Dryden was organized in 1803 and the village was incorporated in 1857 and has many handsome homes, including the Dwight-Gutchess Homestead built in 1865 by John W. Dwight, a US congressman. The idea and funds for Southworth Library, designed by Ithaca architect William Henry Miller in Romanesque Revival style, came from Jennie McGraw Fiske, who gave Cornell University its chimes. The Jim Schug Trail is named for the late town supervisor and runs from Dryden Village to Dryden Lake and goes on to connect to the Finger Lakes Trail. Single family homes in the area are generally moderately priced at $120,000 to $250,000. Homes are typically situated on 1 to 3 acres or more. Dryden has its own Elementary and Middle/High School.