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About the Project

An Oral History

In 2019 The Ford Memorial Library in Ovid was awarded a two-year Accelerating Promising Practices for Small Library grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Ford Library’s Cayuga-Seneca Lakes Agriculture and Craft Beverage Memory Project is a ground-breaking oral history project to document the craft beverage industries between Cayuga and Seneca Lakes. The project features interviews from winery owners, vineyard managers, winemakers, brewers, distillers, and cider makers as well as local historians. The participants ranged from founding members of the first and longest running wine trail in America, as well craft beverage producers who have made the Finger Lakes recognized nationally and globally as a leader in wine and beverage production. The project documents and preserves the unique and personal stories of producers, and is accompanied by public round-table discussions from historians and industry leaders.

New York Heritage

The Seneca and Cayuga Lakes Agriculture and Craft Beverage Memory Project features interviews with winery owners, vineyard managers, winemakers, brewers, distillers, cider makers, and other industry specialists established between Cayuga and Seneca Lakes. Several interviews include historians, and agricultural specialists, and highlight significant contributions in the field of agriculture, grape growing and winemaking. These contributions are recognized not only in the Finger Lakes, but across New York State, the United States, and the world. A complimentary Craft Beverage Memory Project Archive has been developed to preserve the history of the craft beverage industry beginning with the Farm Winery Act of 1976. The collection contains documents, wine bottle labels and photographs which have been donated to the library by beverage producers.

For easy accessibility we have also made all of the video interviews available on YouTube. If you would prefer to watch on YouTube, click the button below!

Roundtable Discussions

Monica Kelly brings together experts in local history and the craft beverage industry to discuss topics of interest in collaboration with Fingerlakes1.