October 2, 2005

Land Above Dryden Lake Waters

(I'm behind on posting some stories, like this one - over a month old, but still well worth posting.)

Back on August 21st, the Dryden Town Historical Society held a program at the Dryden Lake Golf Club, exploring the Dryden Lake area from its earliest times to the events of the past few years, when dedicated volunteers put their money and their energy into keeping the golf course going.

Dryden Lake Golf Club logo
Dryden Lake Golf Club logo.

The presentation started with Doug Norton's discussion of his collection of arrowheads, which he'd found in nearby cornfields. There was also talk of an archeological sponsored by SUNY Cortland, which found artifacts corresponding to a hunting and fishing camp on the lake, but not a permanent village. Millie Norton pointed out that Ruth Sweetland has a mortar and pestle that dates back to this period. The lake was in Onondaga Nation territory at the time of the American Revolution.

Looking at arrowheads and other artifacts found in the area
Looking at arrowheads and other artifacts found in the area.

Sib Stewart and Ruth Sweetland talked about the farms and families in the area, and how change over the centuries had affected them. Stewart talked about ice production on the lake, and the many icehouses at all the dairy farms surrouding it.

After the talk about Dryden Lake's past, there was some discussion of its present. Millie Norton and Dan Hill were pleased to announce that Randy and Joan Luberecki have bought the course and plan to continue it as a golf course, after a year or more of volunteers operating the course while it floated in foreclosure limbo. As Norton put it:

We would have preferred, of course, for it to remain a golf course. In fact, it was my passion and the passion of a lot of other people to keep this very beautiful place open and I do believe it is the most beautiful place in the world. When I come back to Dryden and come back down Route 13 from Cortland and see the hills just embracing this beautiful area, I know that I have come home... So it was my passion to keep that open to the public as a place where anyone could come and enjoy the view.

View from the clubhouse deck
View from the clubhouse deck.

Hill and Norton explained the deal they arranged with owner George Szlasa to create a limited liability company (LLC) to keep the course running, and the hard work volunteers put into cleaning up the clubhouse, repairing and rebuilding the machinery, and maintaining the grounds. The course is back to being nine holes, par 33, from its recent problematic eighteen hole configuration.

If you'd like to know more, and there's lots more to see, stop by the Dryden History House some Saturday from 10:00am to 2:00pm and read Marilyn Adriance's transcript of the session, or visit the gallery of pictures I've posted. Best of all, you can visit the course itself.

Posted by simon at October 2, 2005 12:43 PM in , ,
Note on photos