Pieces of the Past
Artifacts, Documents, and Primary Sources
from Letchworth Park History


Announcement of the Gift of Glen Iris to the State

The following article appeared in the New York Times, January 4, 1907, p 6.


Almost Rivals Niagara

State of Letchworth's Death
Will Get Beautiful Glen Iris.

"Gov. Hughes's announcement, in his message to the Legislature, that William Pryor Letchworth offered to give to the State of New York his estate at Portage, N.Y. makes public one of the most notable benefactions of its kind in the history of the Country" said George F Kunz, Acting President of the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society, yesterday morning.
Mr. Letchworth's deed of gift makes the Scenic Society the custodian of the property after his death. It embraces about 1,000 acres, upon which Mr. Letchworth has expended about $500,000. The property, called by Mr. Letchworth Glen Iris, lies on both sides of the canyon of the Upper Genesee River for a distance of three miles north of Portage Bridge and embraces the three famous Portage Falls. These falls, with an aggregate descent of 330 feet, and the canyon, with sheer walls 350 feet high, have long been regarded as the second greatest natural curiosity in the State of New York. Portage Canyon and its remarkable formations were made the subject of a special study by Prof. James Hall, the State Geologist, in 1843, and the beautiful exposure of rock formation there gave rise to the geologic term "the Portage Group". The famous Portage Bridge, 800 feet long and 234 feet high, spans the gorge.
Mr. Letchworth built a museum, which contains several thousand Indian specimens, and also one of the finest mastodon heads in existence. He also moved (to) his place, the Old Indian council house, which formerly stood in Caneadea and was threatened with destruction.



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