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The Walworthians: Ballroom at Ccarey Lake

The Walworthians


A collection of telephone interviews published in the Wayne County STAR Newspaper and Wayne County MAIL Newspaper, 1994-209

by Kate Chamberlin


Carey Lake and Restaurant

August 08, 2002

The Carey Lake and Restaurant are located on the former 145-acre Valentine homestead. For many years around the 1920’s, the large farm house opened up the connecting three front rooms and held very popular square dances. Then by the 1930’s, one third of the home was converted into an apartment where various family members rotated in and out as their circumstances dictated.

“I was born in that house,” Lavern Morrison, a Macedon resident told me, “but, my parents were actually living in a home on the Monroe-Wayne County Line Road. My mother, Irene, was one of the 11 Valentine children, 8 daughters and three sons. She died when I was six, so my dad moved into the old homestead where my aunt could take care of me. Eventually, my Dad married Aunt Edith and bought the tenant farmer’s house for us to live in.

When it was a working farm, the tenant’s name was Gnadi, and we’ve always called it the Gnadi’s House, although, when my Dad purchased it, my uncle Edgar Valentine was living in it.”

(I checked with our town historian, John Traas, who checked in the 1914 Registry of Farmers in Wayne County. He found an Otto and Loretta Gnadi lived on Penfield Road with their one son.)

In 1950, after a honeymoon trip across country, Lavern and his bride, Beryl (Whitmire), lived in the farmhouse apartment until 1953. During 1954, they established their own homestead in Macedon and still reside there with frequent visits to the Gnadi home.

In the mid-70’s, a portion of the land was rented to a fellow who kept large draft horses. We always smiled as we drove passed the farm when the young draft horses were cavorting in the east pasture.

In the late ‘90’s, the farmhouse became all rental apartments and the north portion of the pasture gave way to a large man-made pond that expanded into a lake, reported to now cover 15-acres of the current holding of 210-acres.

At one point during the early stage of the lake’s creation, a big scooper/crane sunk into the spring-fed muck up to its cabin.  We shook our head and chuckled as we drove passed the old homestead.

The lake attracts the Canada Geese as they trek north and south, as well as migrating ducks. It is fun to see how they companionably keep a portion of the lake warm enough to swim all winter long.

In the summer, snow-mobile competitions are held to see who can skim themselves the farthest over the lake. On-lookers who stop on Rte. 441 are systematically shooed away.  All year around, we get a smile as we drive passed Carey Lake.

Early in July, 2002, we stopped at Carey Lake to try the new restaurant that had been built where the draft horses used to play. It was the first time we’d ever stopped to gawk.

“This building looks identical to what a building of this type would have looked like at the turn of the century,” the menu states. “Huge wood corbels, 4″ clapboard siding, fluted wood trim, large thick wood front doors and inside the 3″ wood board ceiling. The beautiful frieze panel along the ceiling and the old 27″ floral wall­paper. Notice how thick the bathroom doors are? The display counter and cash register came out of the old Caledonia five and dime.”

Mr. Carey was pointed out to us, but he was not available for comments. The menu states that Mr. Carey encourages old-fashioned courtesy, family fun and wholesome food.

Along with the regular menu, he has designated Wednesday as Pasta Day – 4 pm ’til gone; Thursday as Barbeque Day – 4 pm ’til gone; Friday as Fish Fry – 11 am ’til gone; Saturday as Prime Rib Day – 4 pm ’til gone; and Sunday as Turkey Day – 1 1 am ’til gone.

Upon entering the restaurant, you stand at a counter to order your food and take a number. On busy nights, your number is called when your food is ready and you take it to your table or booth. Fortunately, it was not busy when we were there because it took a while for the menu board to be read to me and I’m glad we didn’t have to make any one wait. Our meal was brought to us, which I appreciated.

Mr. Carey has a start on collecting movie and other memorabilia from the early 1900’s. There is a vest from Al Capone and newspaper articles naming the “boys” and in the parking lot is a 1931 “Madam X: Cadillac. (The next week there was a Rolls Royce.)

In the dining room is a player piano. The cabinet and perhaps the works are old, but it is computerized and I’m pretty sure they didn’t have computers at the turn of the previous century.

Over-all, it is not the fast food of Wendy’s; nor the drive-through convenience of MacDonald’s; nor the plentiful and inexpensive food of the Yellow Mills Restaurant, nor the fine dining of DiVinci’s; nor the comfort of home; so, what is the Carey Lake Restaurant?

Well, the ultimate test will occur when we take our little ones for home-made ice cream. I will, of course, be comparing my malted, extra thick vanilla milk shake to the perfect ones we get from Longacre’s. I’ll let you know if future trips will find us chuckling as we pass or smiling as we turn in for more.

For more information, contact: Carey Lake Restaurant, 959 Penfield Rd. (Rte. 441), Walworth, NY, 1-315-986-1936. Hours: 7 Days a Week, 11 am-’til everyone’s fed. Cash, Visa, Mastercard Accepted, but No Checks. prices subject to change without notice.

2018 Up-Date: The Ballroom At Carey Lake | Event Venue | Macedon, NY

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You’ll fall in love with the atmosphere at The Ballroom at Carey Lake. Surrounded by 200 acres and overlooking a 15-acre lake, our property will be the perfect backdrop for …

Contact:959 Walworth Penfield Rd, Macedon, NY 14502 · (315) 879-7701