Tag Archives: Finger Lakes

The Story of Hemlock and Canadice Lakes


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Part 2 of The Finger Lakes Museum’s three-part inaugural program series, Back from the Brink; The Story of Hemlock and Canadice Lakes, will be presented at the Finger Lakes Wine Center in Ithaca on Thursday, August 18th at 7:00 p.m. The series highlights the natural and cultural history of the only two undeveloped Finger Lakes.

Lima Town Historian Douglas Morgan will present, “Blue Blood to Blue Water”, a forgotten view of what Hemlock and Canadice—the only two undeveloped Finger Lakes—looked like between 1875 and 1945. It is a remarkable story of quaint cottages, elegant summer homes, bustling resort hotels, and passenger-ferrying steamboats—and the City of Rochester’s need of a new source for clean drinking water. Morgan’s program will include a slide presentation of antique photographs that help tell his story.

Part 3, “Lakes Go Wild”, will be presented in the Finger Lakes Wine Center on Thursday, September 1st at 7:00 p.m. It will tell about watershed protection efforts that began more than a century ago and detail the trials and tribulations that eventually evolved into the 7,000-acre Hemlock-Canadice State Forest in 2010. A slide presentation will accompany this final program chapter.

According to museum board president, John Adamski, Part 1 of the series, “From the Brink of Extinction”, which was presented at the Wine Center on Saturday, August 6th, “told the story of the successful restoration of the bald eagle—a conservation effort that began in the Finger Lakes Region and spread across the nation.” He added, “People were excited to see Liberty, a live bald eagle, in-person, and were enthusiastic about The Finger Lakes Museum’s vision.”

Each of the “Back from the Brink” presentations is free and open to the public but pre-registration is requested. Donations are welcome.

The Finger Lakes Museum is an initiative to build a premier educational institution in Keuka Lake State Park to showcase the cultural heritage and ecological evolution of the 9,000 square-mile Finger Lakes Region. It was chartered by the New York State Board of Regents in 2009 and is operating from offices in a former elementary school in Branchport, NY, which it purchased from the Penn Yan Central School District in January.

The Museum’s Board of Trustees has launched a Founders Campaign to raise $1 million to retain design professionals and other consultants, hire staff, and pay for day-to-day operations. With a donation of $100 or more, anyone can become a Museum Founder and have their name permanently inscribed on the Founders Wall in the lobby of The Finger Lakes Museum. Donors will also receive a Founder certificate and decal.

For more information on the Founders Campaign or to pre-register for these programs, visit our website at www.fingerlakesmuseum.org or call us at 315-595-2200.

Photo: A 1910 Reunion at the Hemlock Lake Resort Springwater.

Update on Finger Lakes Museum Efforts


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The president of The Finger Lakes Museum’s board of trustees announced that the project’s Founders Campaign is nearing the halfway mark in an endeavor to raise $1 million by December 31st. The drive is financing operations at the former Branchport Elementary School, including hiring staff, and paying consultants for architectural and exhibit design services.

Board President John Adamski said, “The Founders Campaign was launched by the board late last year and has resulted in hundreds of donations that range from $100 to $100,000. We’re almost halfway there but there is still a long way to go.” He is asking people from across the Finger Lakes Region to consider making a tax-deductible contribution to the project. Significant funding has been received from the Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation and the Rochester Area Community Foundation. “We are also looking for program sponsors,” he added.

Anyone, including regional businesses, can become a founder of The Finger Lakes Museum by making a contribution of $100 or more. Donors will receive a founders’ certificate, vehicle decal, and have their names permanently inscribed as members of the Founders Society on the Founders Wall in the entrance to the main museum building. Contributions can be made online or mailed to the museum at PO Box 96, Keuka Park, NY, 14478.

The Finger Lakes Museum is an initiative to build a premier educational institution in Keuka Lake State Park to showcase the cultural heritage and ecological evolution of the 9,000 square-mile Finger Lakes Region. It was chartered by the New York State Board of Regents in 2009 and is operating from development offices in the school, which it purchased from the Penn Yan Central School District last January.

Adamski said that the project is being planned to become a primary tourist destination that will feature one of the largest freshwater fish aquariums in the Northeast. Studies show that it has the potential to increase tourism in the Finger Lakes Region and create hundreds of jobs in the private sector, he said.

Adamski also announced the election of two new members to the organization’s board of trustees. Tim Sellers of Geneva, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Keuka College, and retired lumber executive John Meisch of Rushville were both elected in a unanimous vote. Adamski said, “Tim’s expertise as a limnologist and professor of biology and environmental science will be a tremendous asset in planning the natural history component of the museum. We are all very excited to have him aboard.”

He also said, “And John Meisch brings a lifetime of business management experience and a working knowledge of American History to the board, which balances the cultural history component. I think that we’ve hit two home runs here.” The addition of Sellers and Meisch brings the number of board members to 13.

For more information or to make contact, see www.fingerlakesmuseum.org.

Finger Lakes Museum Presents Inaugural Program


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The Finger Lakes Museum will present its inaugural program series, “Back from the Brink: The Story of Hemlock and Canadice Lakes”, at Keuka College in three separate installments during the month of July. The first part of this series will begin with the telling of one of North America’s most fascinating conservation stories. Parts 2 and 3, which are scheduled for later in the month, complete this chronicle series. Each of the programs will be held at the Lightner Library.

Part I – From the Brink of Extinction: On Saturday, July 2nd at 2:00 p.m., bald eagle specialist Mike Allen, who recently retired from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, will talk about the discovery of the last remaining pair of nesting bald eagles in New York State in 1965 and the decades-long endeavor that ensued to restore their population. The original pair nested at the south end of Hemlock Lake. While telling his story, Mike will also present his original photographs and will be accompanied by Liberty, a magnificent live bald eagle.

