Geology

When?

What happened?

416 to 359 million years ago

Devonian Period

Much of what is now Western New York is covered by a shallow sea. The erosion of the nearby Arcadian Mountain Range fills this sea with layers of sand and silt. This leads to the formation of the sandstone and shale bedrock that characterizes the Finger Lakes Region.

300 million years ago

Permian Period

The formation of the supercontinent Pangaea causes uplift in the northeast of what is now North America. The inland seas that once covered Western NY and Pennsylvania become land. Streams begin to cut their way through the newly uplifted bedrock.

2.5 million to 12,000 years ago

Pleistocene Epoch

By this time deep valleys have been cut along what is now the Finger Lakes and Great Lakes water systems. The global climate begins to cool and this time period is marked by mass extinctions, repeated cycles of glaciations and melt (probably more than 40 times).

Glaciers smooth over mountains and gouge out existing valleys, forming the basins for the Great Lakes and Finger Lakes. Massive amounts of melt-water, plugged from draining into the ocean by glacial debris, form massive lakes that fill the gouged river valleys. The Great Lakes and Finger Lakes are remnants of those  massive glacial lakes.

12,000 years ago to present day

Holocene Epoch

As the massive lakes that engulfed the present-day Finger Lakes receded, they left large basins and valleys behind. Like many of the Finger Lakes, when Seneca Lake‘s waters receded it exposed enormous sheer cliffs along its southern half. Some of these cliffs still hang directly over the lake today. Others have receded away from the lake due to erosion. Small tributaries to the lakes formed small valleys atop these cliffs and eventually cut deep gorges back into the rock. Watkins Glen and Excelsior Glen on Seneca Lake and Taughannock Falls on Cayuga Lake are excellent examples of these Hanging Valleys that empty into the Finger Lakes’ basins.

In the grand scheme of things, the carving of the gorges that line the Finger Lakes is relatively recent and the speed and grandeur of the gorge that is created depends on a variety of factors, including amount of water, natural fractures in the rock, type of bedrock, and winter climate.

In addition to the carving of the glens by water, much of the erosive force also happens by the fracturing of the rock along joints and natural cracks by ice. Water fills these cracks and expands when it freezes. This pries apart the rock allowing for massive gorges, such as Taughannock to be created in a relatively short time span.

Settlers

When?

What happened?

13,000 years ago

The Clovis People

These nomadic hunters begin to populate the American West.

5,500 to 4,000 years ago

The Lamoka

The Lamoka Indians, a hunting/fishing/gathering culture, have multiple settlements near Lamoka Lake to the west.

3,000 to 1,000 years ago

The Owasco

The first settlers in Western NY to cultivate crops to supplement their hunting and gathering. 

1,000 years ago

The Iroquois

The Owasco Indians eventually diverged into many distinct tribes throughout Western and Central New York. The western most tribe, and the inhabitants of the Watkins Glen area, were the Seneca. Known as the “Great Hill People,” the Seneca were the most powerful of the tribes in the region, and when the 5 nations of the Iroquois tribes formed the Iroquois Confederacy around the year 1300, they were the “keepers of the western door,” and responsible for guarding the western flank of the Iroquois confederacy.

1600s

European Settlers

Dutch and British explorers trade with the Iroquois for fur. Europeans introduce metal tools, guns, and smallpox.

Grapes

Missionaries begin to plant European varieties to produce wine. European varieties do not last the harsh winters of New York and are easily overcome by native species.

1754-1763

French and Indian War

The Iroquois fight alongside the British against the French.

1760

Queen Catherine Montour

Catherine, the daughter of a French mother and Mohawk father, who married a Seneca chief, becomes heir to his village of Chequaga, present-day Montour Falls. This village becomes known as Catherinestown.

1775

American Revolutionary War Begins

The Iroquois adopt a neutral stance in the war. 

1776

Iroquois Inner Conflict

The tribes of the Iroquois become divided as some, including the Seneca, choose to support the British, while others support the colonists.

1778

Terrorist Attacks on American Settlements

British loyalists (Tories) aided by their Iroquois allies, attack American settlements and kill innocents. The Continental US considers the Iroquois to be a threat to American colonies.

June, 1779

The Sullivan Expedition Begins

Under order of General George Washington, Major General John Sullivan and Brigadier General James Clinton lead a military campaign against British loyalists and the four nations of the Iroquois that sided with them: the Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga, and Seneca tribes. The campaign led a continental force of 2,300 men along the Finger Lakes region to exterminate the “hostile” tribes.

