There is but one street on the Hilltop with a name: MacGregor Lane
islocated in front of Pauley and Rorem halls. Most people assume
the name is derived rom the MacGregors,
a prominent Cornell family now in its second generation there.
The other house on the lane, however, belongs to another prominent
Cornell family in its second generation there: The Lanes. Legend
has it that the street was named for both.
In 1965 the retired dean of the college, Jay MacGregor, and his
wife, Helen, built a retirement home there after buying the land
from retired English professor Howard Lane and his wife, Mynnye.
The couples wore a path between their houses visiting each other
for a daily drink. One of those sessions resulted in a request to
the city from English professor Liz Isaacs 39 that
the road be called MacGregor Lane.
Mary MacGregor 45 left New York City and moved into
her parents home in 1980. Many of her family members are Cornellians,
including her brother, Dr. John K. MacGregor 41, a
past-president of the Cornell Board of Trustees.
The Lane house, located closer to the Pauley-Rorem parking lot,
originated in 1869 as a farm-house. At one time it was being fixed
up as a retirement home for president William Fletcher King, who
died before it was finished. In 1937, Howard Lane purchased the
house and moved his family theref rom their former residence that
once existed near where Allee Chapel now stands. Annice and John
G. Lane 44 moved there in 1988. John G. Lane traveled
extensively for 35 years as a fund-raiser. An only child, he fathered
nine children and has 25 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.