Part II – Blue Blood to Blue Water: On Thursday, July 14th at 7:00 p.m., Lima Town Historian Douglas Morgan will present a forgotten view of what Hemlock and Canadice Lakes—the only two undeveloped Finger Lakes—looked like between 1875 and 1945. It is a remarkable story of cottages, summer homes, resort hotels, and steamboats—and the City of Rochester’s need of a new source for clean drinking water. Doug will include a slide presentation of antique photographs that help tell his story.

Part III – Lakes Go Wild: On Thursday, July 28th at 7:00 p.m., Jim Howe, executive director of the Central New York Chapter of the Nature Conservancy; Don Root, the Hemlock-Canadice Watershed Conservationist for the last 30 years; Steve Lewandowski, founder of the Coalition for Hemlock and Canadice Lakes; and Paul D’Amato, Regional Director for NYS DEC Region 8—all longtime advocates for the permanent protection of Hemlock and Canadice Lakes—will present this program. They will tell about watershed protection efforts that began more than a century ago and detail the trials and tribulations that eventually evolved into the 7,000-acre Hemlock-Canadice State Forest in 2010. A slide presentation will accompany this final program chapter.

Each of the “Back from the Brink” presentations is free and open to the public but pre-registration is requested. Donations are encouraged. For more information or to pre-register, see www.fingerlakesmuseum.org.

Note: This series will also be taking place at the Finger Lakes Wine Center in Ithaca on August 6th, August 18th, and September 1st.

Finger Lakes Museum Publishes New Guide


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As part of its mission to serve as a gateway to the Finger Lakes Region, The Finger Lakes Museum has published the premier edition of Pathways, a full-color map and guide to attractions and historical venues throughout the 14-county area. The publication is a partnership venture with Life in the Finger Lakes magazine and is being distributed as a removable insert in the Summer 2011 issue, which will be on newsstands soon. It can also be ordered online.

In a prepared statement the museum’s executive director, John Adamski, said, “The Pathways guide will be a valuable resource for anyone who is traveling in the Finger Lakes Region and looking for something to do.” It provides a map and directions to major museums, historical centers, historic sites and villages, state parks, visitors’ centers, nature centers, scenic vistas, byways, hiking trails, and waterfalls.

He added, “This publication is the result of an enormous amount of work by a group of tireless volunteers in a very short period of time. The research and graphic design efforts that went into this project are incredible.” The guide is planned to be updated and published annually in time for the tourism and vacation seasons.

The Finger Lakes Museum is an initiative to build a premier educational institution in Keuka Lake State Park to showcase the cultural heritage and ecological evolution of the 9,000 square-mile Finger Lakes Region. It was chartered by the New York State Board of Regents in 2009. The museum is operating from offices in a former elementary school in Branchport, NY (Yates County), which it purchased from the Penn Yan Central School District last January.

As part of its strategic plan, the Finger Lakes Museum has been forming collaborative partnerships with other historical and academic institutions in the region. Adamski said, “Pathways is the best way that we know of to direct people to the places where they can learn more about something that is of particular interest to them. And it has helped to cement some exciting new partnerships for us.”

An operational fundraising effort is presently underway in the form of The Finger Lakes Museum Founders Campaign. To learn more or to volunteer visit their webpage.

Finger Lakes Museum Buys Local School


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The Board of Trustees of the Finger Lakes Museum has voted to purchase the Branchport Elementary School from the Penn Yan Central School District for $200,000 and the deal was closed the same afternoon at the Yates County Clerk’s Office. The school has been vacant for several years due to school district consolidation.

Museum board president John Adamski said, “The original plan was for the Finger Lakes Visitors Association to purchase the school and lease it to the museum on a 5-year interim basis during the startup phase of the project, after which time the museum would move to its new quarters in Keuka Lake State Park. But we have since realized the long term potential of the building and grounds as a research and education center, directly affiliated with the museum. That’s 17,000 square feet that we don’t have to build in Keuka Lake State Park.” The two sites are about a mile apart.

The school was first proposed as a temporary museum headquarters by Keuka Lake site proponents during the search for a location to build the project in 2009. When Keuka Lake State Park—one of 19 sites then in contention—was chosen last April, the school was included in the deal.

Museum personnel occupied the building last summer and fall under an early occupancy agreement with the Town of Jerusalem while the FLVA pursued arrangements to purchase the property from the school district. The museum staff has moved to other quarters for the winter months to avoid heating the entire building for three staff members.

Adamski said, “At first we looked at the school as a temporary office and warehouse for artifacts and collections while the project was being designed and built. But after conducting program definition and market studies, we realized that we could have some initial museum exhibits and programming ready there as early as next summer.” Plans now call for making investments into the school property to upgrade the heating and septic systems and to make the building more energy efficient. Converting the gym into a theater and auditorium is also being considered.

Adamski said that recent partnership discussions with officials at Keuka College confirmed the potential of the school property to become a research and education center, administered by the museum, the college, and other academic partners. “All of these factors contributed to our change in plans”, he said.

Finger Lakes Boating Museum Elects Officers


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Trustees of the Finger Lakes Boating Museum that will be built on the Geneva waterfront in 2011 elected officers at their December Board of Trustees meeting.

Bill Oben of Bluff Point, a founding trustee, was re-elected as board president. Following a career in manufacturing management with Dupont and Kodak, he retired to Yates County where he has served on the boards of several other non-profit community organizations, including the Keuka Lake Association and the Yates County Genealogical & Historical Society.

Also re-elected to one-year terms were: Ed Wightman of Hammondsport, vice president; Bill Smith of Pittsford and Branchport, secretary; and Dennis Karalow of Penn Yan, treasurer.

Wightman, a native of the Keuka Lake area, is a retired college professor. In his retirement he restores Finger Lakes wooden boats. He is a past president of the boating museum and is a board member of Wine Country Classic Boats.

Smith, a registered professional engineer, Diplomate of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers, retired from Malcolm Pirnie Env. Engrs. where he was responsible for design, construction and operation of water and wastewater utilities. A consultant in the environmental field, he teaches at RIT.

