Silver Lake, Wyoming County, New York

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Silver Lake, New York
Silver Lake, Wyoming County, New York is located in New York
Silver Lake, Wyoming County, New York
Location of Silver Lake in New York
Coordinates: 42°42′06″N 78°01′19″W / 42.70167°N 78.02194°W / 42.70167; -78.02194Coordinates: 42°42′06″N 78°01′19″W / 42.70167°N 78.02194°W / 42.70167; -78.02194
Country United States
State New York
County Wyoming
Town Castile
Elevation[1] 1,375 ft (419 m)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 14549
Area code(s) 585
FIPS code 36-36121
GNIS feature ID 965264[1]
Other name Silverlake

Silver Lake is a community in Wyoming County, New York. It is located on New York State Route 39 south of the village of Perry in the Town of Castile. It is named for the nearby lake to the west, which extends from the village of Perry south to Silver Lake State Park near Silver Springs. Its main attractions include its scenery, fishing and boating, and its location near Letchworth State Park.


Silver Lake is located at 42°42′06″N 78°01′19″W / 42.701729°N 78.021951°W / 42.701729; -78.021951 (42.701729, -78.021951).[1] Its elevation is 1,375 feet (419 m). The lake is one of few in the United States that has its inlet and outlet at the same end.


Silver Lake was the focus of a legend surrounding a sea serpent that was reportedly seen in the nearby lake in the mid-19th century. According to an affidavit sworn by four men who were out fishing on July 13, 1855,[3] it was a 60-foot-long (18 m) serpent with glowing, red eyes. The resulting frenzy that came from this story created an immense boom for the nearby town of Perry and Silver Lake. After this incident, about 100 other people claimed to see the giant beast. This phenomenon lasted throughout the summer and was last seen towards the end of the season. Despite the lack of appearance, it remained one of the most popular places in America.

One of the main beneficiaries of the sea serpent was A. B. Walker, the owner of the Walker Hotel in Silver Lake. When the Hotel burned down in 1857, firemen discovered the remains of the legend: a large mass of canvas. He had constructed the entire monster in order to attract business to the lake. It was said he got the idea from an Native American legend.[3] The town holds a festival dedicated to the serpent even though it is now a harmless cartoon, similar to the Loch Ness Monster.[4]

The community is home to the Silver Lake Institute Historic District on the east bank of the lake, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.[5]


Silver Lake has yet to revive the popularity it once had, but it remains a favorite among those in the area.

One attraction that is bringing people from across Western New York is the Charcoal Corral. It houses mini golf, bouncy castles, an arcade, ice cream and pizza parlor, and two drive-in theaters.[6]

Notable residents[edit]

Late journalist Tim Russert is rumored to have stayed at Silver Lake during his childhood.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c "Silver Lake, New York". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved June 12, 2008. 
  2. ^ "ZIP Code Lookup". Retrieved 2008-06-12. 
  3. ^ a b Nickell, Joe (March–April 1999), "The Silver Lake Serpent Inflated Monster or Inflated Tale?", Skeptical Inquirer, 23 (2): 18–21, retrieved August 8, 2011 
  4. ^ Sea Serpent
  5. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  6. ^ Charcoal Corral and Silver Lake Twin Drive-In - » Home

External links[edit]