Skaneateles, not Skaeneatlis

Skaneateles, not Skaeneatlis 

Skaneateles, NY. StoryBook Village in the Fingerlakes Region of Central New York. Hard to pronounce and even harder to spell.

That said, someone found us using a Dogpile search for Skaeneatlis.

The Village and it’s history throw back to the Iroquois Indian Nation. Westward travelers on the Old Seneca Turnpike (another Indian name) first found us because we are the most Eastern of the Finger Lakes.

THE FIRE BELL Beth Batlle, Town Historian

Sitting on a brick pedestal in front of the fire station on Fennell Street is one of the earliest forms of alerting the fire fighters of the community. The large bell was originally housed in the 12-foot-square, 59-foot-high tower of the red brick and stone fire station that was located at the corner of Jordan and Fennell Streets.

All through the 1800s the large bell tolled for alarms. Anyone knowing of a fire would run to the fire station and ring the bell. Eventually more modern forms of alerting the fire fighters of an emergency were used, such as electrically operated roof top sirens and fire alarm boxes located on utility poles throughout the Village. The last time the bell was rung from the old fire station was October 4, 1964, when the fire department moved down the street to its present location. The brick pedestal for the old bell was constructed in 1975, made of the same yellow brick as the fire station. Inside the base was placed a copper history box: a time capsule of sorts, it contained 1890 items from the cornerstone box of the old fire station, such as a copy of the Skaneateles Democrat and Skaneateles Free Press. Items from 1975 were added, including a copy of the Skaneateles Press and Pennysaver.

Just recently the bell was removed from its base and put into storage until the time comes when it can be installed at the new fire house at the corner of West Genesee Street and Kane Avenue. The time capsule is currently being stored in a safe and will be opened at the 175th anniversary dinner scheduled for April of 2008.

Editor’s note: If you haven’t had a chance to see Lisa Leubner’s gingerbread model of the red brick fire house, please make a point of visiting the Creamery to check it out.