An historical analysis of Hoxie Gorge reveals that it, along with much of Cortland County, remained Indian Territory until after the Revolutionary War. Following the war, this land was designated as Lot Ten on the Military Tract. The Military Tract was an area of more than one and one-half million acres set aside by the state legislature to compensate Revolutionary War veterans for their wartime services. The lot was awarded to William Gilchrist; however, no use for the land is documented until 1876 when structures belonging to J. Dodd and H. McCumber appear on an early map. The United States Geological Survey maps indicate the presence of several structures on the property in the 1903, 1944 and 1955 editions.

A succession of families farmed the land from the 1880's onward. An interpretation of the landscape today suggests that wheat, oats, hay and potatoes were grown. Abundant hay crops and timothy pastures proved suitable for dairy farming and this was, most likely, the major focus of the farm.

When the land was acquired for use by Cortland College in 1965, it consisted of three separate parcels of land with a total of 169 acres. The largest parcel of land, approximately 111 acres, was purchased from Clarence A. Robertson. The second parcel, consisting of nearly 52 acres, was purchased from S. Benjamin Sprouse; and, the final parcel of approximately six acres was purchased from Harry Hicks. Altogether, the investment, including lawyers' fees, was $7,605.

After the College acquired Hoxie Gorge, the 10 to 12 farm buildings that existed were torn down and sold for barnwood. They were, in fact, an "attractive nuisance" and invited vandalism, thus the reason for their demise. Today, the only structures on the property include an old tool shed, one privy and an Adirondack style lean-to.

Foundation remnants and other evidence indicating that the property was, at one time, a functioning farm operation, remain scattered throughout the property. These areas include building and barn foundations, old dumps, a maple-sugaring area, an old road running adjacent to the creek bed in the southeastern section of the property and remnants of old bridges that crossed the creek in various locations.

Return to the Hoxie Gorge Home Page.