Karalow relocated to Penn Yan from Virginia where he was the owner and general manager of Connell’s Valet, a drycleaning business in Vienna, VA., for 30 years.

The boating museum reached agreement with the City of Geneva last fall to establish a permanent home on the Geneva waterfront in association with the Visitor Center. The building, which will be located on the current Chamber of Commerce site, is being enabled by a $3.5 million grant provided to the city by state Sen. Michael Nozzolio. Construction is expected to start this spring.

The other members of the 14-member Board of Trustees are Phil Beckley of Geneva, Dave Bunnell of Geneva, Mayor Stu Einstein of Geneva, City Manager Matt Horn of Geneva, Scott Johnson of Hornell, Sam Pennise of Hammondsport, Vince Scalise of Geneva, Keith Toaspern of Penn Yan, Al Wahlig of Hammondsport and Chris Bennett-West of Pultneyville.

The following committee chairs will serve in 2011: Collections, Oben; Communications, Beckley; Finance, Karalow; Membership, Wightman; Nominating, Wahlig; Resource Development, Scalise; and Site Development, Oben.

The boating museum has assembled a collection of more than 100 wooden boats built in the Finger Lakes over the past 100 years, as well as numerous related artifacts and extensive reference material. The collection is stored in the Geneva Enterprise Development Center on North Genesee Street arranged by the Geneva IDA and in Yates County.

Portions of the collection will be displayed on a rotating basis within the new facility, but President Oben emphasized that there will be a lot more to the museum than viewing boats because education, restoration and preservation are the key elements of the museum’s mission.

Also featured will be boat rides on Seneca Lake, active on-water programs including sailing and small boat handling, interactive workshops and displays to engage visitors in the design and construction of boats and boating history materials and programs.

The boating museum is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation and was chartered by the New York State Department of Education in 1997 to “research, document, preserve and share the boating history of the Finger Lakes region.”

Additional information about the boating museum may be found on its website.

Finger Lakes Museum Narrows Design Teams


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Project director Don Naetzker announced that the number of design teams interested in planning the Finger Lakes Museum has been narrowed from 35 to 4. The four teams are led by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Cambridge 7, HBT Architects, and The Smith Group. Each team has museum design experience.

In September, representatives from 60 architectural, engineering, exhibit design and landscape architecture firms from across the country and Canada met at Keuka Lake State Park to hear Naetzker and board president John Adamski describe the concept, mission, and vision for the project. Attendees were invited to submit qualifications to compete for the design commission. Thirty-five qualification packages were received by museum officials.

Naetzker said that the museum’s facilities committee, which he chairs, worked long and hard to evaluate the submissions, some as thick as phone books. He saluted the efforts and stated, “The choices were not easy to make. Each of the firms is nationally-known and very-well qualified.”

The four design teams on the short list will be asked to submit proposals outlining design concepts and fee structures by the end of December. A final selection is scheduled for January 2011.

The Finger Lakes Museum is an initiative to create a world-class educational institution that will showcase the cultural heritage and ecological evolution of the 9,000 square-mile Finger Lakes Region. Last April, Keuka Lake State Park was selected as the preferred location to build the project.

For more information or to make contact, see www.fingerlakesmuseum.org.

Finger Lakes Museum Adds Three Trustees


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Finger Lakes Museum board president John Adamski announced that three new members have been elected to the organization’s board of trustees. The addition of Nancy Rees and Susan van der Stricht, and Texas businessman George Slocum brings the current number of board members to 12.

Rees, a retired Xerox senior vice president, currently coaches and speaks on practical approaches to leading organizations through change, and business process improvement. She also serves on the advisory board of Forte Capital Wealth Management and chairs the Garth Fagan Dance Company, an internationally renowned modern dance group.

She is a founding board member of Moonshadow’s Spirit, a non­profit organization benefiting people who are seeking treatment for eating disorders. She earned a bachelor’s degree in music education and a master’s degree in computer science from Ball State University, and a management certificate from Smith College. Rees and her husband, Michael, live in Farmington and on Keuka Lake.

Susan van der Stricht is a Pittsford and Canandaigua Lake resident and former paralegal who worked for three major law firms during her 28­year career. She is a graduate of Union College with a bachelor’s degree in American Studies and she also attended the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester. Van der Stricht is an outdoor enthusiast who serves on the boards of The Nature Conservancy and the Genesee Country Museum and is active in conservation and preservation initiatives. She was recently involved in the transfer of title of the 7,000­ acre Hemlock and Canadice Lake watersheds from the City of Rochester to the State of New York. The new Hemlock­ Canadice State Forest will now be preserved in a forever ­wild state, immune from development.

Houston, TX entrepreneur George Slocum was elected to the board of trustees in October. Slocum grew up in the Finger Lakes Region but moved to Houston early in his career. He and his wife, Priscilla, live on Cayuga Lake for six months each year, where Slocum owns and operates the 1,200­ acre Cayuga Lake Farm. Slocum is a private investor and entrepreneur engaged in proactive investments in agriculture, energy, and venture capital. In his former corporate executive career, he served as CFO and CEO of Transco Energy Company, now part of the Williams Companies. Before that he was a vice
president in charge of energy project financing at Citibank.

Slocum is presently a trustee of Wells College in Aurora and a former trustee of University Council at Cornell University, where he is an active member. He has also chaired the Houston Council of Boy Scouts of America and served as a vice­chair of United Way of Houston. The Slocums have three grown children and eight grandchildren.
Adamski said, “George brings the business acumen and fundraising expertise that we need to keep the museum project on course. And he knows a little something about staying on course. His grandfather was the first person to sail around the world solo.”

Finger Lakes Museum Adds Staff, Previews Designers


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Thirty­-five architectural, engineering, and exhibit design teams from across the U.S. and Canada presented qualification submissions in the first stage of a competition to design the Finger Lakes Museum. The submission deadline was October 1st.

