“It is one of the most delightful and picturesque villages in western New York. The following shows the appearance of the village of Skaneateles as viewed from the residence of Mr. Joseph Barber, on the western Lake road in the vicinity of the outlet of the lake, seen on the left; the Episcopal and Presbyterian churches are seen on the right.
“From this village the eye measures about half the distance of the lake, which is 16 miles in length by an average width of one mile. There is no marshy land on either shore of this lake. The soil is of the best limestone quality, and the finely cultivated fields (mostly fenced with cedar posts and hemlock boards) make a gradual descent for a considerable distance to the margin of the lake.
“The stranger who visits this beautiful village, often expresses surprise that it has not long since been selected as the site of an extensive seminary of learning, or some public benevolent institution.”
— From Historical Collections of the State of New York; containing A General Collection of the Most Interesting Facts, Traditions, Biographical Sketches, Anecdotes, &c. Relating to Its History and Antiquities with Geographical Descriptions of Every Township in the State (1842) by John W. Barber and Henry Howe