Green Lakes State Park Exhibit

The Green Lakes State Park online exhibit was created in 2009 by Leah Kraus, then a student in the Library and Information Science Master's program at Syracuse University. Kraus completed the exhibit as part of an internship experience hosted by Fayetteville Free Library and overseen by the library's Director of Digital Initiatives, Maija McLaughlin. Kraus now works as the Virtual Branch Director at the FFL.

Information and resources found in the exhibit came primarily from Fayetteville Free Library's Local History Department, directed by then Local History Librarian Linda Ryan.

Permissions for duplication of materials used in the exhibit were generously granted by Richard Almquist, Kathy Crowell, Wally Francis, Norma Jenner, Nancy Roberts Kepler, and Barbara Naylor.

To contact the Fayetteville Free Library with questions about the information or resources found in the exhibit, call (315) 637-6374 ext. 318, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Location: Available in the Local History Department of Fayetteville Free Library.

Summary: Newspaper clippings and printed materials pertaining to the Green Lakes area, organized under the following subject headings: “Beach & Swimming,” “Bicycles & Trails,” “CCC & POW Camps,” “Creation,” “Expansion,” “Fishing,” “Geology,” “Golf Course,” “Improvements,” “Preservation,” and “Recreation.” Articles date from the early 1920s to the present, and are largely taken from the Post-Standard or the Eagle Bulletin newspapers.

Location: Available in the Local History Department of Fayetteville Free Library.

Summary: A file consisting of original photographs of Green Lakes dating from the late 1800s to present day. Contains both black & white and color photographs. Subjects documented range from activities such as golfing, swimming, and rowing, to general scenery. The folder also contains pictures from Farmers Picnic, held on August 22, 1894, in what was then known as “Tremain Park.”  These photos were retrieved from glass plate negatives taken by Dr. Arthur B. Rood of Minoa, NY.

Location: Available in the Local History Department of Fayetteville Free Library.

Summary: A binder consisting of newspaper clippings and photographs, both original and photocopies, pertaining to Green Lakes State Park. Newspaper clippings cover the following topics: expansions, changes, and daily goings-on in the park from the 1920s to present; news and personal memoirs about the Almquist family; and news about the Smith family and its local dairy farm. Photographs date from prior to the park’s construction to present, and are a mix of black and white and color. Binder is arranged as created by Nancy Roberts Kepler, and is not chronological.

Cross, Roger. Autumn Leaves: A Collection of Poems. Ed. R. Irving Deihl. Syracuse, NY: privately printed by author, 1971.

Location: Available in the Local History Department of Fayetteville Free Library.

Summary: A book of poems written by Roger Cross (1891-1979), including "At Green Lake." This poem, written in 1961, documents the author’s fond memories of working as a toll collector at the state park. Cross owned the land Green Lakes State Park was created on, and worked as a toll collector for 15 years following his retirement.

Francis, Henry R. “A Few Photographs Illustrating the Character of the Proposed Green Lakes State Park.” Syracuse, NY : created by author, 1924.

Location: Available in the Local History Department of Fayetteville Free Library.

Summary: Booklet presented at a luncheon held to discuss the idea of creating a state park in the CNY area (luncheon was held on February 1, 1924, in Syracuse, NY).  It is interesting to note the differences between the park this booklet proposes, and the park itself.

Knapp, Betsy. Rocks, Fields, and Beauty Forever: One Family’s Memories of Fayetteville’s Green Lakes.  Fayetteville, NY: privately printed by author, 1989. 

Location:  Available in the non-fiction collection of Fayetteville Free Library (see OPAC for availability); and the Local History Department of Fayetteville Free Library.

Summary: A 22-page self-published book presenting Betsy Knapp’s takes on the following topics: the geology of Green and Round Lake; the history of the park; and the personal histories of the Collin/Park/Knapp family, as they relate to the development of the Green Lakes area.  Black and white photos from the family’s archives are included.

Petty, Warren R. “Green Lake State Park.” People and Places: Fayetteville, Manlius, Minoa and Neighbors. Vol. 2. Manlius, NY: Heart of the Lakes Publishing, 1991. 127-144.

Location:Available in the non-fiction collection of Fayetteville Free Library (see OPAC for availability); and the Local History Department of Fayetteville Free Library.

Summary: This detailed chapter begins with a history of Green Lakes from the 1800s to present, covering topics such as the park’s development by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the development of the golf course, and the role of migrant workers and German prisoners of war. It also discusses geology, covering topics such as glaciation, the origin of the lake basins, and flora and fauna. It ends with a discussion of “the park today.”

Sinotte, Barbara. New York & New Jersey: A Guide to the State & National Parks. Edison, NJ: Hunter Publishing, 1996. 32-35.

Location: Available in the non-fiction collection of the Fayetteville Free Library (see OPAC for location).

Summary: This book provides a concise (3-page) entry about Green Lakes State Park, briefly discussing the following subjects: history, topography, flora and fauna, hiking, and facilities. 

Almquist Green Lakes Digital Photo Collection

A digital collection consisting of 200+ black and white photos taken depicting the construction of Green Lakes State Park (ca. 1929-1948). The collection also documents the lives of the Civilian Conservation Corps workers who constructed these facilities. Photos were taken by the park’s original superintendent, Arvin H. Almquist, and digitized by Almquist’s son, Richard, who grew up on park property.

Betty Davis Postcard Collection

A portion of Davis’ personal postcard collection, featuring scenic depictions of Green Lakes and surrounding natural areas. Davis was a resident of Fayetteville, NY for 75 years, and at her death, her postcard collection contained several thousand items.

CCC Legacy Web Site

The official site of Civilian Conservation Corps Legacy, an organization dedicated to preserving the history and raising awareness about the CCC and its alumni.

"A Few Photographs Illustrating the Character of the Proposed Green Lakes State Park" by H.R. Francis

Booklet presented by Dr. Francis to CNY legislators on February 1, 1924, in Syracuse, NY. The booklet was created and used to support the proposed creation of a state park in the Fayetteville area.

Green Lakes State Park Official Web Site

Official web site of the State Park, featuring information about park attractions, reservations, location, and weather; also presents contact information and a photo gallery.

NY Falls - Green Lakes State Park

A site dedicated to waterfalls and other bodies of water in upstate New York. This site is not only features  information about these natural wonders, but also extensive photography.

In 1927, after the state park appropriation bill had passed, the Central New York state parks commission embarked upon its effort to create Green Lakes State Park. The commission's first task was to acquire 725 acres of privately-held land surrounding Green and Round Lakes. This process proved to be quite difficult. Some of the owners resisted selling their family estates, while others, aware of the state's intentions, negotiated for extremely high prices.  In the end, the state paid $75,000 for five of the seven parcels, and aquired the other two by contract.  

The commission employed Professor Laurie D. Cox of Syracuse University as their landscape advisor. Cox created plans for the park and many of its buildings, including the Administration Building, seen above during its construction. He went on to do major design work for four other parks in the CNY region.

For more images of the Administration building and its construction, click on one of the links below.