September 1, 1779

Sullivan Expedition Reaches Catherinestown

The expedition reaches Catherinestown (present-day Montour Falls, south of Watkins Glen) to find the great Seneca settlement abandoned. The next day, troops burn homes and crops, and head north along the west side of Seneca Lake.

September 3, 1783

The Treaty of Paris

The American Revolutionary War ends.

November 5, 1784

The Treaty of Fort Stanwix

Signed in present-day Rome, NY, it effectively ended violence between British-loyalist native tribes and the United States. It also set the groundwork for Native American Reservations.

1788

First White Settlers

Silas Walcott and S. Wilson are the first settlers near present-day Montour Falls.

1791

The Watkins-Flint Purchase

John W. Watkins and Royal R. Flint of New York City submit an application to purchase land south of Seneca and Cayuga Lakes for a partnership of prominent investors.

The L’Hommedieu Purchase

Frenchman Ezra L’Hommedieu purchases a small tract of land along the southwest corner of Seneca Lake in present-day Watkins Glen.

Culverstown

A small settlement of less than 50 people thrives at the mouth of Watkins Glen Gorge.

November 11, 1794

The Treaty of Canandaigua

This treaty between the United States and the Iroquois Nation over land boundaries, sought to establish peace between the two parties.

1794

The Watkins-Flint Purchase

John W. Watkins and Royal R. Flint of New York City purchased 325,000 acres of land south of Seneca and Cayuga Lakes from the State of New York.

Watkin’s Arrival

John W. Watkins and his brother, Charles, arrive at the south end of Seneca Lake and begin to make plans to develop the area. At the time, there were four distinct settlements in the area.

Mills in Watkins Glen

The Watkins brothers construct a sawmill, blacksmith, and gristmill within Watkins Glen, then called “Big Gully.” This significantly boosted the economy for the settlement. John Watkins built a large white mansion on the hill above the gorge.

1808

Watkins Leaves

With lake access closed off from Watkins’ property (by the L’Hommedieu tract of land) and inadequate roads, the economy of the settlements suffers, losing agriculture and milling business to Montour. The large swamp at the head of the lake made much of the land uninhabitable, and caused flooding and disease. After his mansion is destroyed by fire, John Watkins returns to New York City. The settlement experiences a period of stagnant growth for the next 15 or so years.

Growth

When?

What happened?

1825

Erie Canal

When the Erie Canal opened in 1825, it revolutionized the shipping industry in North America, and hamlets to cities along the canal became players in the national and world market.

1828

Dr. Samuel Watkins Arrives

Following John Watkins’ death, his younger brother, and prominent New York City doctor, inherits the estate and relocates to Seneca Lake. He surveys the land and acquires lake access for the settlement through the L’Hommedieu property. Over the next 40 years he invests significant time and money into the development of the property, constructing roads, homes, shops, and a hotel.

Sam Watkins also constructs flour, saw, and plaster mills within Watkins Glen gorge, damming the gorge upstream (at Stillwater gorge in Glen Alpha and above Cavern Cascade in Glen Oscura).

Cayuga-Seneca Canal

Opening in 1828, this 20 mile long stretch of the NY State Erie Canal System opened up the two lakes as a transportation hub. Steamboats now frequent the lakes, transporting people and goods.

1832

First Commercial Winery

Samuel Warren creates his first commercial vintage in Livingston County, proving that the Finger Lakes region has potential for a wine industry.

1833

Chemung Canal

Stretching from the head of Seneca Lake at Watkins Glen to the Chemung River at Elmira, NY, this segment of the canal system revived the economy for towns along the south of Seneca and Cayuga Lakes. Finished in 1833, the construction effort resulted in a significant drainage in the swampland at the head of the lake. Now the settlement could be greatly expanded.

1840

Sam Watkins Marries Cynthia Ann Cass

His secretary, less than half his age.

April 11, 1842

Jefferson Village Incorporated

Sam Watkins successfully integrates all the settlements along the southern tip of Seneca Lake into one village.

1843

Watkins Mansion Built

Sam Watkins builds a Greek Revival mansion in the village. After his death, it becomes the Glen City Hotel.

