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Portal:Finger Lakes

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The Finger Lakes Portal

Map of the Finger Lakes region

Map of the Finger Lakes region

The Finger Lakes are a chain of lakes in the west-central section of Upstate New York that are a popular tourist destination. The lakes mainly are linear in shape, each lake oriented on a north-south axis. The longest, Cayuga Lake and Seneca Lake, are among the deepest in America. Both are close to 40 miles (64 km) from end to end, but never more than 3.5 miles (5,600 m) wide. Cayuga is the longest with 38 miles (61 km), but Seneca the largest in total area. Seneca is the deepest (618 feet, 188 m), followed by Cayuga (435 feet, 132 m), with the bottoms well below sea level. These largest lakes resemble the others in shape, which collectively reminded early map-makers of the fingers of a hand.

The fourteen lakes located in the Finger Lakes region are: Seneca, Canandaigua, Skaneateles, Owasco, Otisco, Cayuga, Conesus, Honeoye, Hemlock, Canadice, Keuka, Oneida, Cazenovia, and Onondaga. The following counties of New York State make up the Finger Lakes region: Seneca, Cayuga, Cortland, Livingston, Monroe, Onondaga, Ontario, Oswego, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tompkins, Wayne, and Yates.

Finger Lakes cities and larger villages are situated at the head and foot of most major lakes: Skaneateles, Auburn, Ithaca, Geneva, Watkins Glen, Penn Yan, Hammondsport and Canandaigua. These historic communities with scenic situations all are tourist destinations, as is the village of Aurora, which is situated on the east shore of Cayuga Lake, and Naples, located about five miles south of Canandaigua Lake.

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New York State Route 175
New York State Route 175 (also known as NY 175) is a west–east state highway located in Onondaga County in the U.S. state of New York. The route begins at U.S. Route 20, east of the village of Skaneateles and ends at U.S. Route 11 in Syracuse, a span of 15.46 miles (24.88 km). The highway was designated in the 1930 New York State Route renumbering. The section of Route 175 from the town of Marcellus to the end of the Route 173 concurrency is part of the Seneca Turnpike, which was established in 1800 and dissolved in 1852. This portion of the Seneca Turnpike was instrumental in the development of the villages of Skaneateles and the village of Marcellus. When designated in 1930, Route 175 was on a rural stretch of highway connecting Marcellus to Onondaga, and brought about an increase in population and development along its route.

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Wayne County, New York
Wayne County is a county located in the U.S. State of New York. It is part of the Rochester, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area and lies on the south shore of Lake Ontario, forming part of the northern border of the United States with Canada. The name honors General Anthony Wayne, a Revolutionary War hero and American statesman. Its location during the early westward expansion of the United States, on an international border and in a fertile farming region, has contributed to a rich cultural and economic history. Two world religions sprung from within its borders, and its inhabitants played important roles in Abolitionism in the years leading up to the Civil War. Nineteenth century War of 1812 skirmishes, Great Lakes sailing ship commerce and Erie Canal barge traffic have since yielded to contemporary recognition as one of the world's most productive fruit growing regions.

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Cortland, New York
Credit: The Hugh C. Leighton Co., Manufacturers, Portland, ME

A 1907 postcard of Main Street in Cortland in the southeast of the Finger Lakes region.

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Susan B. Anthony

Selected lake

Skaneateles Lake
Skaneateles Lake is one of the Finger Lakes in central New York in the United States. The name Skaneateles (pronunciation: "skany-atlas," preferred, or "skinny-atlas" common) means long lake in one of the local Iroquois languages. The lake is sometimes referred to as "The Roof Garden of the Lakes" because its altitude (863.27 feet) is higher than the other Finger Lakes. It is 16 miles (25.8 km) long (17 miles long including the bogs at the south end of the lake) and on average .75 mile (1.21 km) wide, with a surface area of 13.6 square miles (35.2 km²), and a maximum depth of 315 feet. The cleanest of the Finger Lakes, its water is so pure that the city of Syracuse and other municipalities use it unfiltered. The City of Syracuse spends about 2.3 million dollars a year to protect lake quality, sixteen people inspecting (usually twice a year) each of the 2600 properties in the watershed, which is relatively small, compared to other Finger Lakes. William Henry Seward called it "The most beautiful body of water in the world." The shores of Skaneateles Lake are in three counties: Onondaga, Cayuga, and Cortland.

Selected biography

John Henry Hobart
John Henry Hobart (September 14, 1775 – September 12, 1830), was the third Episcopal bishop of New York (18161830) He vigorously promoted the extension of the Episcopal Church in Central and Western New York. He founded the General Theological Seminary in New York City and Geneva College, later renamed after him, in Geneva, in the Finger Lakes area of upstate New York.

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USS Meriwether (APA-203)

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