We dedicate this story to Karen and Cindy from the Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance in Penn Yan, NY,
for their keen sense of a good thing and their partner dedication.
Giving us timely
guidance as well as confidence that we were on the right track with our logo.


History of the green heart

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East to West:

Otisco | Skaneateles | Owasco | Cayuga |Seneca | Keuka | Canandaigua| Honeoye | Canadice | Hemlock | Conesus

East to West? Why not Right to Left… ? Simple… ;-)

The very first settlers coming into the (for them) “New World” in search of a better life, had traveled settled and resettled from East to West. So it was in this order that almost every one of our freedom seeking ancestors had moved across their new frontier, discovering and rediscovering one spectacular Finger Lake after another…

The Green Heart of the Finger Lakes is a celebration of nature and abundance of beauty found in one of the greenest regions in the United States of America, or at least in the state of New York!

The whole idea is very simple and is built on three basic elements. The shape of the heart - a shape known to represent love and endearment for something or someone. The color green, is the color of hope, life, renewal, nature, and energy, associated with growth, harmony and environment. The color Blue, is the color of the sky and sea, associated with depth and stability. The Green Heart of the Finger Lakes is a clear representation of the love for our gorgeous Finger Lakes Region with its rolling hills, harboring 11 glacial lakes formed millions of years ago, creating a unique pattern of fingers spanning the countryside. If that wasn’t enough, as man stepped in to better navigate this natural wonder, an unplanned uniqueness began to take shape with each major highway built to the north, east and west of the Finger Lakes Region. Step back for a second as you study a map of the Finger Lakes Region to plan your next adventure. With a keen eye, open heart, and an ounce of imagination, you’ll quickly recognize the outline of a heart surrounding this wonderful piece of nature. History knows that these were once natural paths beaten by the hooves of deer and the moccasin of our native brothers living here long before our European ancestors arrived.

The eleven Finger Lakes from East to West:

Otisco | Skaneateles | Owasco | Cayuga | Seneca | Keuka | Canandaigua | Honeoye | Canadice | Hemlock | Conesus


And now… the rest of the story…

The phrase “Green Heart of the Finger Lakes” has been on our lips for a several years now but I cannot give sole credit to the fact that I was born and raised in the Finger Lakes Region. Part of that credit must go to the fact that my ancestors were from Germany, and I had the opportunity to follow their paths back to the region in Germany, commonly known as “The Green Heart of Germany” (“das grüne Herz Deutschlands”).

I was born and raised in the heart of the Finger Lakes, but left at the very young age of 17 to serve my country. The US Army first took me to Fort Hood, Texas and then sent me oversees to Mainz, Germany where I met my German wife and where both of my daughters were born. Being married in a foreign country will mold you in ways you normally will never know. I had a very positive experience in Germany, so when the time came to leave the Army in the late fall of 1986, it was very easy for my wife and I to choose Germany as our new home.

The German reunification soon followed in 1989, when the Berlin Wall and the notorious Iron Curtain were no longer needed to separate humanity in this newly reunified world. The Cold War was over! That was just the beginning of my conquest to research as much as possible about my German roots, since everything I knew about them was kept captive in what was once East Germany.

Remembering my grandmother’s stories and using her memoirs, I was able to trace my German roots from my great grandfather, Tuisco Greiner, to my 8th great grandfather, Hans Greiner. Tuisco had immigrated from Bernburg, Germany to Naples, New York in the mid 1800s. He was a direct descendant of Hans Greiner a.k.a. “Der Schwaben Hans”, a glass master and co-founder of Lauscha, Germany. The tiny glassblower village of Lauscha is nestled deep in the Thuringian Forest (Thüringerwald) commonly known in Germany as “The Green Heart of Germany”, due to the dense forest covering the land.

After my wife passed away in 2012, my daughters and I pondered the idea of returning to my hometown of Naples, New York. Thoughts were intertwining and ideas flowing on how we could earn our living using both our German and American roots. For us it was a mini explosion of imagination as we searched our souls for that perfect business idea, or at least one that would give us a somewhat comfortable start at our new venture in our personal New World.

And so the “Green Heart of the Finger Lakes” was born, melting together the uniqueness of the two most breathtaking regions of our world, the Finger Lakes Region and the Thuringian Forest Region, over 4000 miles apart but still so close… ~jhw