The History of Cayuga County 1789-1879 page 432
Town of Venice

Wheat, F. D; John W. Chamberlain, S. M. C.; John Crawfoot, F. M. C.; Calvin W. Wattles, Tiler; Leddra W. Watkins, Chaplain; Warren B. Tompkins, Marshal; Jonas Wood, Daniel Nichols and Franklin P. Poppins, Trustees. Following are the names of other past Masters: George Whitfield, Amzi Wood, John Bowen, Andrew Race, Selah Cornwell, Isaac Jump, Warren B. Tompkins and Wm. L. Jaquett. Meetings are held the first and third Wednesdays of each month at Scipio Center.


VENICE was formed from Scipio January 30th, 1823, and derives its name from Venice, a city in Italy. It is an interior town, lying the south part of the County, at the head of Owasco Lake, which borders upon the north-east corner. It is bounded on the north by Scipio, on the east by Moravia and Locke, on the south by Genoa, and on the west by Ledyard.

The surface is a rolling upland, whose summits are 300 to 400 feet above Owasco Lake. The declivities on the lake and west bank of Salmon Creek are steep, though generally the hillsides are long, narrow slopes.

Its waters are Salmon and Little Salmon Creeks and their tributaries, and numerous small streams, which head in the east part and flow east, emptying into the lake and its inlet. The Salmon, which heads in Scipio, and the Little Salmon, which heads in the north-west part of Venice, flow south, the former through the central, and the latter, the western portion of the town, through deep valleys, which divide the surface into well defined ridges.

Limestone boulders found upon the surface have been burned, but there are no limestone quarries in the town. There are several slate quarries, the principal one of which is on the farm of P. K. Storms, two miles south-west of Venice Center, which has been worked more or less for fifty years, but more extensively recently than ever before. The strata vary from one to six inches in thickness; thus furnishing an excellent flagging stone of almost any desired thickness. Slate also crops out in several places upon the farm of Lyman Murdock, one-half mile south of Venice Center; upon the farms of William Jackson and James H. Wallace, the former one and one-half miles south, and the latter two miles south-east of that village; and other places along the hillsides, upon both sides of the creek, in all of which it has been quarried to some extent. Sand and gravel beds abound in the flats along Salmon Creek, and both are used to improve the roads. The soil is a highly productive gravelly and clayey loam, admirably adapted to grain.

The Utica, Ithaca & Elmira R. R. extends through the center of the town, along the valley and on the east side of Salmon Creek. The Southern Central R. R. crosses the north-east corner of the town and has a station (Cascade) within its limits. The former road is also known as the western extension of the Midland R. R. It is leased by the Utica, Ithaca & Elmira R. R. Co., and was opened in 1872.

The population of the town in 1875 was 1,753; of whom 1,585 were native; 168 foreign; 1,739 white; and 14, colored. Its area was 24,996 acres; of which 20,956 were improved; 3,854 woodland; and 186 otherwise unimproved.

A portion of the tract known as the Indian Fields lies in this town, and has given evidence at various times and in various ways of Indian occupancy. When the railroad was built through the town along Salmon Creek, in cutting through a bed of excellent gravel on the Benjamin Whitten farm, three and one-half miles south of Venice Center, a large quantity of human bones were exhumed. The first white settlers found upon the Creek near the center of the town, extensive fields, cleared and cultivated, and near them an Indian burying ground. Upon the ridge, east of the Creek, near the south border of the town, are the remains of an ancient fortification.

The settlement of Venice was contemporary with the neighboring towns. It is probable that the first settlement was made as early as 1790, although we have been unable to discover any data which fully establish the fact. The town records of Scipio, before the division of that town, show that Luke Taylor settled as early as 1794; Henry Hewitt and Samuel Chidsey, as early as 1795; Zebulon Taylor, as early as 1796; Zadoc Bateman and Thomas Cannon, as early as 1798;

The information on this page was transcribed to a digital format by Roger A. Post

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