Robert Treman and the Gorges

I’ve never regretted a morning when I got up early and got outside to exercise. Today I’m moving Emily home from college so that meant an Ithaca waterfall walk. Different hotel than last time I was here, but fortunately there’s a stunning waterfall seemingly on every corner in this town. Five minutes walk from the downtown Hilton Garden Inn is the lovely Cascadilla Gorge Trail. As with most gorges, this one has plenty of water.The lower part of the Cascadilla Gorge Trail begins Treman Triangle, a small triangular shaped park named after Robert H. Treman, a local gentleman and successful Ithaca businessman who, along with fellow trustee Henry Woodward Sackett donated this Gorge to Cornell University.  But Treman didn’t stop with this gorge.  He also donated the land around Buttermilk Falls State Park and the park named after him, the Robert H. Treman State Park.  This is the type of wealthy guy I admire: make a lot of money and then do something good with it.  These were his time capsules, preserving the things he loved about Ithaca so that they might be enjoyed by generations long after he’s gone.  He’s remembered far more for the land he donated than for his success in business.  Isn’t that a greater success story than what he had accumulated in his bank account?

I started writing today’s post thinking I was writing about Cascadilla Gorge and my observations about it.  It’s truly beautiful, and walking alone through it at 6:15 AM I felt like I was up in the Adirondacks somewhere, not walking up from downtown Ithaca to the Cornell campus.  My step-father went to Cornell and Cascadilla Gorge has a special place in his heart. Walking it while the city slept I could feel it. There’s magic in solitude, especially magnified in a spot like this.  Lingering here felt appropriate, but I was approaching this as exercise and aside from taking some pictures along the way I tried to keep moving.  As with most places I try to know something about where I am, which led me to a greater appreciation for Robert Treman.


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