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About / History

The Town of Scipio, one of the earliest townships of the Military Tract, was formed March 5th, 1794 and named for a Roman General. It is located south of the center of Cayuga County in the heart of the Finger Lakes Region of Central New York. The landscape of the town offers spectacular views of the deep, glacially formed lakes and surrounding farmland. Until the turn of the nineteenth century, Scipio was largely virgin forest. With Jethro Wood’s invention of the iron plow in 1819, the fertile productive soil in the town led to the growth of a wealth of farming enterprises.


The railway during the late nineteenth century made it possible, with connections, to travel to major metropolitan cities including Chicago, New York and Boston. The railway also transported recreational visitors to vacation destinations such as the Ensenore Glen Hotel along the beautiful Owasco Lake shore. Popular summer activities were dining, sailing, swimming and boating. In 1878, a rowing contest was held between Cornell and Harvard on Owasco Lake.

At about the time of the introduction of the railroads across Cayuga County, Scipio became a center for social reform movements including abolitionism, the underground railroad, education and women’s rights. The Town of Scipio is home to many historic facets of the women’s right movement addressing politics, economics, education, religion and social and family rights.

Fast forward to 2011 when the Town of Scipio Comprehensive Plan was adopted by our town board. Preserving the town’s rural character, historic assets, and natural and agricultural resources were a priority. Subsequently the town’s Subdivision and Zoning Rules and Regulations were instituted in 2015 to meet the changing needs of our community. Many are seeking the quality of life that the Town of Scipio offers with the availability of low-cost housing, good schools, nearby cultural attractions, parks and recreational opportunities.


History Resources

Students of Sherwood Select School 1923 to 1924

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