Home Green Lakes History

Pre-State Park

1894 Farmers Day Picnic - the parking lot

"Although already a tourist attraction, in June 1879 two recreation areas were developed on privately-held land [surrounding Green and Round Lakes]. These included a boating operation on .. the west side of Green Lake, and Tremain Park on the east side, with reception cottage, recreation rooms and a large dancing floor. A dock, picnic tables, and stables followed, and at a later date a merry-go-round and bandstand were installed. Although it initially was a source of ‘considerable complaint’ that men and boys were permitted to bathe at Tremain Park ‘at hours when the exposure is very offensive to visitors,’ (‘Weekly Recorder,’ July 24, 1879), the park gained in popularity. Steamboats plied the Erie Canal from Syracuse with regular stops along the way to bring school clubs, Sunday school classes and other groups to Green Lake landing. At times these groups were entertained enroute by the Fayetteville cornet band.”

From “Green Lakes State Park, Town of Manlius” by Kathy Crowell, PhD.

Below is a photo taken at Green Lakes during a picnic held by Colonel John Gaynor in 1883. To learn the names of those in attendance, please click on the photo, then click "item description" when the photo opens in a new window.

Colonel Gaynor's 1883 picnic at Green Lake

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