1851

First Railroad in Jefferson

It runs from Canandaigua, down Seneca Lake , through the village of Jefferson, and to Elmira.

May 1, 1851

Samuel Watkins Dies

He passes away from natural causes in his home in Jefferson (present-day Watkins Glen) at the age of 80. His widow begins to campaign to have the village named after her late husband.

February 11, 1852

Cynthia Watkins Re-marries

Ithaca lawyer George Freer.

April, 1852

Jefferson Becomes Watkins

In honor of Samuel Watkins’ success in founding the Village, the name officially changes.

September, 1852

Cynthia Watkins Dies

Her husband, George Freer, inherits her estate, including Big Gully (Watkins Glen).

April 17, 1854

Schuyler County is Formed

Named after Representative Philip J. Schuyler.

Watkins Glen and Tourism

When?

What happened?

1856

Morvalden Ells Arrives

A newspaper editor from Elmira, Ells moves to the village of Watkins to purchase the local paper. He explored the glen, then privately owned, and wrote a descriptive article of its features. His wonder for the glen, knack for marketing, and the popularity of his descriptive article, inspired him to seek out a partnership with the landowner, George Freer, to open the glen to tourism.

1858

Development of the Glen

Ells hires workers to build wooden stairs, clear and expand paths within the glen, and build a gated entrance outside.

1859

The Coal Industry

John Magee founds the Fall Brook Coal Company, making coal distribution the village’s primary industry. Growth in Schuyler County increases rapidly.

April 12, 1861

The American Civil War Begins

July 4, 1863

The Glen Opens

Named Freer’s Glen: Mysterious Book of Nature, the glen opens for the first time, with only the Entrance Amphitheater to Cavern Cascade accessible. Upwards of 10,000 tickets sold in the first year.

1864

Freer’s Glen Opens for a Second Season

Ells built a stairway (called Long Staircase) that led from Cavern Cascade to the top of the gorge (above Glen Obscura) to a wood refreshment facility called “The Glen Mountain House.” Ells concentrates on running the new establishment.

In July, the trail to Glen Cathedral and to the Glen of Pools and Rainbow Falls is opened.

1865

National Recognition

Journal articles from around the United States begin publishing descriptions of the glen.

Glen of Pools

The section beyond Rainbow Falls is opened for the season.

1868

The Coal Industry Diminishes

Less dependent on lake navigation and more on rail, Fall Brook Coal Company moves to Corning, NY. The village of Watkins becomes more dependent on tourism and agriculture.

1869

E.B. Parsons Buys Freer’s Glen

Freer sells the glen to the entrepreneur from Troy, NY for $25,000. Parsons continues to develop the glen as a tourist attraction. Ells stays on as manager. During this era of ownership, the glen begins to be referred to (unofficially) as “Watkins Glen.”

1870

The Swiss Chalet is Added

Parsons replaces the old Glen Mountain House with this two story resort, styled after a Swiss mountain house. “The Swiss Chalet” opens in May with a full kitchen, dining hall, parlor, and rooms for rent.

James Hope Paints Rainbow Falls

Downstate artist, James Hope, is commissioned to paint Rainbow Falls at Freer’s Glen. He explores the glen and falls in love with it.

The Watkins Sanitarium Opens

This grand resort atop the hills southwest of the lake opens to a boom of tourism. The resort is owned by George Freer.

1871

Mark Twain Visits

He briefly describes the park in Chapter LXXVI of Roughing It:

In one place in the island of Hawaii, we saw a laced and ruffled cataract of limpid water leaping from a sheer precipice fifteen hundred feet high; but that sort of scenery finds its stanchest ally in the arithmetic rather than in spectacular effect. If one desires to be so stirred by a poem of Nature wrought in the happily commingled graces of picturesque rocks, glimpsed distances, foliage, color, shifting lights and shadows, and failing water, that the tears almost come into his eyes so potent is the charm exerted, he need not go away from America to enjoy such an experience. The Rainbow Fall, in Watkins Glen (N.Y.), on the Erie railway, is an example. It would recede into pitiable insignificance if the callous tourist drew on arithmetic on it; but left to compete for the honors simply on scenic grace and beauty–the grand, the august and the sublime being barred the contest–it could challenge the old world and the new to produce its peer.

1872

James Hope Moves Into Watkins Glen

He relocates from New York City to a new studio near the Swiss Chalet and devotes his time to painting the glen. Hope’s Art Gallery becomes a popular attraction at the glen. His son, J.D. Hope photographs the glen in stereoscopic 3D and sells prints to tourists.

