Just off NYS Route 81 Exit 11, at the gateway to Downtown Cortland, one can find the New York State Grange Headquarters and the NYS Grange Museum. You could use this geocache site as the starting point of your Experience Cortland GeoTour, though any point on the GeoTour will do. GeoTour game piece maps, large county maps, and county related brochures can be found here.
The Cortland County Convention & Visitors Bureau says, “Hey, Geocacher, Welcome to Cortland County!”
The NYS Grange Museum is nestled nearby the Tioughnioga River, part of a historic primary transportation route that joins the Chenango River at Chenango Forks, empties into the Susquehanna River at Binghamton, and continues south to Baltimore.
The name, Tioughnioga, comes from a native word for "River with Bank of Flowers.” In Cortland County, Native American artifacts date back some 5,000 years.
The modern beginnings of Cortland County began in the late 1700’s as early European settlers, rafts loaded with homesteading supplies, used the Tioughnioga River as a mode of transportation and discovery. Revolutionary War soldiers, awarded tracts of land as an enticement to enlist and payment for service, used the river to reach their designated military tracts.
The Tioughnioga River provided a means of transport for goods and materials. Rafts, flat boats and vessels called "arks" were used to ship out salt, potash, pork, dried apples, maple sugar, whiskey and other commodities. Most of the early settlements rose up near these riverbanks as they were the natural points of commerce.
In the mid 1800’s, Cortland County became part of one of the earliest railroad corridors in the United States with railroad spurs built along the riverbanks going to the east and the west.
The 1960’s brought transportation and commerce up to date, when Interstate 81 was built parallel to the Tioughnioga River as it passes through Cortland County.
Today the Tioughnioga River is traveled primarily by canoes and kayaks, and a paddle down this gorgeous river transports one past riverbanks with flowers.