Wide Waters

159 feet of level shoreline on the east side of Owasco Lake

     Wide Waters is a rare find with a large, highly accessible beach front
and a dock. Much of Owasco Lake's shoreline is characterized by cliffs or steep banks. But not Wide Waters. Its level beach front can accommodate swimming and boat launching just steps from the back door, truly allowing the new owner to enjoy lake-life first hand.
     Wide Waters presents an impressive lake shore appearance with its stone and stucco construction. The home is 7,838 square feet of which 5,718 is living space and 1,360 is found in the spacious over-sized 4 car garage, allowing plenty of room for vehicles, lawn equipment, watercraft and the new owner’s toys.

A Historic Home, with a Story to tell

     Wide Waters is a historic treasure. It is the original home of the famous, local writer Samuel Hopkins Adams. Adams named his beautiful estate "Wide Waters," quite simply because it faced one of the widest sections of Owasco Lake. Adams wrote tirelessly at this tranquil setting but was also known to host wonderful parties by the lake that were attended by some of the great celebrities of the day. 
    Adams was one of the first writers of the 20th Century to specialize in both journalism and fiction. He wrote for the New Yorker magazine, testified before Congress on the subject of patent medicine, and is most famous for writing the original story upon which the classic film “It Happened One Night” is based. This amazing stone tudor home still bears many of the marks from the life and legacy of this great literary figure. 
     The home is fitted with storm windows and is suitable for year-round living. It currently has DirecTV and Hughes Net internet Service. Within the past two years there have been major infrastructure improvements including:

  • Open and Closed Cell Sprayfoam Insulation, 
  • Navien Combi Heat System, 
  • Ductless Split A/C Heat Pump Units, 
  • Two – 80 Gallon Hot Water Tanks, 
  • A 1,000 Gallon buried Propane Tank, 
  • Electric System Upgrade to 400 Amp Service with New Breaker Panels, 
  • A 2,000 Gallon followed by 1,000 Gallon Septic System with Eljin Leach Lines, 
  • Drain System and Plumbing Improvement plus many other upgrades. 

Take a tour!


The Ground Floor

Living Room
Living Room
The rooms on the first floor are spacious yet warm, perfect for entertaining. The lake-side living room with its stone fireplace, deep wood paneling and extensive bookshelves is approximately 18’ x 35’. It is the perfect hub for lake parties and is adjacent to an 18’ x 24' lakeside dining room with stone walls, slate floor, crystal chandelier and a massive fireplace with propane insert.

Living Room

Dining Room

Dining Room

Dining Room

The large country wood paneled kitchen contains fascinating amenities of a bygone era including a large wood “hotel” stove and the home's original walk-in ice room. There's room enough in the kitchen for a large table and a breezeway off the room beckons for morning coffee in the warm embrace of a babbling brook. Finally, an entertainment room adjacent to the kitchen is the perfect size to just settle in with family for some television watching at the end of the day.



The Second Floor

The master bedroom of Wide Waters faces the lake with ample windows for a stunning view. The bedroom has a lofted ceiling and easily accommodates a king size bed. There's a lovely stone fireplace with an early antique Franklin Stove insert, two walk-in closets, and an adjacent full bath with sunken tub and separate shower.
Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom looking into Office
The master bedroom connects to a large office/living space, which overlooks the lake shore.
Office or additional living space

Office or additional living space

     The lakeside guest bedroom is also quite large and has its own en-suite bath with heated tile floor, claw foot tub, separate shower and solid marble pedestal sink. Most important, it provides wonderful sunset and lake views.
     There are three other guest bedrooms on the second floor. One has a lovely summer enclosed porch and is conveniently positioned next to yet another full bathroom with a second claw foot tub. This suite, as well as the remaining two guest bedrooms, enjoy a splendid view of either a rambling creek (that actually flows under one corner of the home) or the property's gardens. All of the guest rooms will comfortably accommodate a queen size bed.

A Place of Bliss

     Wide Waters is situated in a scenic, rural setting, on the east bank of Owasco Lake. The 1.17 acre lot is secluded and features many giant oak trees. Hundreds of acres of woods and fields separate Wide Waters from the nearest highway. Wildlife abounds on all sides, and if you make friends with the owners of adjacent land, you may find yourself hiking through an amazing forest.
     And the lake shore itself is an impeccable piece of waterfront.  It is protected from the harshest north winds since it is tucked into a cove. It has a gentle shore that moves gradually to depth allowing even small children or non-swimmers the ability to play in the water next to the dock. At the end of the dock an adult is able to jump or dive in and yet stand on the lake bottom. This estate is simply the best the beautiful Finger Lakes has to offer. Call Jeff Trescot and come see for yourself this secluded treasure. Wide Waters is waiting for you.

A Lakeside Estate Steeped in History

Quisisana, Cottage of Rev. Samuel Miles Hopkins c. 1885
     Samuel Hopkins Adams (1871-1958) visited Second Peacock Point on Owasco Lake, the Summer Camp of the Hopkins family, since his childhood. In 1886 the family built a bungalow/summer cottage and named it Quisisana. Construction of the main house, named Wide Waters, began around the turn of the 20th century and was completed in three stages over subsequent years. Many aspects of the home remain the same today as when Adams lived there, as documented through photographs published in Samuel Kennedy's book titled, "Samuel Hopkins Adams and the Business of Writing."
     Kennedy tells us that Adams spent more than six decades as a journalist, muckraker, novelist, biographer, and historian. Between his start as a newspaperman in 1891 and his last novel published posthumously in 1959, he averaged almost one book a year. During many of those years his byline appeared monthly on some 450 articles and short stories in the nation's leading magazines.
     Some twenty films were produced using adaptations of stories written by Samuel Hopkins Adams. The most famous of these was the academy award winning "It Happened One Night", directed by Frank Capra and starring Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable.
     Adams was a highly disciplined writer who produced two-thousand words a day without fail. The very desk he used to compose his books is still at Wide Waters today. Come see the estate in person, and you can sit where this great author produced his works and discover for yourself why this special place is a site of great and enduring inspiration.
Gathering on the veranda of Wide Waters, c. 1910
Samuel Hopkins Adams (1885-1958), publicity photo c. 1930
Articles by Samuel Hopkins Adams about his grandfathers, including stories about visits to Quisisana

Quisisana (left) and Wide Waters (right) c. 1950

Wide Waters c. 1950

South East Yard, Wide Waters c. 1950


     Wide Waters is located between the city of Auburn and nearby villages of Moravia and Skaneateles, and is within 30 miles of Ithaca, Geneva and Syracuse. It is also less than 30 miles from the site of Wilmorite’s new Lago Resort & Casino in Tyre. These surrounding communities offer wonderful restaurants, historic tours, theater, wine tasting, nature, art, fishing, boating, and educational opportunities. But most important when you arrive home to Wide Waters you are assured rest and relaxation on the splendid lake shore.