As we drove into Aurora, NY, the little village seemed out of place. Coming from the north along route 90, we saw cottages all along the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake as we passed through the villages of Cayuga and Union Springs. The road then veered away from Cayuga Lake and suddenly there was beautiful farmland on each side of the road. But when we came into the village of Aurora, the buildings definitely belonged to another era. The buildings reminded me of “government” buildings with tall columns and large yards well set back from the road.
Aurora was the site of a large Cayuga Indian Village before the Revolutionary war that was destroyed by Sullivan’s Army since the Cayuga Indians sided with the British. The land around Aurora was settled by soldiers and their families from Pennsylvania and New England as part of the Central New York military Tract. The village was first known as Scipio and then renamed Aurora in 1795 (click here). It was the first county seat, site of the first county court, and a bustling transportation site for farm produce to the Eire Canal. Cayuga Academy was founded here in 1799 and Wells College in 1868. In 1976, the entire village of Aurora, NY was placed in the National Register of Historic places.
But we really didn’t come to Aurora for a history lesson as we were hungry and my stomach took priority over history. Just across the street from the Aurora Inn resides the Farco Bar and Grill. As you enter, one is taken back in time to simpler days. The eating area was on the left complete with a welcome gas fireplace. We sat at the corner table so we could look out the window and at the same time enjoy the fire. There were exposed wood beams in the ceiling and a wooden floor. The dining experience was like we were back in the eighteen hundreds, interrupted only momentarily by the shouts of a few patrons who were watching the football game in the bar room.
The village of Aurora is making a comeback. It is a place where guests can come to enjoy the beauty and peacefulness of Upstate New York as it was in the late eighteen hundreds and early nineteen hundreds; a place to rest up a bit and to think how life was during that period. But please, leave the ipad at home.