On September 14th executive director John Adamski and project director Don Naetzker hosted 70 design professionals from 60 firms at the museum’s future site in Keuka Lake State Park.

The meeting was followed by a request for qualifications, which is the first step in selecting a design team. “Because of the complexity of the project, a team approach makes sense”, said Adamski, who is also president of the museum’s board of trustees and a retired architect. “It’s unlikely that any single firm would possess all of the design disciplines in­-house that are needed for a project like this”, he added.

The museum’s facilities committee will evaluate each of the submissions in order to narrow the field to a maximum of 5 frontrunners. Those firms would then be asked to submit proposals, which would include design concepts. It is hoped that a design team can be onboard before the end of the year.

In other Finger Lakes Museum news, the board of trustees recently hired Natalie Payne as the startup organization’s third employee. She was formerly acting curator at Sonnenberg Gardens in Canandaigua and will serve as associate project director working with executive director, John Adamski, and project director, Don Naetzker.

Adamski and Naetzker were hired by the board last May to develop plans for building the Finger Lakes Museum in Keuka Lake State Park. Payne has been involved with the project since its inception. She has been a museum board member since August 2008 and still serves as its secretary.

Adamski said, “Hiring Natalie is possible because of the early success of our Founders Campaign, which is a grass roots effort to raise the funds we need to hire personnel and equip our offices at the school in Branchport.”

Anyone can become a museum founder for $100 or more by logging on to their website and making a contribution. “We have momentum but we need all of the help we can get to keep it going” Adamski said. He has donated his own 2010 salary back to the project.

Finger Lakes Museum Unveils New Logo


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Finger Lakes Museum board president John Adamski recently unveiled the logo that will symbolize the museum’s future brand and identity. In his remarks, Adamski said that the bald eagle represents the most successful wildlife restoration success story in American history and it all began in the Finger Lakes Region near Hemlock Lake in the 1970s.

He later stated, “Our plans for the museum project, which started out with a handful of supporters just two and a half years ago, are to mirror the success of the bald eagle.”

Adamski and Finger Lakes State Parks Regional Director Tim Joseph also signed a Letter of Intent to start the process that will enable the Finger Lakes Museum to build its campus in Keuka Lake State Park.

Under the Letter of Intent, the Finger Lakes Museum and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation will begin a comprehensive planning process for the Museum’s facilities at Keuka Lake State Park. The process, which will include public input opportunities and a full environmental review, will develop a detailed concept design and site building plans.

A joint Memorandum of Understanding listing the commitments of five other Keuka Lake State Park site sponsors was also signed. Those members include Yates County, the Town of Jerusalem, Finger Lakes Economic Development Center, Keuka College and the Finger Lakes Visitors Association. A separate agreement with the Yates County Chamber of Commerce will be signed at a future date.

A few weeks ago, more than 70 people from 60 architectural, engineering, and exhibit design firms from across the country met at Keuka Lake State Park to listen to Adamski and project director Don Naetzker describe the concept, mission and vision for the project. After the presentation, they took a walking tour of the park and the Branchport School campus, which is serving as the museum’s interim headquarters.

When asked what constitutes a world­class museum, Adamski responded, “When dozens of design professionals from five countries—Canada, China, England, Germany, and the United States—express an interest in designing the project, you can’t get much more world­class than that.”

The attendees were asked to submit qualifications to compete for the commission of designing the Finger Lakes Museum. The board plans to narrow the list to five firms, which will then each submit design proposals before the end of the year.

The Finger Lakes Museum is an initiative to create a world­class educational institution to showcase the cultural heritage and ecological evolution of the 9,000 square­mile Finger Lakes Region, since the last glacial recession began over 12,000 years ago. Last April, Keuka Lake State Park was selected as the preferred location to build the project.

Second Photo: Finger Lakes Museum project director Don Naetzker, left, facilitates the signing ceremony at Keuka Lake State Park. Seated from left are museum trustee David Wegman, Regional Parks Director Tim Joseph, board president John Adamski, Jerusalem town supervisor Daryl Jones, Yates County Legislature president Taylor Fitch, Finger Lakes Economic Development Center CEO Steve Griffin, Keuka College president Dr. Joseph Burke, and Finger Lakes Visitors Association Executive Director Steve Knapp.

For more information or to make contact, see www.fingerlakesmuseum.org.

Finger Lakes Museum Annouces Agreement


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Finger Lakes Museum Board President John Adamski and Finger Lakes State Parks Regional Director Tim Joseph have announced that a ceremony has been scheduled to sign a Letter of Intent to start the process that will enable the Finger Lakes Museum to build its campus in Keuka Lake State Park. A joint Memorandum of Understanding listing the commitments of five other Keuka Lake State Park site sponsors, which were presented in the Site Sponsors’ Proposal last December, will also be signed at the same event. Those members include Yates County, the Town of Jerusalem, Finger Lakes Economic Development Center, Keuka College and the Finger Lakes Visitors Association. A separate agreement with the Yates County Chamber of Commerce will be signed in a few more weeks.

The affair will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, September 17 th at the lakeside
pavilion in Keuka Lake State Park and members of the News Media and the public
are invited to attend this unprecedented event.

The Finger Lakes Museum is an initiative to create a worldclass educational institution to showcase the cultural heritage and ecological evolution of the 9,000
squaremile Finger Lakes Region, since the last glacial recession began some 12,000 years ago. Last April, Keuka Lake State Park was selected as the preferred location to build the project after 19 sites were submitted for evaluation by 8 Finger Lakes counties and the City of Geneva in 2009.

Under the Letter of Intent, the Finger Lakes Museum and the New York State Office
of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will initiate a comprehensive planning
process for the Museum’s facilities at Keuka Lake State Park. The planning process,
which will include public input opportunities and a full environmental review, will
develop a detailed concept design and site building plans.

