Cazenovia Lake, (called by the Indians, Owahgena, meaning "the lake where yellow fish swim," "yellow perch lame,") is a beautiful sheet of water, about four miles long. It's outlet, Chittenango Creek, forms a part of the boundary between this town and Fenner, and is a feeder of the Erie Canal. The stream has, in its course, a fall of several hundred feet, affording a great number of valuable mill sites. At the Chittenango Fall, about three miles from Cazenovia village, the water plunges, in a beautiful cascade, perpendicularly, over a ledge of limestone rock, 136 feet in height. Limestone Creek flows across the south part of the town. On this stream, near a southwest border of the town, are two beautiful cascades, one of which is ninety feet in height, the other between sixty and seventy. Hydraulic and common limestone are quarried near Chittenango Falls. In the northern and central parts, the soil is a gravelly loam; in the southern part, a clayey loam, underlaid by hardpan.
Cazenovia, (p. v.) incorporated February 7, 1810, is beautifully situated on Chittenango Creek, at the foot of Cazenovia Lake, and is a summer resort. It contains six churches, two banks, three hotels, the Oneida Conference Seminary, and several manufactories. The Seminary was founded in 1825, and is a large and flourishing institution. There is a large sash and blind factory, a woolen factory, and a large tannery, on Chittenango Creek, a short distance below the village. The Sash and blind factory of O. W. Sage uses about one million feet of pine lumber, twenty barrels of glue, two tons of finishing nails, and fifty reams of sanding paper, annually. About forty-five hands and six teams are employed, turning out about eighteen thousand doors, fifteen thousand pair of blinds, and 250,000 lights of sash annually. The American Lock Company have recently established a factory here, for the manufacture of "Felter's Patent Culindo Locks." They are burglar and powder-proof, simple in construction, and possess the most desirable qualities of the best combination locks, and in many respects are superior to any hitherto made. The Company have already a capital of $33,000 invested, with the privilege of increasing it to $100,000. There are several mills, machine shops, cabinet shops, &c., in the village. The population is about 2,000.
Bingley Mills, about two miles from Cazenovia, on Chittenango Creek, has been owned by Mr. William Atkinson since September 12, 1831. This is a longer time than any other mill in town has been run by the same man. H. S. Keller and C. L. Chappell have recently opened a trotting course on their land, about a half a mile north of Cazenovia village.
New Woodstock, (p. v.) situated in the southern part of the town, contains two churches, two carriage and wagon shops, an extensive glove factory, a hotel, four stores, several mechanic shops and mills, and about 300 inhabitants. A fine new schoolhouse, to cost about $3000 is to being erected. From July 27, 1867, to July 27, 1868, not a death occurred within two miles of the village. Isaac Warren, Robert Fisher, Jonathan Smith and John Savage, were the first settlers in this part of town. Ralph Knight, now the oldest resident of the village, born December 18, 1796, was the second child born in the town.
Chittenango Falls, is a post office.
The first settlement of this town was commenced by John Lincklaen, from Amsterdam, Holland, in 1793. The Holland Land Company had previously purchased the greater part of this town, and Mr. Lincklaen undertook the sale and settlement of the tract. His party of sixteen persons, of whom Samuel S. Forman was engaged as general business assistant, and charged with disposition of a stock of goods, selected and sent forward to supply the settlers with comforts not otherwise to be had. These goods were left with John Post, at old Fort Schuyler, (near Utica,) the only merchant then residing at that place. The first load of goods was brought along the "Genesee Road" to Oneida Castle, being one day's journey, thence to Chittenango Creek, following its banks to the village of that name. Here the road terminated, and Indian trails were the only openings. From this place Mr. Forman's axemen cleared a passage for their loaded cart, and with great labor they reached the summit of the high hill, but not till the sun had sunk beneath the horizon, was their tent pitched for the night. The next day they reached the foot of Cazenovia Lake, where they determined to make a settlement. Log cabins were rapidly erected, a storehouse was built, an office opened, and tempting terms offered to settlers, such as one dollar an acre for lots purchased by the first ten settlers with families. This offer was promptly accepted, and raised a clamor for like advantages to newly married couples, to share Mr. Lincklaen's novel patronage. Surveys were pressed forward under Mr. Locke, and purchases rapidly effected at $1.50 to $2.00 an acre. As an evidence of the intelligence of the early settlers, it is said, on the authority of Mr. Forman, who was a clerk in the land office for four years, that only one man who could not write his name took up land during the whole time.
Among the other early settlers were Archibald Bates, William Gillett, William Miles, Benjamin Pierson, Noah Taylor, Ira Peck, Nathan Webb and Shubael Brooks. E. S. Jackson, Samuel Thomas, Joseph Sims, Isaac Morse, Gideon Freeborn and David Fay, also settled here at an early day. Mrs. Mary De Clercq, whose maiden name was Ledyard, came to this town, on horseback, from Connecticut, in 1798. She is still living, and in the 88th year of her age. Levi Burgess came about 1800. His son Elam, now a resident of this town, has resided here over sixty years.
The first birth was that of a child of Noah Taylor, in 1794. John Lincklaen built the first saw and grist-mills, in 1794. Matthew Chandler erected the first woolen factory, and Ebenezer Knowlton, a chair shop and an oil mill, at an early day. Luther Bunnell erected a trip-hammer shop, and carried on an extensive business about 1810. From 1812 to 1817, Cazenovia was the County Seat. The Oneida Indians formerly had a village on the present site of Cazenovia, and the remains of a fort were found there. The lake was a place of resort for fishing by the Oneidas and Onondagas. The town contains nine churches. The first church (Presb.) was organized May 17, 1799, with eight members. The following are the names of the original members, viz: Jedediah Turner, Jacob Dannals, John Tappan, Samuel R. Coats, Anne Howd, Mary Dannals, Eunice Coats and Althea Root. Jedediah Turner was the first deacon. Rev. Joshua Leonard was the first pastor.
The census of 1865 gives the town a population of 4,157, and an area of 29, 274 acres. There are twenty-two school districts, employing eighteen teachers. The whole number of pupils is 842, and the average attendance 330. The whole amount expended for school purposes in 1867 was $3,763.06. Cazenovia is about to be connected with Canastota by railroad.