Before the Civil War, pioneers pushed west across New York State. They were hard working, industrious and resourceful people who made the most of what they found. And, what they found were rounded stones or cobblestones left on the land by glaciers long ago. Wood could be shipped away on the Erie Canal and sold as a product and bricks were expensive, so the pioneers used cobblestones as their building material. They created an art form that was short lived, but what they created endures to this day.
Just north of Skaneateles, in a loop through Weedsport, Cato and Elbridge you can drive or ride a bicycle to see 13 of these historic cobblestone structures. This tour and 16 other self-guided cobblestone tours can be found in “Cobblestone Quest – Road Tours of New York’s Historic Buildings,” www.footprintpress.com, 1-800-431-1579. On the tour you’ll see a tombstone marker, a burial vault, a school, a barn and houses all built with cobblestones by the pioneers. From the guidebook you’ll learn all about this lost art form and the history of the structures you visit.