|DeRuyter Lake, January 21, 2008
Excerpts from the History of Tioughnioga Lake
Compiled by Mr. George Burdick, Club Historian
(taken from the Lake Tioughnioga Club Directory - about 1940)
Tioughnioga Lake is 1,286 feet above the sea, higher than Lake George and nearly as high as Saranac. Since the
Lake is filled with the waters of the Tioughnioga river it becomes Tioughnioga Lake. The construction of DeRuyter was
contemporaneous with the progress of the Civil War. The canal authorities found it necessary to increase the supply
of water for the long level east of Syracuse and this valley was selected as a site, and in 1860 engineers commenced the surveys
for the work, which required nearly three years to complete. The dam at the North end is about one-fourth mile in length
and is seventy-five feet deep at its lowest point. Its inclination is two to one on its face side and three to one on
its back side. Its extreme width at its base is about 375 feet.
The dam lies almost entirely in the Town of Cazenovia, Madison County, except the West end which is in the town of Fabius,
Onondaga County. The Lake is two miles long with an average width of one-half mile, its greatest depth is 75 feet, and
its average depth is 18 1/2 feet, it has an area of 626 acres, and when full contains 504,468,000 cubic feet of water.
The reservoir and its structures cost the State of New York about $100,000. Charles A. Beach was the engineer and DeGraw
& Wood, were the contractors.
The first camp on the Lake was a wooden frame and roof with canvas sides, built by Dr. E.N. Coon and located on the East
shore. Later he built a substantial cottage which still stands. The next permanent camp was "Gleaner Camp" built
by W.W. Ames, father of the present editor of the Gleaner.
While there has long been a need for an organization of cottage owners, it was not until Sunday, September 10, 1939,
that a meeting was called and the Lake Tioughnioga Club was formed, with twenty-five charter members, with Mr. Lew Bales as
president. The Club has at present a large membership and is still growing and there has developed a fellowship among
cottage people that would not have been possible before.