John J. Lytle Buys Watkins Glen

E.B. Parsons sells the glen property to John Lytle, from Philadelphia, for $100,000

June 20, 1872

Rock Fall Fatality

While hiking up the Glen Cathedral section of the glen, a man and two women are hit by falling rock. One of the women is killed.

1873

The Grand Glen Mountain House Opens

Lytle builds a large resort atop Glen Obscura across the glen from the Swiss Chalet. The Swiss Chalet is completely converted to a dining facility. The new Mountain House is beautifully landscaped and capable of housing 300 guests. A suspension bridge was built linking the two sides of the glen.

Havana Glen Opens

As a competing attraction, Havana Glen opens to tourists south of Watkins Glen in Montour.

1874

St. Mary’s Cemetery Opens

Adjacent to existing Glenwood Cemetery, this property caters to the Catholic population of the village.

September, 1874

P.T. Barnum’s Grand Traveling World’s Fair Performs

“The Greatest Show on Earth” is put on in the village of Watkins.

*Date Unknown*

Andrew Haswell Green Buys Watkins Glen

Famed, conservationist, lawyer and NYC urban planner, Andre H. Green acquires the glen for $100,000.

In this era, the attraction becomes known as Watkin’s Glen.

1877

The Fall Brook Train Trestle Is Built

The Fall Brook Railway is constructed, and it passes over the Glen. Primarily to ship coal, the railway helps to eliminate Watkins Glen as a hub for barge shipping on Seneca Lake and the Chemung Canal.

1878

The Chemung Canal Closes

Made obsolete by the rail industry. Canal properties and parts were sold off at auction in subsequent years.

1880s-1890s

Seneca disappear from Watkins Glen

From the Sullivan Campaign, commercial development, racism, and assigned reservations, the Seneca no longer inhabit the Watkins Glen area.

1882

Salt Found

While drilling for petroleum, the Watkins Oil Company finds salt deposits. The Salt industry booms through the 1900s and still exists to this day.

1885

Adirondack and Catskill Parks are Established

New York State designates these lands as protected and to never be sold.

1890

The Glen Springs Sanitarium

Formerly the Watkins Sanitarium, this resort, greatly developed, sees a boom in business as mineral baths become popular for people suffering from a variety of ailments.

October 20, 1892

Artist J.D. Hope Dies

His family continues to operate his gallery.

1899

The New York Central

The Fall Brook Railway is incorporated into the New York Central network of rail.

A Public Park

When?

What happened?

November 13, 1903

Andrew Haswell Green Dies

The owner of Watkins Glen is fatally shot in a case of mistaken identity.

December, 1903

The Glen Mountain House Burns Down

Beyond repair, the resort is demolished shortly after.

1905

Morvalden Ells Dies

He is buried in nearby Glenwood Cemetery.

1906

New York State Buys the Glen

New York State purchases the glen property from the estate of Andrew Green (per his wishes) for half of his purchase price, just shy of $50,000. The American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society (ASHPS), which was founded by Andrew Green little more than 10 year prior, takes on the task of maintaining and operating the Glen as a public park and preserve, rather than as a resort.

1907

Watkins Glen State Reservation Opens

With the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society (ASHPS) at the helm, Watkins Glen Park opens to visitors, free of charge, with repaired pathways and bridges. They create a plan to install permanent concrete paths with iron railings to replace wooden ones that needed constant maintenance.

1908

The Swiss Chalet Closes

With a plan to preserve the Glen, rather than develop it, the ASHPS removes the Swiss Chalet.

More Improvements are Made Under the ASHPS

Park pathways are widened and a large wall constructed along Glen Creek in the Entrance Amphitheater to protect the parking area from flooding. Entrance Tunnel was carved out of the cliffs. More concrete and iron paths and bridges were added in subsequent years as well as Spiral Tunnel which was excavated to allow for entrance to Glen Obscura above Cavern Cascade. Overlooks are created above the Glen’s most prominent features.

August 12, 1908

The First Model T

The first of Henry Ford’s Model T’s comes off the line. This ushers in a new era of transportation, and soon, competitive racing.

As with many tourist resorts during the age of the rail and steamboat, personal automobiles allowed for convenience and speed of travel that allowed families to take day trips rather than spending several days on excursions. This resulted in a decline in rail and resort business.

