History And Profile Of
The Village Of Moravia
Cayuga County, New York

Moravia Sign


This History & Profile of the Village of Moravia, NY was composed by
Bob Scarry, Former Town and Village Historian

Moravia was the site of an Indian Village.  The land was used by neighboring settlers who came to harvest hay 1783-1790.  It was originally called Owasco Flats.

March 8, 1799 Cayuga County was formed from Onondaga County.  March 9th the Town of Sempronius was formed which included Moravia.  Moravia lies at the southern tip of Owasco Lake.  March 30, 1833 the Town of Moravia was formed from the Town of Sempronius.  It was incorporated in 1837 and reincorporated in 1859 when its boundaries were expanded.  

John Stoyell, a Revolutionary War veteran was the first settler in Moravia in 1789.  He was the first justice and supervisor of Sempronius.

The growth of the village of Moravia was sustained by agriculture and manufacturing.  Post-Revolutionary War settlement and post-Civil War industrial expansion have all shaped the development of Moravia.

The village boasts many noteworthy examples of 19th Century architecture.  Two historic districts have been listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places.  A walk through the streets conveys a strong sense of post-Civil War American life in an upstate New York village.

Millard Fillmore, 13th President of the United States, was born five miles east of the village.  A replica of his log cabin birthplace is in Fillmore Glen State Park.  The 938 acre park has a deep limestone and shale glen with five waterfalls, a stone walled swimming pool, campground, pavilion, and picnic areas.  It was the site if a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp in 1934-38.

The house where Fillmore was married on February 6, 1826 is on Smith Street.  Nearby in New Hope and Kelloggsville are other Fillmore sites.  New Hope has a waterpowered mill and is famous for its pancake flour.

Jethro Wood, inventor of the first cast iron plow, had a factory in nearby Montville and made pattern molds on Church Street in Moravia.

John D. Rockefeller's boyhood home site is on Rockefeller Road.  The boyhood home of Andrew Dickson White, the first President of Cornell University and a statesman, is at Central and Grove Streets in Moravia.

The Cayuga-Owasco Lakes Historical Society at 14 West Cayuga Street contains Fillmore memorabilia, an extensive genealogical collection, and over 3,000 artifacts of southern Cayuga County.

St. Mathews Episcopal Church on Church Street contains intricate Bavarian carved figures by Hans Mayer, executed in Oberammergau, Germany.  Also carvings by Charles Hall.

Popular recreational activities are boating and fishing on Owasco Lake and hunting in the nearby forests.  The area boasts tennis courts, an 18 hole public golf course, bowling, riding stables, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.  A bicycle trail is planned for the future.

Other activities are the Cabin Fever Festival in February at Fillmore Glen State Park.  Pony races are held every Saturday May to September at Moravia Downs.  The Moravia Firemen and Veterans of Foreign Wars Fair is held in the middle of July at the VFW Fairgrounds.  Fillmore Days is held the last weekend in July and feature bathtub races and other events.  An antique car show and flea market is held Labor Day weekend.  The Cayuga-Owasco Lakes Historical Society holds a Corn Huskers Festival in October.  Holiday house tours are held in December.

In closing, Moravia, a picturesque village, provides scenic beauty, historical, recreational, and cultural interests to visitors who wish to explore the Finger Lakes Region of New York State.


This History & Profile of the Village of Moravia, NY was composed by
Bob Scarry, Former Town and Village Historian

Stoyell Historical MarkerMoravia Historical Marker


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