Chris Clemens

Creator + Owner + Author = Chief Exploring Officer. Chris has been traveling back and forth across New York for years studying and discovering the tucked away gems of the state and chronicling the journey

6 Comments

  1. Cathy
    March 13, 2019 @ 9:56 pm

    Hi Chris,

    Thank you for exploring these places and for telling us about them. Your descriptions made me wish I could move there, especially after a busy day at work. I can see and feel the quiet and the peace in those towns.

    My favorites are the Smith’s General Store, Barb’s Diner, and Jennings Department Store. I can imagine my ancestors shopping at a place like Smith’s General Store. I wanted to snatch all the food in the pictures from Barb’s Diner off of the screen of my computer, especially the fried chicken and the cherry pie!! The history of Jennings Department Store is interesting, and the door you showed is fascinating.

    Thanks. Now I’m hungry for fried chicken!

    Reply

  2. Andy
    March 14, 2019 @ 9:41 am

    Chris
    Thanks for sharing. That looks like a great place to take a weekend drive for a short getaway. Spend a little time looking at the interesting places and have lunch at Barb’s Diner.

    Reply

  3. mike
    March 16, 2019 @ 10:46 am

    Once again, thank you for exploring parts of our area, around the Finger Lakes. Not only do you get the pleasure of seeing these locations but you also share them with us, who are interested, but don’t follow through on visiting them.

    Reply

  4. Ron Myers
    March 18, 2019 @ 3:01 am

    Hey Chris,

    Great job, that is, as far as you’ve explored on your mini tour of Southern Cayuga, County, were both my wife and I grew up… she in Locke, having attended school in Moravia, where she returned to teach after receiving her degree in education. She forwarded this article to me. As I scanned it, I was disappointed that you left out half the towns, just as well-known as Locke and Genoa, as well as Summer Hill, a mere wet spot in the road on the way to Homer, NY.

    Traveling westward in State Route 90, five miles west of Genoa you come to a hamlet named King Ferry, where I grew up on my parents’ farm and attended King Ferry Central School (KFCS). The town changed its name from Northville to King’s Ferry after a Mr. King started a ferry business, which crossed the two-to-three mile span at that location to the western shores of the forty-mile long Cayuga Lake. It docked there at a point called Sheldrake, Kidders or Wyer’s Point. Those were in the horse and buggy days.

    Of course, the ferry is long gone, but the town of King Ferry still exists, sometimes referred to as West Genoa, since it’s in the township of Genoa. The old King Ferry Hotel boasts a great little restaurant now, of which the Hotel itself is well over a century old, which once offered room and board for both wayfarers and locals; as well as a bar where one could wet one’s whistle wile shooting the breeze with friends.

    King’s Ferry, or King Ferry for short also has an Historical Society, located in an old one-room school house, on the south end of town on State Route 34B. (King Ferry is located at the intersection of SR-90 and SR-34B.) There, you’ll find both artifacts and a wealth of information of the whole area, which might have been lost had not a few energetic souls volunteered many hundreds of hours of their own time.

    From King Ferry, traveling northward on 34B a few short miles you’ll come to the town of Ledyard. Beyond Ledyard, you’ll come to Poplar Ridge, and beyond Poplar Ridge a few more miles you’ll come to Sherwood, etc.

    Then there’s Levanna, NY, on SR-90, just south of Aurora, NY, on the way to King Ferry. My paternal grandfather once served as stationmaster at Levanna for the Lehigh Valley Railroad, which ran from Ithaca along the eastern banks of Cayuga Lake to Auburn, NY and other points beyond.

    I used to spend summers there with my grandparents, even riding in the old wooden-framed, velour-upholstered passenger coach with my grandmother when she rode the train into Auburn, NY, in the morning, and returning the same evening. That was in the mid-to-late 1940s, when steam-powered trains still ran along those tracks. Of course, this aspect of the area has been swallowed up by time and so-called progress. The only clue of that railroad now is the old bed where the rails once lay. It used to be a great experience to sit along the shores of the lake and hear the old steam whistles as their sounds echoed out across the still waters. Ah, memories.

    So, Chris, you’ve done a great job of scratching the surface, and I invite you to go to King Ferry and hang out. My cousin owns the little variety store and eatery on the southeast corner, and my sister volunteers her time in the one-room Schoolhouse turned into an historical museum.

    Go check the place out. A wealth of historicity awaits your pen. Or, feel free to contact me by email. Although my wife and I got married and left the area five decades ago, the Finger Lakes Region and all of its natural beauty still beats warmly in my breast. I’d love to go back and retire there someday to write my memoirs, but that likely won’t happen.

    Be Well, and Thanks for Your Article and Photos.
    RM

    Reply

  5. Eleice Figlia
    March 18, 2019 @ 11:40 am

    Thank You for that bit of “hometown news”. I grew up in Moravia, graduated from High School and went to Nursing School at Auburn Memorial. I was a long time ago, but I have fond memories of home.

    Reply

  6. The 50 Mile Garage Sale on Route 90 in the Finger Lakes Guide |
    July 16, 2019 @ 7:59 am

    […] Read more about “Cayuga County and the Towns You Don’t Know” in this post from Mar… […]

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