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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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Chenango CR 10A (former NY 319)
New York State Route 319 (formerly and currently designated by the New York State Department of Transportation as NY 319) was a short state highway from the town of Preston to the nearby city of Norwich. The route was 5.47 miles (8.80 km) long and began at an intersection with three Chenango county roads. Route 319 headed eastward into the city of Norwich and terminated at an intersection with New York State Route 12 in the downtown regions.

Route 319 however, has had an influence on the history of turnpikes in the state of New York and the history of the towns it was located in, Norwich and Preston. The route was commissioned by 1931, a year after a mass renumbering of state highways in New York. The route lasted for fifty-three more years, being decommissioned in July of 1984 for a trade between the state and Chenango County. When a nearby highway was constructed, the state turned over Route 319 to Chenango County and was replaced by County Route 10A.

Selected attraction

Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct
Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct is the ruin of a stone and wood aqueduct of the Erie Canal over Nine Mile Creek in Camillus, New York. It was built in 1841 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. The towpath part of the structure has four arches of 30 feet each. The structure was built of stone joined by a marine cement that was relatively new at the time, but which has endured well. The aqueduct is within the Camillus Erie Canal Park. Plans are afoot to restore the wooden bottom and sides of the aqueduct, so that it can carry water again, which would enable reconnection of the two one-mile segments of the Erie Canal on either side. It is located off Thompson Road in Camillus, about 1 mile east from Sim's Store. It is a few hundred yards walking distance from a small parking area on Thompson Road.

Selected picture

Livingston County Courthouse, Geneseo
Credit: Benjamin D. Esham

Front view of the Livingston County Courthouse in Geneseo.

In this month

Great Appalachian Storm of November 1950

Selected lake

Cayuga Lake
Cayuga Lake (pronounced either "kā-'yü-gə" or "kī-'yü-gə") is the longest of western New York's glacial Finger Lakes, and is the second largest in surface area (marginally smaller than Seneca Lake) and volume. It is just under 40 miles (64 km) long. Its average width is 1.7 miles (2.7 km), and it is 3.5 miles (5.6 km) wide at its widest point near Aurora. It is approximately 435 ft (133 m) deep at its deepest point. The lake has one small island near Union Springs, Frontenac Island, which is one of only two islands in all of the Finger Lakes. Ithaca, New York, site of Cornell University and Ithaca College, sits at the southern end of Cayuga Lake. Cornell's alma mater or official school song makes reference to its position "Far Above Cayuga's Waters". Villages and settlements along the east shore of Cayuga Lake include Myers, King Ferry, Aurora, Levanna, Union Springs, and Cayuga. Settlements along the west shore of the lake include Sheldrake, Poplar Beach, and Canoga.

Selected biography

Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (November 12, 1815 – October 26, 1902) was an American social activist and leading figure of the early woman's movement. Her Declaration of Sentiments, presented at the Seneca Falls Convention, the first women's rights convention, held in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York, is often credited with initiating the first organized woman's rights and woman's suffrage movements in the United States. Before Stanton narrowed her political focus almost exclusively to women's rights, she was an active abolitionist together with her husband, Henry Brewster Stanton and cousin, Gerrit Smith. Unlike many of those involved in the women's rights movement, Stanton addressed a number of issues pertaining to women beyond voting rights. Her concerns included women's parental and custody rights, property rights, employment and income rights, divorce laws, the economic health of the family, temperance, and birth control.

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Patrick Tavern

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