Sunday, November 26, 2006

"The Garden Spot of New York"

Excerpted from the Dec. 22, 1893 issue of the Waterville Times.

"Col. Wm. Cary Sanger spoke before the Oneida County Supervisors on the subject of good roads. He said he 'traveled all over Europe and not until you get to Turkey will you find roads as poor as we have here in this garden spot of the Empire State'. He would like macadam roads in place of dirt and main road be charged to the county."

In 1931, an illustrated brochure about benefits of travel on the "Cherry Valley Turnpike" was published by the Cherry Valley Association, which had been founded in 1926. At that time, a Roger W. Huntington, of Waterville, was one of the directors of the Association, and it is he who is credited with repeating Colonel Sanger's descriptive name for the village.

This is what the writers had to say about Waterville:

"Almost concealed by its wealth of foliage, it is truly named 'The Garden Spot of New York State.' At an elevation of 1,280 feet above sea level, its atmosphere is pure and bracing without being too rarified, and, owing to the absence of any large body of water, contains but little moisture. The climate is delightful and cannot but be beneficial to the tourist, be his stay long or short. It is a wonderfully 'healthy' place.

The village conatins about 1,400 inhabitants and is noted for the wealth, culture and refinement of its citizens and the thrift and comfort which permeates everything. The streets and avenues are broad and well-paved with stately old elms and maples standing guard over them on either side, and forming one of the greatest of its many charms. The residences are well built structures, with an air of neatness and thrift about them, which is most refreshing. All have pretty and well-kept surrounding gardens and grounds; everywhere the eye is greeted by soft blending colors.

The residents are proud of the new Central School building, completed in the spring of 1930. This building contains complete departments for home economics, agriculture, music, drawing, commercial subjects and kindergarten, besides the study rooms for the grades and the high school. A gift of $50,000 by George Eastman of Kodak fame, who was born in Waterville, has made possible a wonderful auditorium in connection with the school."

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