July, 1911

The State Takes Over The Glen

As the ASHPS mission to preserve, rather than develop, became more clear to the state government, it began to lose its contracts with parks around the state. Without an established parks department, the state began to manage Watkins Glen State Reservation on its own with a make-shift committee.

January 16, 1920

Prohibition Begins

The US Government outlaws alcoholic beverages, crippling the Finger Lakes wine industry. Some wineries are able to sustain themselves by selling grapes as produce, as well as bottles of grape juice with fermentation instructions printed on the labels.

1922

Clute Park Opens

Catering to the increase in automobile traffic, the village of Watkins Glen opens this lakeside camp, picnic, and bathing park. To be named W.W. Clute Memorial Park in later years.

1924

Finger Lakes State Parks Commission Takes Over the Glen

The first established New York State Parks department in the Finger Lakes region begins to manage the park.

1926

The South Entrance Opens

The State purchases land along the south rim, constructs a gate, roads and a massive indoor pavilion.

March 9, 1926

The Village of Watkins Becomes Watkins Glen

With guide books, postcards, and people constantly referring to the small village as the name of its most famous attraction, a village charter is drafted to formally change the name to Watkins Glen.

October 29, 1929

Stock Market Crash

This financial disaster ushers in The Great Depression. Spending drops, causing great harm to the agriculture and tourism industries of the region.

1933

The New Deal

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the New Deal into law, creating the Public Works Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).

Hector Land Bought By The Federal Government

With many farms in the region struggling, the Federal Government steps in under the New Deal and buys farmland around Hector to save families from bankruptcy. These patches of land will eventually become the Finger Lakes National Forest.

August 28, 1933

Stuck Buck

Two deer were either chased or wandered into the Glen. The buck became trapped on a ledge in Glen Alpha, while the doe fell to her death. With no means of reaching and rescuing the deer, the stuck deer and its ongoing care and rescue attempts became a daily news story for papers around the US. This resulted in an unintended boom for tourism in the village as people herded into the park to see the trapped deer.

Despite repeated attempts to rescue it, the deer is too scared or content to follow bait. It is coerced out after 2 weeks.

December 5, 1933

Prohibition Ends

Congress repeals the Prohibition Act. The Finger Lakes wine industry begins to grow considerably in following years.

July 7, 1935

The Great Flood

Thunderstorms hit the Finger Lakes region around 4pm, dumping up to 12 inches of rain in as little as 3 hours. The Glen Greek gorge quickly filled with water and debris, taking out the New York Central Railroad trestle and much of the iron and concrete infrastructure of the Gorge Trail. Witnesses claim the flood waters practically filled Watkins Glen gorge. The gift shops at the mouth of the Glen are destroyed, including one that housed J.D. Hope’s works.

Homes and businesses along Glen Creek, and many other Finger Lakes tributaries, were extensively damaged. Over 40 deaths occurred due to these flash floods.

Summer – Fall, 1935

The CCC

Following the flood, the Civilian Conservation Corps at the Whites Hollow Camp (where the Hidden Valley 4-H camp is today) began rebuilding the damaged infrastructure of the Gorge Trail.  Like much of the CCC work performed in Finger Lakes parks, natural stone and mortar were used to create natural-looking paths, bridges and structures.

The Army Corps of Engineers oversaw the construction of two dams on Glen Creek in the west section of the park (1938), and additional flood control measures were installed along the Seneca Lake Inlet (Chemung Canal).

1936

New Rail Bridge

A stronger, more reinforced train trestle is built for the New York Central line, to replace the one destroyed in the previous year.

1939

Watkins Glen Illuminated

Floodlights were installed in Glen Alpha to allow visitors to enter the glen at night.

December 7, 1941

The US Enters World War II

After the Japanese bomb Pear Harbor, young men are needed for military service. CCC camps begin to shut down.

1942

Whites Hollow CCC Camp Shuts Down

The CCC Camp that rebuilt Watkins Glen, shuts down, becoming a farming labor camp.

Racing at the Glen

When?

What happened?

1945

Hidden Valley Camp

The former CCC camp in Whites Hollow, set for demolition, is resurrected as a 4-H Summer Camp under a co-op of the Finger Lakes Parks Commission and the 4-H Youth Development Organization.

