Fervid Rays, 1858

“The dwelling houses in Skaneateles are neat and tasteful buildings, very cleanly in appearance and the yards in front of them are filled with choice shrubbery and elegant flowers, which with the gravel and other walks running through them give the beholder the highest idea of comfort and convenience to be found within these habitations. There are also side walks of brick, stone and wood on each side of the principal streets, all in excellent repair, while the said streets are planted with a large and healthy growth of shade trees, the foliage of which is so thick and wide spreading as to completely shelter pedestrians from the fervid rays of the noontide sun.

“The business portion of the town is all situated on the lake shore (an unfortunate arrangement, by the way) and considerable activity and enterprise is manifested there, though we must confess that we have seen rather more of this sort of movement in Broadway, New York city. To sum up, as the lawyers say, this is a beautiful, quiet and orderly little village, and if a man has the requisite amount of dollars to support himself in style, he cannot pitch upon a more desirable location for a residence. We say this honestly and sincerely.

“Rather a laughable incident befell us while gauping about the streets. We were wandering along the one that runs close to the lake shore in a south-westerly direction, and just as we got opposite a fine Gothic house, with elegant surroundings, a lady came to the door with a broom in her hand. We stood like a great green horn as we are, gazing at the house with considerable intensity, when the aforesaid lady exclaimed with much animation to some one within, ‘Jane, Jane! Come here quick! There! Did you ever see such a well dressed Indian before?’

“Tis unnecessary to add that we ‘scattered’ like chaff in a whirlwind.”

 — From “Visit to Skaneateles,” Skaneateles Democrat, August 5, 1858; reprinted from the Onondaga Gazette, no author named.


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