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October 5-7, 2018

A New York State Path Through History Weekend

Ithaca Heritage would like to welcome you to Tompkins County, where rural areas uphold long-held traditions that contribute to the county's vibrant cultural and economic life. Come explore our rural history, architecture, landscapes, and culinary bounty on a New York State Path Through History weekend October 5-7, 2018. You'll love the small-town vibe of Dryden (our focus area this year) that encourages us all to slow down and appreciate the Finger Lakes landscapes and farm-to-table flavors. 



Register for each weekend event a la carte or as an entire package. We’re offering the entire weekend package, including Friday evening reception, Saturday morning and afternoon guided bus tours, Saturday evening harvest dinner, and Sunday brunch, for $175, a 10 percent discount.

 Verne Morton

Verne Morton


Friday, October 5, 2018, 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ($25). Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center, Cornell Botanic Gardens, 124 Comstock Knoll Drive, Ithaca, NY

Registration for the Authentically Rural Weekend starts at 5:00 p.m. at the Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center at the Cornell Botanic Gardens. At the opening reception, appetizers and drinks are available starting at 5:30 p.m. Enjoy walking around the Cornell Botanic Gardens. As part of the weekend-opening reception:

  • Sachem Sam George, condoled a Bear Clan Sachem (chief) in 2005, gives the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address to lead off the weekend celebrating Tompkins County’s rural heritage.

  • Martha Robertson, Chairperson, Tompkins County Legislature, welcomes visitors to the county.

  • Professor Scott Peters of Cornell’s Development Sociology department discusses enduring rural cultures and heritage that provide a foundation for rural revitalization.






Saturday, October 6, 2018

Authentically Rural Farm & Village Tour (9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.; $35)

Take a guided bus tour to explore two farms and a village in Dryden. We’ll stop for a behind-the-scenes tour of  Jerry Dell Farm, one of the Northeast’s largest organic dairy farms. We’ll visit Rocky Acres Farm, a small-scale producer tapping into previously underserved markets. We’ll take a stroll to enjoy the historic architecture of the village of Freeville. Meet the bus and depart from the George Street parking lot behind 12 South Street in Dryden.

Tompkins County Rural Heritage Tour (1:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.; $35)

Take a guided bus tour to explore an old farm homestead, a barn, and a rural schoolhouse in Dryden. We’ll visit a 19th-century Snyder family homestead on Snyder Hill that’s being preserved for a living history museum project. We’ll stop at a 19th-century octagonal barn that’s been restored to its former glory. We’ll experience what school days were like in a restored octagonal schoolhouse built in 1827. Meet the bus and depart from the George Street parking lot behind 12 South Street in Dryden.




Saturday, October 6, 2018, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (FREE)

Southworth Homestead, 14 North Street, Dryden, NY

Hosted by the Dryden Town Historical Society, the Homestead Heritage Fair Day recreates a day at the old Dryden Agricultural Fair that existed from 1855 to 1917. This free community event is held on the grounds of the historic 1836 Southworth Homestead and welcomes folks to focus on heritage skills such as spinning, caning, blacksmithing, and other heritage activities from the rural past. There will be good food, lots of music, new historical exhibits, kids’ games, old-time toys, animals, horse-drawn wagon rides, leaf searches, indigenous artifacts, and an appearance by the Cornell Raptors Programs. Guided tours of the Southworth Homestead will be offered several times during the day, with a suggested donation of $5.



Authentically Rural Harvest Dinner

Saturday, October 6, 2018, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ($65)

Coltivare, 235 S. Cayuga Street, Ithaca, NY

Celebrate the fall harvest with a farm-to-bistro dinner at Coltivare, whose innovative Tompkins Cortland Community College’s culinary program includes a working farm in Dryden and a training kitchen for hospitality staff. Firelight Camps CEO Bobby Frisch joins us to share how his rural-based “glamping” business takes camping to the next level. Old-time music from the West Hillbillies rounds out the evening. (Dinner includes choice of vegetarian option.)



Authentically Rural Brunch at Maryhill Farm

Sunday, October 7, 2018, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. ($35)

Maryhill Farm, 85 Ferguson Road, Dryden

The Schickel family’s Maryhill Farm has been a vital part of the Dryden landscape since 1946, when Norbert and Marion Schickel bought the homestead and began raising their large family there. Explore the farm and learn how the Schickel descendants continue to maintain the enterprise as a family-run business, while enjoying a tasty brunch provided by Serendipity Catering (Cobb salad, frittata, pastries, fruit, and beverages). Bruno Schickel, founder and owner of Schickel Construction Company, will tell us about the history of the family farm.

Questions? Contact



For information about accommodations, go to the Visit Ithaca Lodging page.

Places to Eat in Dryden

Dryden Community Center Café, 1 W. Main Street

The Dryden Hotel, 42 W. Main Street

Pizza and Bones, 22 W. Main Street

Golden City, 9 North Street

Dryden Queen Diner, 48 North Street

Carrozza Pizza Company, 115 North Street


Ithaca Farmers’ Market

Greater Ithaca Art Trail

Jim Schug Trail, Dryden

Verne Morton Photo Exhibit, Dryden Mutual Insurance

Finger Lakes Cider Week

The Authentically Rural Weekend is brought to you by:


Sponsored by: