Friday, September 25, 2015

Fall, Local Books, Art Zimmer, and a Story of Wendover Road on Leland Pond.

Fall has officially arrived here in CNY, although at 37 degrees the other morning it felt like we were moving right into winter.  Some of the trees along route 26 (The Old Georgetown Turnpike) near Leland Pond have started to turn into orange and brown reminders of Fall.

The area around the ponds will in a few weeks be filled with travelers of the winged variety rounding up a tour to head south.  In the old days the ponds was a favorite haunt of Utica city dwellers who flocked there in the summer to eat chicken and escape the heat and in the Fall to savor the multi-colored show that Mother Nature was putting on.  So I insert here a little history on the area…

”On February 16, 1906, Steven and Ella Wendover bought the farm of twenty acres from Theda Appleford.  They settled there and for many years were prosperous, happy and contented.  Their home was well known to many who came from various towns and cities, some came a long distance to rent boats for fishing and tables for picnics.  Mrs. Wendover also served chicken dinners to many who came to spend the day in the quiet and rest of the surroundings.

 Vacationers and convalescents found a welcome rest and cure in her gentle care and wholesome food. Her words of welcome were always extended to all who came to their home, which made many lasting friends for the Wendover’s, and brought many fishermen to try their luck fishing in Lake Leland (Leland Ponds”

 ***The Wendover’s had an adopted daughter, who became Mrs. John Black of Morrisville, New York.  Their daughter was Flora Cramphin of Eaton. Flora now dead was one of the original founders of our museum group then called Neighbors for Historic Eaton and a great personal friend of mine.

As the week progressed and our little museum team had the privilege of going to Art Zimmer’s book signing at the Colgate Bookstore and have since been delving into Art’s fascinating past via Making it Count: From A to Z The Life and Times of Art Zimmer.  Art from Hamilton… and his wife Shirley Sherburne Zimmer from Eaton…have done it all I think and best of all have retired back to their roots and our local area. Published by a local company “Log Cabin Books” and publisher Brian McDowell, it savors of our special CNY area and its many talented people.

The book is filled with tales of Art’s many business adventures from ski resorts, to Zimmer Cars, from publishing and owning the Syracuse New Times to musical theater and so much, MUCH more… It is hard to believe he has crammed so much into his 77 years, which he attained on his birthday this week.  Happy Birthday Art!

***Here is a video of Leland Ponds near Wendover Road which was once home to Pecks Port one of the busiest ports on the Chenango Canal.

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