Saturday, July 4, 2009

Scipio for Tourists

One of the official duties of a municipal historian is to promote tourism. Scipio has a lot to recommend it to travelers, and I was pleased to hear that the Cayuga County Tourism Office is considering a booklet for various tourist-rich locations that gives a few details about our towns.
I thought it would be interesting to post a portion of my submission here on the blog:

Scipio, named for the Roman General, was formed as Township number 12 of the Military Tract on February 6, 1796. Our earliest settlers had arrived about 1790. Nestled snugly in the heart of the Finger Lakes region, our town’s eastern border is Owasco Lake, one of the loveliest Finger Lakes of central New York State.

A drive along State Route 38 on the west side of Owasco Lake from Auburn to Moravia takes less than half an hour and will show you some of the prettiest scenery in central NY, particularly in leaf-peeping season. Deer, turkey, songbirds and other wildlife are easy to spot on a leisurely drive or bike ride along our byways.

Our cemeteries are the final resting place for over 45 Revolutionary War veterans. Scipio also had 156 known Union veterans of the Civil War; approximately 10% of her population at that time; many of whom rest alongside their Revolutionary comrades.

Several of our buildings and structures are on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, including the entire Hamlet of Sherwood where free men and women of European and African descent lived in harmony in the early 1800’s. The Underground Railroad was also very active in Scipio, particularly in Sherwood where several Quakers and like-thinking people actively assisted the freedom seekers. The women's suffrage movement so often associated with neighboring Seneca Falls had its proponents here in Scipio as well.

The Town of Scipio remains a unique mix of farmers, independent businesses, lakefront users and short-distance commuters who enjoy a greener, more country style of life over that of the city. Visit her on the web at

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