Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Ithaca Journal (Ithaca, NY), Wed., July 14, 1876
Full Text

The Southern Central Railroad has its northern terminus at North Fair Haven, on Little Sodus Bay. here are two small villages, Fair Haven and North Fair haven, about one mile apart. The bay is a deep indentation from the lake, and is two miles long and over one half mile wide; 1,600 feet of pier runs out into the lake from the breakwater which is nearly completed across the mouth of the bay.

The great extent of dockage within gives ample facilities for shipping. The United States government owns three acres of land, on which they have erected a house for the light house keeper. The light house is kept in the best order. Ten thousand dollars will be expended this year on the extension of the breakwater at the mouth of the harbor. The bay is been compared in beauty by tourists to the Bay of Naples, and it is a lovely spot. On the west shore the late S.R. Wells, (formerly of the publishing house of Fowler & Wells,) built an elegant summer residence, which forms an agreeable addition to the land view.

At North Fair Haven are the immense coal pockets of the Southern Central railroad. From these pockets three 500 ton vessels can be loaded at once, and one hundred thousand tons of coal can be kept for stock. No more convenient point of shipping can be found on Lake Ontario. At present from five to seven coal trains are run each way every day on the Southern Central road.

Knapp & Hemingway have here a large lumber yard and planing mill. This firm re extensive dealers in all kinds of pine lumber, shingles, fence posts, etc. They have extensive dockage and every facility for loading cars with dispatch. By means of the Southern Central Railroad they can ship to all points on that road, and on the Utica, Ithaca & Elmira Railroad and connecting roads. It rates of freight are cheaper than from Oswego. They pay particular attention to the favors of their friends, and purchasers can get such articles as they desire. Lumber is also dressed at all times to order.

H.C. Post is one of the first dealers of the place. The fisheries on Lake Ontario are among the best industries on the lake and give employment to a large number of men and vessels. Mr. Post has two vessels in the business, and good facilities for handling fish. By his railroad connection he is able to promptly fill orders.

The Myers House kept by R.J. Myers, fronts directly on the bay, and from it fin views are had to the west, northwest and northeast, of the blue waters of Ontario. The rooms are large and airy, the beds clean and neat, and the table all that could be desired. To the angler, the sportsman, and the overworked businessman seeking rest, this will be found a very desirable point. Boats and oarsmen will be furnished at all times by Mr. Myers.

The population of both places is about 400, and there is one church, four stores, two sawmills and other shops usually found in a country town. Hedstrom & Co., coal dealers and shippers have an office here.

Midway between the villages is the picnic grounds, on the shore of the bay. A fine grove, with suitable buildings for shelter in case of storms makes this one of the pleasantest place for picnics in the state.

George I. Post has a beautiful residence and grounds at North Fair Haven.

The commerce of the port exhibits a gratifying increase. Our report is indebted to John Calhoun, Deputy Collector, for the following statistics of the port revenue collected for the year ending June 30th, 1874, $1,036.62. Imports $18,350; Exports $39,516. Number of vessels arriving and departing 164. for the year ending June 30th, 1865. Amount of revenue collected $3,776.69. Imports $29,203; Exports $181,108.50. Number of vessels cleared 190; Aggregate tonnage 25,067 tons. As an index to the increase of business I note that Knapp & Hemingway have a contract to ship via Southern Central Railroad three million feet of lumber to parties in New Jersey.

About one hundred thousand tons of coal are now shipped each year to Canadian and domestic ports; but the amount is rapidly increasing as there is no question that the route via the Southern Central Railroad is the best one from the mines to the Great Lakes.

One of the most pleasant hours of our reporter's visit was in a sail around the bay and on the lake, on the powerful steam tug, "E.P. Ross." Mr. Ross was at Fair Haven, and our reporter accepted his courteous invitation to a short excursion. The trip was a delightful one, affording an excellent view of the pier and Government works at the mouth of the harbor; and, as the lake was calm, we enjoyed the trip greatly.

As a place of resort for tourists and pleasure seekers, North Fair Haven offers a pure and bracing atmosphere that at once relieves one of all feelings of enervation. The scenery of the bay and lake is beautiful, and the fishing unsurpassed. The trip is not on the old route of travel, but is a new one to most of your people; and last, but not least, the hotel accommodations are firs class and the charges moderate.

The 7:15 a.m. and 1:35 p.m. trains from Ithaca connect at Freeville with the Southern Central trains, which reach North Fair Haven at 11:10 a.m., and 7:20 p.m. Trains leave North Fair Haven at 6;10 a.m. and 4;15 p.m., reaching Ithaca at 12:45 and 8:20.


Item Type
Date of Original
Wed., July 14, 1876
Local identifier
Language of Item
Richard Palmer
Copyright Statement
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.


Ithaca Journal (Ithaca, NY), Wed., July 14, 1876