Factory Gulf

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2200-2256 E Lake Rd
Skaneateles, NY
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Inscription

“Factory Gulf”

Founded by Amos Miner
Circa 1805
Carding and Fulling Factory
Woolen and Clothes Works
“Accelerated wheel heads”

Erected

By the William C. Pomeroy Foundation — 2009

What was there

A small but wide ravine on the east shore of Skaneateles Lake where Amos Miner built a factory around 1805 and manufactured wooden wheel heads (for yarn-producing spinners) among other wooden products. The factory was built on the west side of what is now East Lake Road. The gulf was dammed upstream and a large pool fed water down a mill race on the northern bank of the gulf.

Around 1814, Oliver Hyde, Revolutionary War veteran, built a sawmill above Miner’s mill pond.

Around 1817, William Patten of Oneida, and Elijah Manley built a clothing works in the gulf. Manley’s share of “Clothing, Fulling and Carding Works” was then purchased by Edmund C. Weston.

In 1896, Charles M. Goodspeed, a merchant farmer from Thorn Hill, NY purchased wooded acres at Fivemile Point, where the gulf meets Skaneateles Lake.  He built a small lakeside resort of 5 cottages, a summer home, and a large pavilion.

What is there now

The location of the marker is the approximate location of Patten’s “Clothing, Fulling and Carding Works.” It is now just a pullover and dense vegetation. Access to the gulf is “Posted.” The area is residential. There are no longer any factories.

More information

An excerpt from “Spafford, Onondaga County, New York” by George Knapp Collins (1917) describes Amos Miner:

Amos Miner was born in Norfolk, Litchfield County, Conn:, November 10th, 1776. He came to Marcellus, (now Skaneateles), about the year 1800, and settled on a crossroad leading east from the lake road, and about two miles south of the village of Skaneateles. Here he built himself a shop and commenced the manufacture of his famous accelerating wheel-heads, to be attached to spinning wheels then in use by farmers’ wives for making woolen yarn. In the Fall of the year 1805 he sold his possessions in Skaneateles and located on Lot 68, Marcellus, (now Spafford), but soon after established himself in Factory Gulf, where, as a member of the firm of Miner, Deming and Sessions, he built a factory for the manufacture of his celebrated accelerating wheel-heads and other wooden articles. Among the articles invented and manufactured by him about this time were Miner’s Patent Pail, Miner’s Half Bushel Measure, Miner’s Wooden Bowls, Miner’s Grooved Window Sash, and Miner’s Wooden Pumps. He also manufactured many other articles from wood, then in common use.

After a few years Miner sold his interest in the business at Factory Gulf, and located himself at the head of another Gulf on Lot 76, Marcellus, leading- into Otisco Lake, where he built another factory, and a grist mill, commonly called ” The Pudding- Mill,” from the fact that Miner here ground large quantities of Indian meal, commonly used by the early settlers as an article of food, under the name of pudding and milk. Miner’s superior inventive genius was more often brought into requisition in the manufacture of tools and machines used in the process of manufacture of his inventions, than in the conception and completion of the finished product itself.

The genius of Miner was particularly illustrated by the manner in which he accumulated and applied the power to run his machinery at the mill, situate at the head of the Pudding Mill Gulf. The mill was so located on the edge of a precipitous rock, that the water coming to his mill passed over a series of three overshot wheels, one above another, giving him the accumulated power of three wheels instead of one.

Miner, like most men of his class, was a better inventor than financier, so when his invention was completed and on the road to success, he generally tired of it, sold out, and others were premitted to reap the fruits of his genius instead of himself. The Pudding Mill venture was no exception to the rule, so another was soon in possession of the mill, and miner was engaged in starting another factory or mill at Mottville, on the outlet of Skaneateles Lake. From there he soon moved further down stream, to a place midway between Elbridge and Jordan, and was finally lost sight of in the Far Distant West. When he left the State it is said he carried with him the sum of $10,000, the accumulation of a lifetime, while others accumulated great wealth, as a product of his brain power and inventive genius.

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We would like to thank the following for helping us with this entry:
Matthew Conheady



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