Lansing At Large: The where, and who, of Lansing roads


On Feb. 13, the Lansing Town Board named the new road connecting the Milton Meadows apartments to Auburn Road “Louise Bement Lane” in honor of our town historian and her years of service.

So, it seemed to be a good time to read through Bement’s chapter in the book “Place Names of Tompkins County” and review her work outlining the origin of road names in Lansing.

Interestingly, Bement begins by writing that most roads in Lansing had no names until 1937.

Residents referred to particular roads by the people who lived along them or some identifying feature. And, some roads were named to honor a prominent local resident.

So Bement notes that Armstrong, Atwater, Benson, Bower, Breed, Brown, Buck and other road names were family names.

Dug Road, which begins in Ludlowville and runs over Salmon Creek, was dug out of the hillside of the Salmon Creek gorge. If you look carefully on Google Maps, you can follow the now-abandoned section of the road up the hill to where it used to come out at the sharp bend where Buck Road turns east between Wilson and Conlon Roads.

Jerry Smith Road began as Lansingville West Road. Mr. Smith was a justice of the peace and a town board member who never lived on that road.

Asbury Road is named for the first American Methodist bishop, Francis Asbury, who spoke in the new brick church there in 1811.

William F. George was a town supervisor, Democratic commission of elections, and a fruit farmer – the road along the lake honoring him has the more familiar name Bill George Road.

Adjoining Lansing Station Road is named for the cross-lake ferry that ran from there to “Frog’s Point” (now the Boy Scout Camp Barton) on the western shore from 1829 to 1845. Ferry service resumed in 1885 and the ferry port (and railway station) on Lansing’s side was known as “Taughannock Landing.”
Dublin Road and the small settlement known as “Dublin” denotes early Irish settlement in the area.

And Burdick Hill Road reminds us that the private stone house at its intersection with East Shore Drive was once the “Water Cure and Ladies Seminary” owned and operated by Dr. J. F. Burdick in the 1850s. The building was also the Greystone Inn restaurant in the 1970s and 80s.

Road names have changed.

Bement notes that “Davis Road began as Nedrow;... Lansingville Road was originally Emmons Road;…Storm Road began as Carson; Newman was Tarbell, and Gulf Road was Sam Lane Road.” Brickyard Road was once Miscoll Road and Drake Road was called “Baseball Road.”

Hillcrest Road was originally Bean Hill Road, so named because nothing but beans would grow in the thin soil on top of the hill. Developers seeking a more sophisticated sound changed the name in 1954.

Bean Hill Lane remains to remind residents what will grow best in their gardens.

Farrell Road used to be called Chickahominy Road, according to Bement. Returning Civil War soldiers felt that it reminded them of the famous battlefield.

Some names cast aspersions on the residents, according to Bement.

Rogues’ Harbor harbored rogues, of course, but Algerine Road was also named for someone who “acted ‘like an Algerine pirate,’ referring to the Barbary pirates from Africa’s North Coast, according to Bement.

Those acting up in town meetings in Lansing were subject to the town’s 1844 Algerine Act “making it a high offense, punishable by fine and imprisonment, for any persons to act as officers of illegal town meetings.”

And, to the south, those who removed marking from logs being sent to market down the Susquehanna River were also known as “Algerines.”

Algerine Road was originally “Cooney Road.” With this new information, perhaps the current residents will petition to change it back.

The entire book can be downloaded for free from the Tompkins County website at

In Brief:

Girls’ Basketball Fundraiser
Support the Lansing Girls’ Basketball teams by eating at Panera, 748 South Meadow Street, in Ithaca on March 22 from 4 to 8 p.m. You can download a flyer ( or enter the code PRFUND for online or rapid pick up to get credit to the girls. Twenty percent of proceeds will go to the team.

College Night for Juniors and Families
Admissions representatives from local colleges will take part in a panel or small group sessions to help parents and students understand the college admissions process. Please join us in the Lansing High School Library March 28 at 6:30 p.m.

Library Seeks New Trustees
The Lansing Community Library has three open seats (3-year terms) on the Board of Trustees beginning June 2019. If you are interested in becoming a library Trustee, please email for information.
Trustees serve on a volunteer basis, can be elected or appointed to a library board for a period of time, and are tasked with the duty of helping to direct the funds and policies of an institution.

Energy Conversations at “Salt Point Brewery”
Annalise Kukor, Energy Educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension, is leading “Lansing Energy Discussions” on the 1st Wednesday of each month at the Salt Point Brewing Company, 2075 E Shore Dr., Lansing.

The Brewery has been generously donating a portion of their proceeds every 1st Wednesday each month to our nonprofit, Friends Of Salt Point.

A message from Superintendent Chris Pettograsso
The “Momo Challenge” is the latest social media challenge directed at children and young adults. We are urging families to become aware of this challenge and to use this as a reminder to speak to your children about internet safety and to monitor your children’s use of social media, gaming and the internet.
The “Momo Challenge” can be found on various social media and gaming platforms and is disturbing in nature. The communications through the “Momo Challenge” begin with a chat that asks the receiver to perform small tasks and then escalates to more serious violent acts and request photographs for proof. If the “Momo Challenge” is true, it is just one example of dangerous “games” through social media that has a negative impact on students and their social interactions. There are many reports that the “Momo Challenge” is a viral hoax.


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