Cayuga Finger Lakes Fifty-Mile Long Garage Sale
The Willard-Case mansion, now home to the Cayuga Museum, was constructed by John Seymour in 1836. Seymour’s failure to pay back taxes resulted in bank ownership of the building from 1839 until 1843, when it was purchased by Sylvester Willard. Willard, his wife Jane Frances Case, two daughters, Georgiana and Carolina, and in-laws Erastus and Mary Case moved to Auburn from Bristol, Connecticut, in that same year. Sylvester Willard was a physician by profession and, with Erastus Case, was part owner of the Oswego Starch Company. Both men carried investments in local banks, railroads, and various industries.
In 1983 there were five small new wineries: Plane’s (Cayuga Ridge), Lucas, Americana, Lakeshore and Frontenac. But five unknown wineries weren’t enough of a draw, and Mary solicited participation from other attractions along and near Route 89. The first brochure was audacious – a quote: “The CWT offers a variety that is unmatched in wine touring and tasting…No where else will travelers experience such a multitude of premium wines, attractions, comfortable lodgings, fine restaurants, friendly people, and splendid scenery.” A bit overstated then, but coming to fruition now. New wineries started and joined: Knapp in 1984; Hosmer and Swedish Hill in 1986; Six Mile Creek in 1987; and King Ferry, Goose Watch, Sheldrake Point, and Long Point in the 90’s. Bellwether Hard Cider joined in 2000, Montezuma and Thirsty Owl, in 2003, Buttonwood Grove Winery in 2005 and our newest member, Cobblestone Farm Winery in 2006.