The Board of Trustees has approved the design of a new logo for the Finger Lakes
Museum, which was created by InHouse Graphics of Geneva and will be unveiled at the event.

Boating Museum Donates Important Canal Marker


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The Finger Lakes Boating Museum commemorated the important role of the Cayuga-Seneca Canal in the development of Geneva by donating an historical marker for the city’s waterfront. City and boating museum officials dedicated the marker in a ceremony at 11 a.m. Saturday on the lakefront near the Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce building. Bill Oben, President of the Boating Museum, made the presentation to Mayor Stu Einstein.

The dedication ceremony coincided with the stopover in Geneva of the Lois McClure, an 88-foot canal schooner moored for three days on the lakefront just west of the Chamber. The McClure is a full-scale working replica of an 1862 canal schooner, a unique example of working vessels that carried goods throughout Northeastern waterways during the 19th century.

“The scheduled arrival of the schooner Lois McClure in Geneva harbor this week is a wonderful reminder of the significant role the Cayuga-Seneca Canal played in the development of Geneva and the region beyond throughout the 19th century,” said Oben. “The last vestiges of the canal along the Geneva waterfront disappeared long ago as the old waterway was filled in to make way for the arterial highway. As we plan the future home of the Finger Lakes Boating Museum on the site of the original entrance to this historic canal, it’s appropriate to recognize this with placement of an enduring marker identifying the former location of this important transportation artery.”

Oben said the historical marker at the original canal entrance will be similar to others already along the waterfront that note significant people and places in Geneva’s history. Geneva Granite donated the granite base for the plaque.

The plaque on the marker will read as follows: “At this point in 1828, water from Seneca Lake was first released into the newly constructed Cayuga-Seneca Canal, forming a navigable link to the Erie Canal. This waterway enabled commerce to flow between Seneca and the Hudson River and soon became an economic engine that brought wealth and prosperity to the City of Geneva and other municipalities along its path. Eventually supplanted by rail and truck transportation, this channel was abandoned in the 1920s and ultimately filled in.”

The boating museum reached agreement with the City of Geneva last fall to establish a permanent home on the Geneva waterfront in association with the Visitor Center. The facility, which will be located on the current Chamber site, is being enabled by a $3.5 million grant provided to the city by State Sen. Michael Nozzolio.

The boating museum has assembled a collection of 100 wooden boats built in the Finger Lakes over the past 100 years, as well as numerous related artifacts and extensive reference material. The collection is being moved to a storage facility in the Geneva Enterprise Development Center on North Genesee Street arranged by the Geneva Industrial Development Authority.

Portions of the collection will be displayed on a rotating basis within the new facility. Also planned are interactive workshops and displays to engage visitors in the design, construction and use of the boats and an active on-water program including sailing and small boat handling.

The boating museum is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation and was chartered by the New York State Department of Education in 1997 to “research, document, preserve and share the boating history of the Finger Lakes region.”

Additional information about the boating museum may be found on its website.

The canal schooner Lois McClure, whose homeport is Lake Champlain, is making a 1,000-mile journey across New York’s canals as it stops in 20 ports of call. The tour will culminate in September with a trip to the World Canals Conference in Rochester. The schooner also stopped in Geneva in 2007 on a similar tour.

The expedition is made possible by a partnership between the New York State Canal Corporation, the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, and the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership. This voyage is an opportunity for the public to learn more about the region’s interconnected waterways and the many activities found along the New York State Canal System and Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, highlighting the Canal System’s roles in transportation, recreation and tourism. Tours of the boat with interpretive presentations, wayside exhibits and educational materials will be provided free of charge to the public at each stop.

The schooner is a full-scale replica of an 1862 sailing canal boat. Constructed in Burlington, Vt., and launched in 2004, the Lois McClure is an exact replica of canal schooners found shipwrecked in the waters of Lake Champlain. The unique sailing-canal boats were the tractor-trailers of the 19th century, designed to sail from lake cities to canal ports using wind power. Upon reaching a canal, the masts were lowered and centerboards raised, transforming the vessel into a typical canal boat.

The schooner is named for Lois McClure, who was born in 1926 and grew up in Burlington, Vt. In 1954, McClure married James Warren McClure, an owner and publisher of the Burlington Free Press, and later a major stockholder and Vice President of the Gannett Company, Inc. In 1971, the McClures left Burlington for Rochester, where Lois McClure continued her education. In 1978, after J. Warren McClure retired, they moved to Key Largo, Fla., spending summers in Charlotte, until they returned to Vermont in 2002.

In the 1970s, the McClures began to make significant financial contributions to organizations in the Burlington area and elsewhere. After her husband became ill in the 1990s, Lois McClure took on the leadership role in their philanthropy, a role she has continued since her husband’s death in 2004. The schooner was named in McClure’s honor for her major contribution to the schooner construction and support of many other community projects.

Photo: Bill Oben (left), president of the Finger Lakes Boating Museum, presents Geneva Mayor Stu Einstein with a copy of the historical marker that the boating museum donated to the city to mark the entrance to the Cayuga-Seneca Canal. In the background is the Lois McClure, a replica of a canal boat that stopped in Geneva on a tour of New York State canal waterways.

New Board Members for Finger Lakes Museum


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Two new members were elected to seats on the Finger Lakes Museum’s board of trustees at its July 21 st meeting. According to board president, John Adamski, New York City attorney William Gaske, who serves as the museum’s legal counsel, and Village of Aurora vice mayor George Farenthold, were both added to the board in unanimous votes.
The board of trustees now has 10 members seated. Former trustee, Don Naetzker, resigned in May to take a paid position as the museum’s Project Director and is now in charge of managing its design and construction.

