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New Upstate History Book from Square Circle Press

April 11, 2011

It’s not what you think it is …

ONEONTA, NY — In 1954, New York State Electric & Gas ceased operations at their Oneonta, New York hydroelectric power plant and drained a 50-acre pond known affectionately to area residents as “Electric Lake". Today, as motorists speed through Oneonta on I-88, only a stream remains of this largely forgotten gem of Oneonta’s past. Once the primary recreational site of a bustling railroad town, Electric Lake provided area residents with boating, fishing, swimming, picnicking, and other outdoor activities. The lake also lent its resources to electric power for NYSEG, the D&H railroad shops, and the Oneonta Trolley Line, and was the source of material for the Oneonta Ice Company in winter. Now almost completely reclaimed by the natural world, the grounds are still haunted by remnants of the dam, railroad trestles, and boat launches.

Not without its share of tragic events, the story of Electric Lake has been recovered by author and historian Jim Loudon, who has collected images, facts, and personal memories from those who can still recall this fond chapter in Oneonta’s history. "Electric Lake: Oneonta’s Forgotten Gem", is now available from Square Circle Press.

On Sunday, April 17 at 2:00pm, Greater Oneonta Historical Society will open an historical exhibit on Electric Lake in conjunction with the book’s official launch party. The exhibit features a diorama created by Jim Loudon, as well as a mural painted by the author. The event is free and open to the public, and will include refreshments and a book signing by Jim Loudon. Vintage postcards featured in the book, reprinted by Square Circle Press, will also be for sale. The exhibit runs through June 18 at the Greater Oneonta Historical Society History Center, 183

Main Street, Oneonta, NY. For more information, contact GOHS director Bob Brzozowski.

Jim Loudon is the author of two previous local history books, "The Oneonta Roundhouse", now in its second edition, and "Leatherstocking Rails: A History of Railroading Along the Upper Susquehanna". Both titles are available through Square Circle Press. The independent publisher focuses on the history of upstate New York and has several titles related to the history of Oneonta, Cooperstown, and Otsego County in its catalog. "Electric Lake" is available in Oneonta at Greater Oneonta Historical Society and Green Toad Bookstore, and is also available online through the Square Circle Press web site, as well as more popular online venues such as and Barnes & Noble.

For more information about how and where to purchase this book, or other titles, products and services available from Square Circle Press, visit the publisher’s web site at

Title: Electric Lake: Oneonta’s Forgotten Gem
Author: Jim Loudon
ISBN-13: 978-0-9833897-1-2
ISBN-10: 0-9833897-1-3
Retail Price: $16.95
Physical: 7.5 x 9.25 inches, 56 pages, softcover, perfect binding, B&W
interior, 55 illustrations
Distribution: Ingram/LSI; North Country Books, Square Circle Press

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