Hamlet of Myers: From point to park

By Louise Bement

The Hamlet of Myers in the Town of Lansing got its name from the early settler, Andrew Myers, Sr., who arrived at Salmon Creek in 1791, 26 years before Lansing and Tompkins County were formed.  The hamlet is on a point of land formed where the mouth of Salmon Creek empties into at Cayuga Lake. At the time Myers built a log cabin for himself, his wife, and children, his land was part of the Town of Milton and part of Cayuga County.

Myers was a boatman who built bateaux, flat-bottom boats that could carry six or eight tons of freight. He loaded his boats with potash and took them down the lake, the rivers, and canals to Albany and beyond. These early canals were not much more than ditches, but the flat bottom bateaux could travel on the shallow canals and be dragged through the swampy connecting areas.

One night Myers was returning home when he encountered a storm on Cayuga Lake. He pulled into port at King Ferry where he was advised to stay the night as a severe storm was brewing.  He reportedly swore, “I’ll take my boat home or take it to hell!” He must have gone to hell as he was never seen again.

Myers became a thriving community in the early 1900s when salt wells were drilled and salt production began. The International Salt Company produced mainly table salt at its Myers plant. The plant closed in 1962 and Myers gradually changed from a busy production center to a quiet residential hamlet.

Lansing International Salt circa 1903
International Salt Company plant at Myers in the Town of Lansing, circa 1903. Photo courtesy Bill Hecht.

Today, Myers is best known as the home to the Town of Lansing’s Myers Park. The International Salt Company donated a piece of swampy lake front to the town in 1959. A Lansing Park Commission was formed and work began in February 1965 to develop the beautiful park that is enjoyed today. The Town Highway Department used its heavy equipment to build roads, clear the trees, and level the land. Grace Brewer gave the marina in memory of her father, Frank Gallagher. The large pavilions were built by the Town and the Lions Club, and in 1998 a group of volunteers built the lighthouse.

Cayuga Rock Salt Myers NY 1929 Aerial
Aerial view from June 1929 of the salt plant.
Lansing International Salt workers women undated
Women on the job bagging salt at International Salt Co. in Lansing. The man, bottom left, is Bill LaFavor, the crew foreman. Photo courtesy of Aubrey Cratsley,Sr.
Lansing International Salt workers undated
Men moving salt barrels at International Salt Co. in Lansing. Undated photo courtesy Bill Hecht
Lighthouse at Myers Park
A group of volunteers built the lighthouse at Myers Park in 1998.

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 11.01.55 AMLouise Bement earned her Bachelors degree in secondary education from Mansfield State Teachers College in 1954. She received her Masters of Science in Education from Elmira College in 1972. After retiring from teaching fourth grade at Lansing, she has since kept busy being Lansing Town Historian (1981) and President of the Lansing Historical Association (1989). While teaching fourth grade she helped her students write four books on Lansing history:  Portland Point, International Salt, Cayuga Lake, and The Rock Salt Mine. (Photo courtesy of www.LansingStar.com)