About the Town of Cato
The town of Cato was formed March 30th 1802 and was comprised,
at that time, of all land north of the Seneca River within the county
borders. The town of Sterling was removed in 1812 and Conquest, Ira and
Victory were removed in 1821. The southeast corner of Ira was re-annexed to Cato in 1824.
Since that time, the Cato town borders have remained the same.
The town is located between Lake Ontario and the Finger Lakes. It consists of scenic, rolling drumlins separated by
tranquil lakes, ponds and streams. Cross Lake, which forms the eastern
boundary is approximately 4 miles long and is intersected by the Seneca
River which forms the town’s southern boundary. On the northwestern shore of
Cross lake is the Cross Lake Restaurant and Marina.
Agriculture has been the primary industry for each of the last
200 years. The
majority of farms today tend to specialize in dairy, fruits, beef or
alpacas. In fact, the Giancarelli family, who have been farming here since
1937, have added wine making to their fruit growing establishment under the
name Giancarelli Brothers Winery LLC. The winery, operating since 2000, is
located on Short Cut Road.
Whitford Airport, founded in 1950 by Joe Whitford, offers flight
instruction and hangars for private aircraft.
Cato Golf Club opened for business in 1931 under the ownership
of Frank Rich. The nine hole regulation course is operated by Frank Rich III
and is perhaps the oldest family run golf club in the northeast.
Cato remains today as a bedroom community with a majority of
town residents commuting to employment in the Syracuse and Auburn area. With
scenic drumlins and picturesque waterways, the town remains a favorite for
hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, boating and hiking.