Post by Terry Harbin on Jun 6, 2005 20:15:45 GMT -5
The studio the Whartons' leased was a former trolley amusement park built in 1894. Known as Renwick Park until 1921, re-named (Stewart Park.) , The buildings and beachfront had come in disrepair over the years.
In April of 1915 a lease with an option to buy was signed by Wharton Inc. for the 45 acres surrounding the southern tip of Cayuga Lake, effective through April of 1920.
The property and buildings had been improved, and a miniature train was added right outside the main pavilion in 1914. This train ran behind the studio and back into the Renwick Wildwoods.
Another plan hatched by local lawyer Paul Clymer included the extension of the tracks along Fall Creek to an elevator that would raise the train up the falls, for a trip around the Cornell campus.
This extension was not funded but the excursion around the park continued into the 1950's, when it was no longer popular it was put into storage.
Both Theodore Wharton and Clymer were part of the Renwick Park improvement committee in 1914.
The committees plan was to improve the park and increase the use of the area. All the improvements enticed Wharton himself to lease the property.
The Summer of 1916 was the busiest year at the Wharton Studio, with the public still allowed in the park, crowds often interfered with the costly filming and the Whartons had to close the park to the public.