In other motions, the board elected six members to sit on a newly­created advisory board including Keuka College president Joseph Burke, former Kodak chairman and CEO Daniel Carp, Yates County Historian Frances Dumas, Fox Run Vineyard owner Scott Osborn, and former Rochester Institute of Technology president Dr. Albert Simone. Albany health­care consultant Mary Anne Kowalski was elected to chair the advisory board.

Adamski also announced that the board approved a motion to retain Brakeley Briscoe, a Connecticut consulting firm, to develop strategies for a capital fundraising campaign in an effort to raise up to $40 million. In April, Keuka Lake State Park had been selected as the preferred site to build the museum.

In a parallel move, the board of trustees launched its own fundraising drive, which it calls its 2010 Founders’ Campaign and is intended to raise $1 million in startup funds to hire staff, purchase computers, office equipment, and set up shop at the museum’s operations center in the Branchport Elementary School.

Anyone can become a museum founder for as little as $100 by logging on to the museum’s website at www.fingerlakesmuseum.org. Founders will receive a Founder’s Certificate, vehicle decal, and their names will be permanently inscribed on a Founders’ Wall in the lobby of the museum. The school building was vacant because of district consolidation but has been recently purchased by the Finger Lakes Visitors Association for use by the museum.

The Finger Lakes Museum Project is an initiative to create a world­class educational institution that will showcase the cultural heritage and ecological evolution of the 9,000­square­mile Finger Lakes Region. Plans will call for a freshwater tunnel aquarium, a glacial­geological exhibit of the Finger Lakes, outdoor wildlife habitats, and an auditorium­theater to be built at the Keuka Lake State Park site. Opening is scheduled for spring in 2014.

For more information see www.fingerlakesmuseum.org

Finger Lakes Museum, State Announce Partnership


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The president of the Finger Lakes Museum and the Regional Director of Finger Lakes State Parks have announced the formation of a partnership that will work to move the proposed Finger Lakes Museum forward. In April, the museum’s board of trustees announced that Keuka Lake State Park had been selected as the preferred site for a world­class museum that is planned to showcase the cultural and natural history of the 9,000 square­mile Finger Lakes Region.

Museum president, John Adamski, said that board members and Office of Parks, Recreation, & Historic Preservation (OPRHP) officials from Albany and the region have already met and toured the park as the first step in developing a joint master plan for the museum and public use of state parkland. Regional parks director, Tim Joseph, arranged the meeting and led the tour.

A little­-used 60­-acre section at the north end of the park, bordering Route 54A, is
being considered as the location for the museum’s main campus. Opportunities for interpretive exhibits in other areas of the park are also being examined. Camping and public use of the existing beach, facilities, and boat launch will not be affected.

Andy Beers, OPRHP Executive Deputy Commissioner, stated that while the agency will not be involved in funding the $40 million project, it will make its expertise and services available to help museum organizers develop their plans.

The Finger Lakes Museum is a privately held not-­for­-profit educational institution that was chartered by the New York State Board of Regents in 2009. While some federal and state funding may be available through grant programs, the bulk of the funding is planned to come from private sources and corporations.

In other developments, museum trustee and former site selection committee chairman, Don Naetzker, resigned from the board in May to accept a paid position as the museum’s Project Manager. A licensed landscape architect and professional land planner, Naetzker will coordinate planning efforts with museum organizers, state parks, and architectural and exhibit designers. His recent master planning projects include Frontier Field, Corn Hill Landing, and Charlotte Harbor at the Port of Rochester.
Commercial real estate developer and president of the Finger Lakes Visitors Association, David Wegman, was elected to the museum’s board of trustees in May. He is also owner of Esperanza Mansion Inn and Restaurant in the hamlet of Keuka Park and the tour boat, Esperanza Rose, which offers dinner cruises on Keuka Lake. Wegman was instrumental in bringing the Finger Lakes Museum to Keuka Lake State Park.

Photo: Finger Lakes Museum board members and officials from the state Office of
Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation met last month in order to develop a joint
master plan for Keuka Lake State Park. From left to right: Don Naetzker, FLM project manager; Tim Joseph, Finger Lakes State Parks Regional Director; Mike Wasilco, DEC Region 8 wildlife biologist; Andy Beers, OPRHP Executive Deputy Commissioner; Chris Pushkarsh, OPRHP, Tom Alworth, OPRHP; Bill Banaszewski, FLM; John Adamski, FLM president; John Eberhard, OPRHP; Henry Maus, FLM; Jim Zimpfer, OPRHP; Dan Davis, OPRHP; and Tom Lyons, OPRHP.

Boat Museum Artifacts on Display in Geneva Storefront


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Thanks to the generosity of Geneva retailer Joe Fragnoli, the Finger Lakes Boating Museum now has a museum display in place in downtown Geneva. Several artifacts along with some materials representative of the Boating Museum’s collection are now on display in the storefront windows at 430 Exchange St.

The Boating Museum and the City of Geneva reached agreement last fall on locating the Boating Museum and Visitor Center on the Geneva waterfront where the Chamber of Commerce building now stands.

Bill Oben, president of the Boating Museum, said the southern window is set up with a display of antique fishing gear of the type used in the Finger Lakes region during the first part of the last century. Central to this display is an elegant rowboat built in 1940 by noted Dresden boat builder Seymour Smith.

Smith is believed to have built more than 30 boats between 1920 and 1940. In later years he subordinated boatbuilding to his lifelong hobby of carving duck decoys, which are highly prized by collectors today. The display also includes several vintage photos related to trout fishing during that era.

The display in the northern window illustrates this year’s Boating Museum theme of “Sailing in the Finger Lakes.” In addition to a Penn Yan “Captain Kid” sailboat marketed for children in the1930s, the display contains scale models of some of the most popular one-design sailboats competitively sailed in the Finger Lakes during the past century. These include replicas of the Star, Comet, Lightning and Snipe, all built to 1/12th scale. Full-size examples of these famous sailing craft reside in the Boating Museum’s collection, and will be on display on the Seneca Lake waterfront at the annual Boat Show July 24-25 during Geneva’s Cruisin’ Weekend.

