure of greeting brethren from Auburn, Syracuse, Weedsport, Jordan, etc. It was a beautiful day, and the charming village of Skaneateles shone in her glory.

“The procession was formed in front of the Lake House, about 12 o’clock, under the direction of Bro. Jason Reed, and marched in the following order: 1. Skaneateles Band, 2. Skaneateles Lodge, 3. Neighboring Lodges, 4. Orator and Committee of Reception, 5. Members of Encampments. The appearance of the procession was very fine and imposing. A more intelligent class of men were never assembled together.

“The exercises at the church were interesting. The meeting was called to order by the D.D. Grand Master W.H. Jewett Esq., when the Opening Ode was sung by the Brethren. Then followed a most appropriate, fervent, and impressive prayer by the Rev. Bro. J. T. Hough of the Presbyterian Church, Cato; this was succeeded by music by the band after which came the Oration of which it does not become us to speak.

“The church was filled with the beauty and intelligence of the town and all seemed to enter with spirit into the exercises. The presence of so many charming ladies could not fail to inspire any orator whose heart was not entirely withered.

“Not the least of the attractions was the luxurious dinner provided by Bro. Fay, of the Lake House. The brethren did not seem forgetful of their duty to it.

“In the afternoon, accompanied by Brothers Jewett and Snook, we amused ourself with a sail upon the beautiful lake, and in the evening, by the politeness of Bro. Fowler and others, we were entertained with a ride along its shores.

“The village of Skaneateles is built around the foot of the lake which bears the same name, and seen from many points, presents a beautiful and picturesque appearance. It is well ornamented with shrubbery, and shaded with foliage, and the country around is beautifully varied. The lake, however, is its chief attraction; it is so pure, and sweeps so gracefully through that fertile country, and among those green hills. We need not say we left this enchanting place with regret.”

— From The Golden Rule, September 12, 1846, the Rev. A.C.L. Arnold

Note: The Lake House was built in 1824 by David Hall, on the northwest corner of Genesee and Jordan Streets; it was originally known as the Indian Queen Hotel. For many years, its ballroom was the only public hall in the village. It was destroyed by fire on July 19, 1870. The “Bro. Fay” referred to was Massilon W. Fay, the hotel’s landlord.

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