Early Images of St. James’

St James' Rough

The present home of St. James’ Episcopal Church was built in 1873 and the sanctuary was enlarged in 1901, which dates the photo above as pre-1901. What will become F.C. Austin Park is still wild, with no breakwall.

St James' plus Legg Dock

The church after the sanctuary was enlarged, with the Tiffany window facing west. In the foreground, two men on the dock behind Legg Hall, with the roof of Joel Thayer’s boathouse visible on the left.

St. James' Back After 1901

The back of the church. There are power lines, but steps still lead to the carriage entrance on the northeast corner of the church.

St James' plus Weeks House

The land to the west has been cleared, but there is still no breakwall (built in 1935). The Weeks House, built in 1902, is visible across Genesee Street, and may have been occupied by the Hawkins family when this photo was taken.


The Deering Parade

Deering Parade 1898

On Saturday, June 4, 1898, the Deering Co. of Chicago, manufacturers of harvesting equipment, with the aid of their local sales representatives, hosted a display of Deering farm machines in the village park across the street from the Packwood House (today’s Sherwood Inn) and then treated buyers and other guests, 130 in all, to lunch at the inn. The Borodino Band provided “several airs,” and the day was capped by a parade, described in the Skaneateles Free Press of June 7th:

“Promptly at 2 P.M. the street parade took place. There were forty-four teams in line… headed by Marshal George Van Etten, followed by the Borodino Band, and the forty-four teams, drawing wagons on which were loaded mowers, binders and rakes. Many wagons were trimmed with flags, and all bore on their sides a large placard on which was printed in red ‘Deering.’ The line was over a quarter of a mile in length. The parade was witnessed by a large number of persons. The line of march was from Genesee-st. to Leitch-ave., to Academy-st., to Jordan-st., to W. Elizabeth-st., to Griffin-st., to Genesee-st., to the outlet bridge, where it was photographed by Artist Hummel and then disbanded.”

* * *

Photograph by William Ellsworth Hummel, courtesy of the Skaneateles Historical Society, scan by Bill Hecht, Press account from fultonhistory.com.

The West Cove

Lakeside Studio

Friends received this photograph as a housewarming gift and it raised a number of questions: who took the photo, where and when was it taken, and who was sitting on the breakwall.

The “where” was easy; the photo was taken at the Cove, or the West Cove as it is also known, on the lake side of West Lake Street.

The “who” and “when” is a little more difficult. In the lower right-hand corner is the imprint of the “Lakeside Studio,” a part of the firm of Livingston, Williams & Hunt (later just Williams & Hunt), dry goods merchants who sold postcards of Skaneateles they had printed in Germany. This narrows the search down: the date to between 1899 and 1930, and to two photographers, Izora N. Cayvette and Manford Lindon Shattuck.

Earlier, in 1885, the Lake Shore Studio was established by Frank Lincoln Harris, upstairs from the store of Herbert A. Livingston. In June of 1895, Harris left the village and moved his studio to Cortland, N.Y., where he was assisted by Izora Cayvette between 1896 and 1901.

After working in Syracuse as a photographic retoucher, Izora “Zora” Cayvette came to Skaneateles in 1907 and became the house photographer for the Lakeside Studio.

Zora 1

In July of 1918, Zora Cayvette left Skaneateles, moving to Florida, and M.L. Shattuck took her place. Whereas Cayvette was primarily a portrait photographer, Shattuck also had artistic leanings.

Shattuck 1

American Photography, August 1921

My best guess is that Shattuck took the photo of the West Cove in the 1920s and, going out on a limb, I would suggest that the young man on the breakwall is Sedgwick Smith. His family had the wherewithal to commission a photo, and he is seated not far from the Smith family home, just across West Lake Street, where he spent most of his life.

For fans of the West Cove, here are a few more images:

What Is It 1884

The Cove (and Charles Poor’s “What Is It”) in 1884, photo possibly by Lindsay Poor

Dog in Boat LS Studio

A dog in a boat, which became a postcard in 1905…

Dog in Boat 1905

Shore Dog 1907

Dated 1907, but I’ll bet it’s the same dog.

Harry Pierce Sunshine Fitch Boathouse

Harry Pierce’s “Sunshine,” photo courtesy of the Skaneateles Historical Society

The Cove Early

Cove and Fitch

West Cove Pano

Panoramic postcard by Williams & Hunt

West Cove Tinted

Tinted postcard by Williams & Hunt