If you’ve arrived to view Lee Kibbe’s Mill,
You are a little late, as is he.
If you’re here for his memorial wheel,
That can be found in Lower Cincy.
But if you’ve come on a geocache quest,
Searching for a pond pirate’s plunder,
You should be wearing your Sunday best,
And look down, around, over, and under.
The historic Taylor Center Methodist Church and District No. 3 School property on Solon Pond has been reappointed as the Taylor Heritage Center. Local efforts have put on a new coat of paint and other attention to these aged buildings. Original miller Lee Kibbe owned the pond and the surrounding acreage at one time, and managed a successful and innovative mill here. Bring your boat and fishing pole to enjoy this historic pond; oar softly, you may find yourself in the quietest corner of Cortland County.
Nearby the pond (within 100 yards) is a building that was once a Cheese Factory, built in 1885. Cheese and butter were produced here. Ice cutting in the winter was a major part of running the factory in order to keep the products cold, according to early resident Ruby Potter. The Potters were a significant family in the area, and Potter Hill Cemetery, hidden deep in State Land, can be found at the top of Potter Hill Road, about a mile or two from Solon Pond.
The small, unassuming hamlet of Taylor changed the history of the nuclear industry in the early 1990’s when, supported by Cortland and Chenango Counties, it refused to be sited to host a nuclear waste dump – an example of grassroots community organizing to save the pristine rural landscape. These citizens stood up to defend their local resources, their lands and their waters, and set a standard of determination and fortitude for all local democracies countrywide. They took a stand, and they prevailed.