This year we spent a week on Cayuga Lake in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. It was amazingly lush, green, and peaceful.
We flew out of Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix with our oldest son, Eric, and his family on Saturday and landed in Buffalo, New York. Glen and I had been in Utah so we flew from Salt Lake City and joined up with them at the Phoenix airport.
We rented two cars in Buffalo and then drove for a little over two hours to Ovid, New York to the Driftwood Inn. Glen and I had a room in the big house.
Eric's family had a two bedroom cottage next to the big house which had once been a carriage house. We all loved that we were so close to the lake. This place was built in 1912 as the summer house for a family from Ithaca which is located at the bottom end of the lake. Family descendants still own the place. I have decided to post each day this week about our vacation and what we did on that week day a week earlier.
Our first stop Sunday morning was the Peter Whitmer Farm in Fayette Township. This was near where we were staying, but we were late for Sacrament Meeting services as there was a large bicycle race happening in Ovid and cars were stopped until there was an opening. Those openings were few and far between.
This is a replica of the Whitmer log home which is located at the original location. It is also where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized according to the laws of the state of New York on April 6, 1830. About 50 people were in that home on that day and also partook of the sacrament. After the meeting, they walked west to Seneca Lake for baptisms.
My grand daughters enjoyed talking to the young sister missionaries who were our tour guides.
There is a visitor center located next to the newer chapel in Fayette. It included art displays and I especially liked this bronze depicting the restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
I also enjoyed looking across the field to the trees and wondering if that could be the location of the three witnesses as they were shown the gold plates so that they might witness to the divinity of the Book of Mormon.
This is the meeting house where church members now meet for services in this area. It is just east of the log home.
The extension is the visitors center. As we left the church and headed back to Ovid, we came across a Mennonite meeting house where they were also exiting services. We learned that much of this agricultural area is worked by Mennonite families.
After changing clothes, we headed south on Route 89. Our first stop was Taughanock Falls where the water drops 300 feet before joining Cayuga Lake.
It is beautiful. The sound track for the Last of the Mohican's movie began to play in my head.
Glen and I were here a dozen years ago with our sons Nathan and Ryan. It was a rainy day back then and even more Mohican like.
DIL Susan snaps a picture of her clan.
Eric takes a picture of the Falls. I am above in the parking lot.
Julianna flashes me a smile as she comes back up the stairs.
After driving through Ithaca, we traveled east to our next stop, Dryden, New York. This is a family history site. Glen and I have a common ancestor who helped carve out this place in old growth forest back in the early 1800's. David Foote's father was a Revolutionary War militiaman who died at Mud Fort, Connecticut. David's mother remarried another veteran and they came to this place as part of land grants given to Revolutionary veterans. The above marker is that of David's daughter Melinda who was the first native child born in Dryden. The metal sign next to it confirms her status.
This is an old pioneer cemetery which is found by taking a small side round just northeast of the main junction in Dryden Village.
These are very old stones. Glen's ancestor is Betsy Foote Clement, daughter of David Foote. My ancestor is Betsy's youngest brother, Warren.
It is hard to read the grave markers. This is the backside of the marker of Melinda Foote.
I took a picture of this marker because one of the Foote daughters married a Givens.
The original Foote land was located very near to this cemetery.
Our next stop was Harmony, Pennsylvania which is just over the border of New York and Pennsylvania. It was also where Joseph Smith lived for a time as a young adult and where he met his wife, Emma Hale.
The lot for the monument in the background has been greatly improved since our last visit.
This monument commemorates the Restoration of the Priesthood to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery which occurred near this location.
We believe that they were visited by John the Baptist who performed their ordination. The earlier bronze depicts Joseph and Oliver receiving the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood from apostles Peter, James, and John.
After marrying Emma, Joseph lived with her in a small home which also used to stand on this piece of ground.
It was on the other side of this great climbing tree.
This stonework and landscaping have been placed around the monument since our last visit.
The cemetery located east of the monument is where Emma and Joseph buried their first infant son.
I found it interesting how the original marker had been embedded in newer granite one.
Emma's parents are buried near this baby and their markers have been preserved in the same way.
Emma was never to see her parents again after going West with the Saints.
This cemetery had many recent markers on its western side.
We then took a road around the railroad tracks to find the trail that leads to the Susquehanna River.
We walked through a beautiful forest. It was easy to see how spiritual events could have occurred here.
This river is where Joseph and Oliver baptized one another after receiving the Aaronic Priesthood.
It is a grand river.
We had a bit of slipping and sliding in mud as they ventured closer.
This is a beautiful spot and spiritually very significant to us because of the glorious things which occurred here. After our visit, we returned by another route through the beautiful green farm fields of New York.