Cameron Argetsinger

Auto racing enthusiast, Argetsinger, visits Watkins Glen and is inspired by the challenges of the hilly terrain.

October 2, 1948

Watkins Glen Grand Prix

The first road race in Watkins Glen is a huge success. The Grand Prix becomes a yearly event, drawing crowds in the tens of thousands. 

September 23, 1950

Racing Death

In the third Grand Prix, racing pioneer Sam Collier dies after crashing his Ferrari 166.

1953

Dedicated Track

After insurance providers refused to cover the road circuit, officials moved the race to a dedicated track in the Town of Dix.

1956

Permanent Track

The race is moved to a permanent facility nearby. The new professional closed circuit allowed for more events, better control over safety and crowds, and allowed racing to flourish. Formula One, NASCAR, and many other racing organizations would tour to the Glen in subsequent years. The village of Watkins Glen becomes known more for racing than for the Glen.

March 17, 1962

The First Finger Lakes Trail Conference Meeting

The first meeting of this organization would kick off a huge effort to create a massive network of trails across New York State, including one segment that traverses the southern rim of Watkins Glen. 

1963

Olympic-size Pool

The state adds the Olympic-size pool, changing rooms and snack bar to the South Entrance.

1971

Track Re-designed

The closed circuit course is rebuilt with more daring curves and an extension.

July 28, 1973

Summer Jam at Watkins Glen

An estimated 600,000 rock fans came to the Raceway to see The Allman Brothers Band, The Band, and the Grateful Dead perform and set a Guinness World Record for “Largest audience at a pop festival.”

Wine and Tourism

When?

What happened?

1976

The Farm Winery Act

Although the wine industry in New York was strong since the repeal of prohibition, it was primarily large distributors of wine that were able to afford production and sell wine. This new act, allowed for smaller producers to sell wine directly to the public, which led to wineries as tourist destinations.

1977

Glenora Wine Cellars Opens

Opening north of Watkins Glen, this winery grows to become one of the region’s largest independent wineries.

1978

Wagner Vineyards Opens

In Lodi, north of Watkins, on the east side of Seneca Lake.  The opening of Wagner and Glenora proves that independent wineries can thrive in New York State.

The Jefferson House is Demolished

Under hard economic times, the village’s oldest hotel is razed.

1981

Decline of Racing at the Glen

The Watkins Glen Grand Prix Corporation files for bankruptcy and the course is sold at auction the following year.

“Thunder in the Glen”

Although not technically IN the Glen, the American Power Boat Association hosts their championship races at Seneca Lake, calling it “Thunder in the Glen.” 

1983

Finger Lakes National Forest

Farmland bought by the Federal Government 50 years ago under the New Deal, and since reclaimed by nature, is declared a National Forest.

May, 1982

State Park Entrance and Visitor Center

Watkins Glen State park opens with a new entrance, parking area and visitor center.

May, 1983

Timespell

Looking to drum up park traffic after hours, Watkins Glen State Park launches the Timespell Light and Laser Show. This educational laser show was projected on the cliff of Glen Alpha.

A large historic timeline of the natural history of the Glen is painted on a rail along Glen Creek and the parking lot.

July, 1984

Racing Returns to the Glen

Under sponsorship from Corning Glass Works, Watkins Glen hosts the IMSA’s Camel Continental. This successful venture ushers in several other major racing events in subsequent years.

1985

Watkins Glen Lakefront

A new Lakefront Park was completed along the rail line, with a new fishing pier and pavilion.

1986

The Seneca Lake Wine Trail

The Seneca Lake Wine Trail Conglomerate is formed to promote independent wineries as tourist destinations.

August, 1986

NASCAR Returns to the Glen

Under sponsorship from Budweiser, NASCAR returns to race at Watkins Glen.

1995

Cascata Winery Opens

Located within Watkins Glen this boutique-style winery has a tasting room, art gallery, gift shop and bed and breakfast. It represents the diversification of independent wineries seen as more and more open in the region.

July 23, 1995

The Finger Lakes Scenic Railway Opens

Pieced together from defunct cargo and passenger lines, this network of rails that traverse the Finger Lakes becomes a relaxing tourist passenger line that leads right to the Watkins Glen waterfront.

Fall, 2003

Timespell Closes

Due to diminished ticket sales.  

Summer, 2008

The Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel Opens

This giant resort forever changes the village lakefront and begins a new era of tourism for the village.

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