Cooperstown, New York, History
Source: Cooperstown Village Web Site
Cooperstown was founded in the late 1700's by William Cooper. William Cooper was a judge, a member of Congress and encouraged numerous settlers to this area. His mansion, which burnt down many years ago, stood next to what is now the Baseball Hall of Fame and the grounds of the mansion are now a park used. Several of the stone houses that William Cooper built are still standing in the village.
The son of William Cooper, James Fenimore Cooper, became one of the best-loved novelists in the United States and his mark is left upon several features and monuments of the village. He referred to Otsego Lake, on the south end of which Cooperstown sits, as the "Glimmerglass" and the name is still used today.
Cooperstown is the birth place of the Susquehanna River that winds through New York and Pennsylvania, connecting to the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, which leads to the sea. The Susquehanna River is the scene each Memorial Day of the General Clinton canoe regatta.
The Village of Cooperstown was incorporated in 1812, which at that time had 133 houses, 57 barns and 686 residents. (Census 2000) The following is a small list of interesting events that took place in the village of Cooperstown since it's incorporation:
1904 - First cement sidewalk were built at the village expense
1906 - First ticket issued for exceeding speed limit through village
1911 - Site of first New York State agricultural fair
1918 - Nestle Food Company buys International Milk Products Plant on Grove Street
1919 - Last livery stables replaced by Auto & Supply Company
1919 - September 29th, Doubleday property officially transferred to village
1933 - Last Electric Trolley service
1938 - August 21st., first concert held at opening of Lakefront park
1941 - Village purchases water works from Aqueduct Association
1959 - Tom Yawkey, owner of the Boston Red Sox, gave metal seats along 1st base line to Doubleday Field
1962 - Village new docks open for use
1992 - Film location for the movie "A League of Their Own"
year 2000 the Village of Cooperstown's population has grown to 2,032.
June 2001it was ranked number 3 in New York State, in the Historic
Small Town Index. Well-known residents have included:
Abner Doubleday, known as the father of baseball
Robert L. Gibson, astronaut
sites and museums:
New York State Historical Association
Fenimore Art Museum
Hyde Hall State Historic Site
For more sites of area interest, see the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce
For more in depth history details of Cooperstown e-mail Cooperstown Official Village Historian, Hugh Cooke MacDougall, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or view his superb James Fenimore Cooper Society Web Site.
Editor's note: Photo of Otsego Lake (above) taken by Eric H.
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Unless otherwise stated, all VisitingCooperstown.com articles written and photos taken by Eric H.