Early Settlement of the Region

In 1787, this whole region was known by the Indian name Kashong. Three disciples of Jemima Wilkinson, who as the “Publick Universal Friend” was the first American-born woman to launch a religious movement, came to the region to seek a place to settle.

They found an area under Indian control, with a handful of whites who lived under the Indians’ sufferance.

Joined by a Wilkinson disciple from Philadelphia, the three founded a settlement near what is now Dresden.

Early attention focused on the Crooked Lake Outlet, a creek connecting what is now Keuka Lake with Seneca Lake. The Outlet enters Seneca Lake less than two thousand feet south of the Ingersoll birthplace.

By 1800 four dams had been built on the Outlet, powering numerous mills whose foundations can still be seen at creekside. The Outlet was improved to form the Crooked Lake Canal, an important route for water traffic between 1833 and 1877. In that year, the canal closed.