Oldest Photo of the Village


A panoramic photo of the village of Skaneateles, dated between 1851 and 1865, taken from Lake View Cemetery, when the cemetery indeed had a lake view. (Click on the photo for a larger image.) On the right, by the prominent tree, you can see the backs of houses on West Lake Street, including the Reuel Smith house, built between 1851 and 1853. My thanks to the Skaneateles Historical Society.


2 thoughts on “Oldest Photo of the Village

  1. I love your offerings. I can’t help with the year of this photo, but I can tell you that it is early spring, probably May, on a calm Monday morning at about 8am.

    In the center of photo is an apple orchard just blossoming out. The rest of the hardwoods are still barren. Cows and horses are not yet allowed outside the barn to the spring-soggy barnyard or pastures. If allowed out to early, those areas turn to into mud instead of vegetation.

    On the right side of photo, to the right of the base of the elm tree, is a stile. And toward the lake from it is a clothes line full of just-washed “whites” laundry. No woman would “do her wash” any day but Monday, was in competition with all the neighbors to get her laundry out the earliest on Monday morning, and always “ran” the whites in the first load and then got into the “colored”, then the darkest and dirtiest (men’s coveralls) last. The first load got hung while the next load was being “put thru”. Also note: no wind is whipping that clothesline of “first load”!!

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