Incorporated as the Village of Skaneateles in 1833, photography was first introduced around 1867 when O.H. Wildey began advertising photographs, ambrotypes, and meloneotypes or tintypes in the local Skaneateles newspaper. A couple of years later, Wildey opened a studio called Photographic Studio and advertised local stereoscopic views of the Skaneateles area and lakeshore views. Following Wildey, other photographers began to open their own studios or operated their photography business at home, like Edward L. Clark, leading to many scenes and people of Skaneateles being photographed. Eventually, O.H. Wildey’s studio changed names and owners, becoming Lakeside Studio run by Mr. Manfred Shattuck until the early 1930s when he left for Syracuse. The last photography studio in Skaneateles, run by Clark’s daughter Mabel, ceased production in 1940 upon her death thereby ending photography studios in Skaneateles. Since then, photography became easier and available for everyday people to use, allowing people to capture moments and create memories of Skaneateles.
The Collection shows businesses, homes, the Skaneateles landscape, people, and various activities. Ranging from the 1860s to the present day, the bulk of the collection dates around the 1880s to early 1900s. These photographs contain snapshots of history, daily life, and document the change that occurred around Skaneateles since the first photographs were taken in Skaneateles. As well as, how technology and technological advancements have changed Skaneateles Village and Town.
Scope of Collection
The Skaneateles Photograph Collection documents various areas within and around Skaneateles Village and Town through photographs, stereographs, and photographic postcards. The photographs in the collection depict events and moments of work, recreation, family time, and leisure. In particular, they show aerial views and scenes of downtown and landscape, various businesses of the times, celebrations, churches, the creamery and present-day historical society, portraits of families and famous residences, the first location of the fire department, the surrounding hamlets of Glen Haven and Mottville, many sections and angles of Skaneateles Lake, leisure and recreation activities past and present, the local library, the parks, the fire at the Skaneateles school, and the many modes of transportation throughout time in Skaneateles.