One of the Most Beautiful in Tompkins County
Peaceful Farms Nestle Among Wooded Hills
Located in the Town of Dryden, NY
Found in an old Newspaper Clipping Written by
Lyman H. Gallagher
Of all the beautiful valleys in Tompkins County, none, possibly, can exceed in natural settings, and attractiveness, the valley we know as "Ellis Hollow." When Calvin Coolidge became President, views of Plymouth, lying so calm and serene among the Green Hills of Vermont, were frequently used in papers of the day. We recall someone asking where he had seen a nearby view that reminded him of pictures of Plymouth.
We suggested "Ellis Hollow, " as seen from the road leading from "Mulks' Corner," on "Catskill Turnpike" through "Ellis" to Ithaca. "That's it," said the man. And the comparison is, indeed, well taken-the green hills surrounding the deep set valley, in which is nestled the little hamlet of "Ellis," lying so restfully, as one would say, at one's feet, - the schoolhouse, the little church: and the closely clustered homes. And "Ellis" is like that to those of use who have always known it, - just a quiet, peace-loving village among the eternal hills.
OFF THE BEATEN PATH
"Ellis" has been, until the advent of modern roads, rather "off the beaten path" of travel, because of its location between two great highways which radiate from Ithaca, easterly: namely, "Catskill Turnpike," and the "Bridle Road." Lateral roads leading to "Ellis" were once fewer in number: and early residents did not have the "Ringwood" road, for instance, to enjoy. From Slaterville way, travel naturally went over the "Turnpike" to Ithaca and from Dryden way to Ithaca over the "Bridle Road."
Now "Ellis" is a favorite route.
"Ellis," because of its close proximity to one of America's greatest seats of learning may considered in a way to more favorably located than our other valleys. And this applies more particularly to "Ellis" because Cornell University is an Agricultural College, in an agricultural county. And Cornell's model farms blend in harmony with the homelike farms that have been and are today, the glory and strength of "Ellis Hollow;" and of the whole of America's country-side and the dwellers therein.
FARMING NATION'S ROOT
It is commonly agreed that at the foundation of American progress and success are the agricultural interests of the country; and it may be well for some ot learn that "higher education" and agricultural localities, are, in the last analysis, as dependent upon one another, and as closely associated, as are this great university, and its aims; and, "Ellis Hollow."
To those Americans who have enjoyed country life with all its healthful, material benefits, nothing in the career of Washington is so pleasing as the fact that he returned from the life and duties of the ______ off___the land, to the quietitude and pleasurable security of the country existence he had known as a citizen.
To learn the reason for the name of the entrancing valley of which we write, one need only to revert to the early history of Drydentown. In the cemetery at "Ellis," on markers that have weathered storms for scores of years are carved the names of pioneers of the family which gave this valley its name. [Peleg Ellis]
"Ellis Hollow," has been, and is today, the home of such well-known families as the MIDDAUGH, SNYDERS, MACMASTERS, and WATTLES, CORNELIUS, HAZEN, and OGDEN, GENUNG, BANFIELD, families, plus many more may be named. A. I REED removed years ago form the "California" section of "Dusenbury Hollow" to "Ellis"; and , John PRESWICK, though not born in "Ellis, " must be considered as a prominent resident of the western part of "Ellis Hollow." "Ellis Hollow" is fortunate to claim as residents men held so high in public esteem, as those we mention.
"Ellis Hollow" forms a watershed, its steams flowing westerly and south westerly, around Snyder Hill, to reach Cayuga Lake. Besides Snyder Hill, the high hills that enclose "Ellis" are the "Rosey-bone" (Roosa Baum) on the east; and "Turkey Hill" on the north. "Snyder Hill" forms the south-western barrier. Grand trees are everwhere.
Many roads now lead in and out of "Ellis Hollow," and, many extend across intervening hills into other valleys, through wooded avenues.
Indian lore has attracted visitors fro a century to this valley; and arrow-heads, and like Indian relics, have rewarded the patient searcher among the fields and hills.
Back on the western slopes of the "Roseybone," one gazes to where the last of the Iroquois, who lived in "Ellis" before the coming of white settlers, await their call to the "Happy Hunting Ground." Today, white men strive to emulate the life of freedom that these "Children of the Forest" enjoyed, when nature crowned "Ellis Hollow."
LYMAN H. GALLAGER
Transcribed by Janet M. Nash for the Tompkins County NYGenWeb
© Copyright 2000 by Janet M. Nash All Rights Reserved
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