Watercolor by Nancy Skeele Edwards June 2001
DeRuyter Lake, Tioughnioga Lake or Tioughnioga Reservoir The Story of Tioughnioga Lake are all names for the same body of water. It was created in the 1860's to supplement the water supply for the canal east of the city of Syracuse. A valley about 5 miles north of the village of DeRuyter was selected and a dam was constructed. The resulting lake is about 1280 feet above sea level and is fed from the waters of the Tioughnioga River, thus one of the names. The dam is about a quarter of a mile in length and about 75 feet high at the center The resulting lake is two miles long and its average width is one half mile. Its deepest point is 75 feet with an average depth of 18 feet and covers 626 acres.
In September of 1939 the Lake Tioughnioga Club, an organization of cottage owners was formed. The club was active for two or three years, meetings were held and social events enjoyed. It wasn't until after the war, in 1950 that the club was rejuvenated. This time the club became active in improving the lake front and water quality. An effort was made to get the state interested and helping.
In 1998 the Lake Association (no longer a club) http://www.deruyterlakeassociation.org began work on saving the Ward Islands from being eroded. This work extended through the year 2000.
The Tioughnioga Lake Association is made up of volunteers and people interested in keeping the lake clean and beautiful. New members are welcome.