“We are grateful to Joe for lending the use of this space,” said Oben. “We plan to use it to display other artifacts and ephemera from the Boating Museum’s collection on a rotational basis while it is available to us, or until our permanent home on the lakefront is ready.”

Registration for 5th Canal Splash! Now Open


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The New York State Canal Corporation, the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and Parks & Trails New York have announced that the Fifth Annual Canal Splash! will take place during the weekend of August 13-15, 2010. This year’s Canal Splash! will offer a series of locally organized events designed to highlight the history, beauty, culture and recreational appeal of the New York State Canal System and Canalway Trail.

Any Canal Corridor community, business, club or non-profit organization may participate in the Canal Splash! and may register its event at www.nyscanals.gov/exvac/special-events/splash/index.html. Examples of local events include, but are not limited to, nature or history walks along the Canal or Canalway Trail; museum gallery features or exhibits; group bicycle rides on the Canalway Trail; rowing regattas; Canalside business or restaurant specials; kayak or canoe tours; cruise boat tours; Canal festivals, concerts and more.

The Canal Corporation encourages those along the Canal to help create awareness and generate additional exposure for their communities, businesses or events by participating in this year’s Canal Splash!. Last year’s Canal Splash! featured more than 120 events and attracted tens of thousands of visitors during the three day, multi-location celebration.

Canal Splash! will be promoted through a printed guide that will be distributed widely during July and August and will drive people to the online listing. In order to gain maximum exposure, it is encouraged that events be registered no later than June 3, 2010 to be included in the printed guide.

For more information about the Fifth Annual Canal Splash! or to register an event, please refer to www.nyscanals.gov/exvac/special-events/splash/index.html or contact the New York State Canal Corporation at (518) 436-3055.

The New York State Canal System is comprised of four historic waterways, the Erie, the Champlain, the Oswego and the Cayuga-Seneca Canals. Spanning 524 miles across New York State, the waterway links the Hudson River, Lake Champlain, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes and the Niagara River with communities rich in history and culture.

History Groups Among Recipients of Canal Grants


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The New York State Canal Corporation has announced the recipients of the 2010 Canal Corporation Tourism Matching Grant Awards Program and the list includes several public history organizations. A total of $30,000 is being awarded to a total of 16 projects for local and regional initiatives to promote the New York State Canal System and Canalway Trail as a year-round recreational resource and tourism destination. A full list of the 2010 grant recipients is below, but it includes the Niagara County Historical Society, Schenectady Heritage Area, and Historic Palmyra among other groups whose goals include historical tourism.

The grant program was open to designated Tourism Promotion Agencies (TPAs), Chambers of Commerce, Nonprofit organizations and canal communities in New York State for the development of Canal System promotional material consistent with regional themes set forth in the Canal Recreationway Plan and recommendations contained in the state’s “A Report on the Future of New York State Canals”.

The grants provide up to $2,500 for the development of promotional materials that promote the Canal System and/or Canalway Trail, or specific Canal-related events, festivals or attractions.

Special consideration was given this year to applications that involved collaborative partnerships among several TPAs and/or private industry to create multi-county, regional thematic canal destinations and self-guided tours consistent with historical, cultural, urban and environmental assets and attractions contained along or within the Canal System and the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.

Additionally, all awarded projects incorporated Canal Corporation logos and the New York Canal System’s promotional theme: “Cruise the Past, Unlock the Adventure”. Materials will be made available to the public at no charge.

The New York State Canal System is comprised of four historic waterways, the Erie, the Champlain, the Oswego and the Cayuga-Seneca Canals. Spanning 524 miles across New York State, the waterway links the Hudson River, Lake Champlain, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes and the Niagara River with communities rich in history and culture. For more information regarding events, recreational and vacation opportunities along the Canal System, visit www.nyscanals.gov or call 1-800-4CANAL4.

The New York State Canal Corporation is a subsidiary of the New York State Thruway Authority (Authority). Since 1992, following State legislation transferring the Canal System from the New York State Department of Transportation to the Authority, Canal operating and maintenance activities have been supported by Thruway toll revenue.

2010 CANAL CORPORATION TOURISM MATCHING GRANTS (listed by Canal)

Agency Name – Contact – Grant Award

Canal System-wide

• Canal New York Marketing and Business Alliance, Inc., Victoria Daly, $2,500.00

Erie Canal

• Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway Coalition, Inc., Eric Hamilton, $2,500.00

• Schenectady Heritage Area, Maureen Gebert, $2,500.00

• Stockade Association, Lyn Gordon, $800.00

• U.S. Water Ski Show Team, Kara Pangburn, $2,000.00

• Town of Niskayuna, Lori Peretti, $500.00

• Historic Palmyra, Bonnie Hays, $1,050.00

• Fairport Village Partnership, Scott Winner, $2,500.00

• Niagara County Historical Society, Douglas Farley, $1,117.50

• Lockport Main Street, Inc., Heather Peck, $2,400.00

• Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas, Joyce Santiago, $2,500.00

Champlain Canal

• Lakes to Locks Passage, Inc., Janet Kennedy, $2,500.00

• Hudson Crossing Park, Inc., Marlene Bissell, $2,500.00

• Rensselaer County, Christine Golden, $1,427.84

Oswego Canal

• Oswego County Dept. of Community Development, Tourism and Planning, Janet Clerkin, $2,500.00

Cayuga Seneca Canal

• Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance, Sarah Osterling, $700.00

Finger Lakes Museum Selects Keuka Lake Site


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On Thursday, the Finger Lakes Cultural & Natural History Museum Board of Trustees adopted a resolution to select Keuka Lake State Park in Yates County as the future home of the Finger Lakes Museum. The vote was unanimous with one abstention.

