New Hope Dock


Love the hats.


2 thoughts on “New Hope Dock

  1. Oct 12, 2014
    New Hope Landing memories

    The photo of the remains of a dock at New Hope Landing, on Skaneateles Lake brought back some of my earliest memories.

    My Father’s father (Geo L Gutchess) had owned the site at the south end of the lake where a few decades earlier was where the big sawmill had been that cut all the lumber to build the Glen Haven Water Cure and it’s many cottages. A lakefront camp came with that purchase and my Father grew up enjoying the summertime pleasures there. My parents very first date in their college years was an excursion from Syr U to this camp for a day of swimming.

    All the easily forested tracts in Central New York had been pretty much clearcut by this time. My Father, CB Gutchess, whose lumber company was less than ten years old and struggling from the depression, bought a track of timber in the middle 1930s. It ran from the base of Carpenters Falls all the way down to the Lake, just south of Carpenters Point. It was maybe one hundred acres and probably mostly old growth timber due to its placement up and down the sides of the ravines formed by Carpenter Creek and thus a nearly impossible area to harvest.

    Probably a secondary motive was getting a site on the shore to build a cabin for his family. He and my Mother quickly drew up plans for a cabin and with one or two of his workers from his struggling business in Cortland, built the two story place on the shore. I was about six years old and I remember rolling stones down the hill in back of the cabin for the mason to make the fireplace and chimney.

    With chairs from the Mottville Chair Co where he could trade lumber, to the carpenter built table, to the canvas army cots for us children, to the kerosene stove, it was paradise to us children. No running water, no electricity, no bathroom, just truly summer camping. We were isolated and safe from exposure to polio.

    For entertainment, we children explored up and down the lakeside. Directly south of our camp, on the bank above the lake and into the trees was a short dirt road that went only in front of about five cabins. (There was a foot path that went all the way to the next several points.) Those cabins were all carpenter-built, probably around the turn of the century, and I think in my time were all owned by one person and rented out each summer to mostly teachers (who had summers off), some with families, some just groups of young teachers or maybe just college friends.

    Down on the water, in front of these camps, was the steamboat dock which had been a covered structure when constructed many years earlier. And maybe it also was after this pictured dock got replaced. Thus it’s name, New Hope Landing. People from the communities up on the hill (New Hope) and on the state road would come down here to catch a ride on the boat going to one end or other of the lake. But weather is hard on docks and but the time I saw it, I think it did not have roof and sidewalls, but was in better condition than the pictured dock.

    In the photo you printed of this dock, it’s much beaten by winter storms and ice. But check out the tall pole with a basket-type object tied at the top. I believe that was a receptacle to be lowered out to the Mail Boat to receive the mail coming to the cabins there. Because of the pushed in piles on the front of the dock, the boat could not get very close to hand over the mail, so this system got devised.

    I think you could have labeled it, “Waiting for the Mail”.

    I do so enjoy your stories and photos.
    Elsie Gutchess

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