Finding Fires - Dryden

Discover historic fires in the Town of Dryden.

Finding Fires - Dryden

Dryden, New York 13053, United States

Created By: Ithaca Heritage

Tour Information

**This tour was originally developed in 2021 for The History Center in Tompkins County's annual fundraiser Traverse Tompkins: Finding Fires**

On this tour, wander your way through the Town of Dryden.

Walk, bike, rollerblade, or roll your way through ten historic fire locations. Wax nostalgic about the Downey Honey Butter Plant, the stature of the Fountain House, and good times at the Tobey Tavern.

The Finding Fires-Dryden Tour is a subset of the Finding Fires-Tompkins County cycling or driving tour.


Intended to be a driving tour or an avid biking trail.

Cycling trail details: Dryden Trail (40 mi) - Bike - (Dryden Strava File)

Listen to the tour on SoundCloud:

Tour Map

Loading Tour


What You'll See on the Tour

Date: December 17, 1938 Location: 6 North Street, Dryden In the afternoon of December 17th, 1938, while decorating for that evening’s Sunday mass, the pastor and two parishioners smelled smoke in the auditorium. Unbeknownst to them, ove... Read more
Date: December 19, 1995 Location: 42 West Main Street, Dryden At 4:30pm on December 19th, 1995, a fire started on the roof of the Dryden Hotel. The fire traveled down the top two floors, destroying them completely. Smoke and water from the... Read more
Date: June 6, 1915 Location: Spring House Road, Dryden In 1840, the building that would become Dryden Springs Sanitarium was built as a hotel named the Dryden Springs House. It became known for its parties and banquets, and was known by ... Read more
Date: March 20, 2000 Location: 7 Union Street, Freeville On March 20th, 2000, the Downey Honey Butter Plant was leveled by a fire with an unknown cause. "The Old Honey Butter factory" was housed in a wooden building constructed in 1875. Or... Read more
As legend has it, an old peddler would visit Ellis Hollow to sell his wares. At night, he would sleep in a farmhouse by a nearby swamp. One day, the peddler arrived to the Hollow, but he never reappeared. Villagers became concerned after ... Read more
Date: April 21, 1916 Sometime on the night of April 21, 1916, a fire of suspicious and “incendiary” origin started in a wool mill owned by Benjamin Rightmires. The fire migrated from the mill to the shed and ice house of Frank Mulks, a... Read more
Date: February 20, 1938 The Nathaniel Tobey Tavern was built around 1808 and was a popular stopping points for stagecoaches on the Catskill Turnpike. Nathaniel Tobey, the proprietor of the tavern, helped establish the township and governme... Read more
Date: November 19, 1916 Location: 2743 Slaterville Road The Fountain House was one of Slaterville Springs’ three popular hotels in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that advertised the healing powers of the nearby mineral ... Read more
Date: May 28, 1936 Early in the morning on May 28th, 1936, the Dusenberry homestead in Dusenberry Hollow was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. The home had been built around 1830 by Henry L. Dusenberry, one of the earliest white... Read more
Date: February 2, 1954 Location: 36 Union Street, Dryden In 1954 Dryden Central School suffered a fire that destroyed eight classrooms and the cafeteria. The fire appeared to start on the roof, and spread through the attic and the third f... Read more


Leave a Comment



Download the App

Download the PocketSights Tour Guide mobile app to take this self-guided tour on your GPS-enabled mobile device.

iOS Tour Guide Android Tour Guide



Updates and Corrections

Please send change requests to