After nearly a year of evaluating 19 sites that were originally submitted, the Site Selection Committee, under the direction of chairman Don Naetzker, recommended two sites for the Board’s consideration: Seneca Lake State Park in and adjacent to the City of Geneva, and Keuka Lake State Park near Branchport.

The idea to create a museum to showcase the cultural heritage and ecological history of the 9,000 square-­mile Finger Lakes Region was first floated in a Life in the Finger Lakes magazine article by John Adamski in March 2008.

After enlisting ConsultEcon Inc., a Boston­based market research firm in March, it was determined that the project is viable at either site although for different reasons. Board president, John Adamski added, “While the Seneca Lake site has significant advantages like a central location, the Board determined that the Keuka Lake site more closely met the requirements that were originally established in the Strategic Plan, especially as they relate to natural history programming.”

Among the advantages that he said tipped the scales in favor of the Keuka Lake site are the following:

• There is 700 feet of intimate lakefront with a level, sandy beach.

• The natural history element of the project is predicted to draw the most visitors. The rolling, hilly terrain, ravines, brook, woods, and areas of natural succession that exist there are ideal for wildlife exhibits in natural habitats.

• Several hundred acres of land are available for wildlife habitats and interpretive use—now or in the future.

• A 350­-car paved parking lot already exists.

• Keuka College has offered to add Museum Sciences to its curriculum
and become a partner in the educational aspect of the Museum.

• Yates County and Keuka­area business leaders have pledged over $2 million in start-up funding.

In addition, Adamski said, “The Branchport Elementary School, which is presently vacant, has been purchased by the Finger Lakes Visitors Association for use as the Museum’s base of operation during the project’s start-up phases. The building will provide 15,000 square­ feet for business offices and initial programming as well as storage for the acquisition of artifacts and collections.” Its 13­-acre site provides navigable water access to Keuka Lake.

He also stated, “Finger Lakes State Parks and the Finger Lakes Museum Project will undertake a joint master plan for the entire 620­acre park. The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation has been very cooperative and enthused over the proposal and we look forward to working with them to bring the project to fruition.”

Although the Museum will be built on lands leased from Finger Lakes State Parks, it will remain a privately­-owned and mostly privately­-funded not­-for­-profit educational institution.

Finger Lakes Boating Museum Moves Forward With Site


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The Board of Directors of the Finger Lakes Boating Museum in Geneva, NY has established a Site Development Committee and are moving forward with ambitous plans for a facility to research, document, preserve, and share the boating history of the Finger Lakes region. The Museum reached agreement with the City of Geneva last fall to establish a permanent home on the Geneva waterfront in association with the Visitor Center. The facility will be located on the current Chamber of Commerce site. The Museum anticipates occupying approximately 20,000 square feet of space initially, with future expansion on the lakefront and off-site eventually growing to approximately 60,000 square feet of space.

Newly elected board president Bill Oben said the Museum has assembled a collection of more than 90 wooden boats built in the Finger Lakes over the past 100 years, as well as numerous related artifacts and extensive reference material. Portions of the collection will be displayed on a rotating basis within the new facility. Also planned are interactive workshops and displays to engage visitors in the design, construction and use of the boats and an active on-water program including sailing and small boat handling.

The board also elected a new slate of officers and appointed four new directors at its January 4th. The officers for 2010 are Bill Oben as President, Ed Wightman as Vice President, Bill Smith as Secretary and Dennis Karalow as Treasurer. The new directors are Chrissy Bennett-West, Dave Bunnell, Vince Scalise and Bruce Tuxill.

Bennett-West is a Geneva native and a graduate of William Smith College. A long-time member of the Seneca Yacht Club, she sails Thistles and serves on the Executive Board as Vice Commodore. She and her husband live in Canandaigua where she is employed as a Special Education teacher in the Canandaigua School System.

Dave Bunnell relocated to Geneva following a 40-year career in law and business. He has practiced law with two commercial law firms in Dallas, Texas, served in senior management positions with international food companies, and engaged in various entrepreneurial activities. He is currently involved with others in efforts to accelerate the revitalization of downtown Geneva. He serves on the Boards of Geneva Growth, the Finger Lakes Regional Arts Council and the Business Improvement District.

Vince Scalise, a Geneva native and Korean War veteran, retired as Superintendent of the Geneva City School System. He has served on numerous boards including Cayuga-Seneca Canalway Trail Association, YMCA, Geneva Growth, Geneva Historical Society, United Way of Rochester and Ontario County, the Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce, and the FL Cultural & Natural History Museum. He has also served on the Geneva City Council.

Bruce Tuxill returned to his native Geneva in 2008 following a 40-year career in the Air Force and Air National Guard. At the time of his retirement he was serving as the Adjutant General of the Maryland National Guard. He is currently the President of the Tuxill Group, which provides consulting service for federal, state and local officials in the areas of national defense and homeland security. He currently serves on the Board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Geneva and the Vestry of Trinity Episcopal Church.

Bill Oben, is a founding trustee who has served as president of the 300-member Museum since 2007, commented that the organization is “excited about establishing a permanent home for the museum on the Geneva waterfront. We intend to create a world class facility highlighting the boating heritage of the Finger Lakes region,” Oben said.

Crooked Lake Review: Finger Lakes History Journal


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The Crooked Lake Review is a local history magazine for the Conhocton, Canisteo, Tioga, Chemung and Genesee River Valleys, and for the Finger Lakes and Lake Ontario Regions of New York State. Crooked Lake is the old name for Keuka Lake, an unusual Finger Lake because it is shaped like a ‘Y’.

According to the their website, the Crooked Lake Review “is a review of the accomplishments of the men, women and families who settled in these regions, built homes, cleared farms and started businesses. It is also a review of the present work and aspirations of the people who were born here or who came to live here.” The first issue of the Review was published in print in May 1988, but since 2006 the Review has been published as an online blog.

Comments and suggestions on the journal are welcome at:

The Crooked Lake Review
7988 Van Amburg Road
Hammondsport, NY 14840