Cooperstown Village

Otsego County, New York

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Cooperstown Village Hall is located at 22 Main Street, Cooperstown NY 13326.
Phone: 607‑547‑2411.


Historic District [1]

Not only has it [Cooperstown] been the site of important events — the start of the Clinton-Sullivan campaign, the invention of baseball — but it has served Americans as a model of rural life since Judge Cooper first promoted settlement there in 1786. Through the writings of James Fenimore Cooper, the natural beauty and leisurely tranquil unhurried lifestyle of the village have invited visits from tourists since the mid-nineteenth century. Today [1980] the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Farmer's Museums continue to attract visitors. On a local level, the village has served as the governmental, cultural, and the commercial center of Otsego County, as is reflected in such notable structures as the Otsego County Courthouse and the Otsego County bank. Finally, the historic district derives significance through its association with such prominent figures as writer James Fenimore Cooper, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Nelson, Abner Doubleday, the inventor of baseball, and Edward Clark, the sewing machine magnate.

The village of Cooperstown stands on the site of an important Revolutionary War encampment connected with the Clinton-Sullivan campaign. In 1779, General James Clinton proceeded up the Mohawk River to Fort Plain where he turned overland for twenty miles to reach the head of Lake Otsego. After traveling down the lake to the headwaters of the Susquehanna River, the army encamped while building a dam to raise the waters of Lake Otsego. In August of 1779 the dam was broken and the flood waters carried Clinton's army over the Susquehanna River shallows to Tioga Point where it joined with Sullivan's army to defeat the Iroquois.

Cooperstown lies in the Croghan patent, 100,000 acres conveyed to Colonel George Croghan in 1768 by the Indian department of the crown. Croghan defaulted on his patent in 1773 and by 1785 the rights to 30,000 acres of the land had passed to William Cooper. Cooper began settling the land in 1786 with two log structures constructed near the west bank of the river. In 1788, with only two frame buildings in the village, Cooper laid out six east-west streets and three north-south streets. This early plan is the area bounded by the present day Lake Street on the north, River Street on the east, Pioneer Street on the west, and Elk Street on the south.

  1. National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Cooperstown Historic District, nomination document, 1980, prepared by Daniel B. Mayer, NY State Historical Association.

Nearby Towns: Middlefield Town •

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