The Old Mohawk Turnpike Book
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
39 CANAJOHARIE - PALATINE BRIDGE 56
By New York Central R.R., New York, 197 m.; Buffalo,
242 m.; sea elevation, 286 ft. Canajoharie is also known as
"Beech-Nut Town." Palatine Bridge takes its name from the
settlement just northeast of Palatine Germans (from the Rhine
Palatinate) about 1720-1722.
Canajoharie is a Mohawk word meaning "the pot
which washes itself," or "the boiling pot," from a large
pothole in the picturesque gorge of Canajoharie creek here entering
New York 203 m.; Buffalo 245 m., by highway. 1920
population, Canajoharie, 2,415; Palatine Bridge, 443. Bus lines to
Sharon Springs, Fort Plain, St. Johnsville, Little Falls.
Food products, paper and cotton bags are the
principal industries. Canajoharie incorporated a village in 1829,
Palatine Bridge, 1867. Bridge here across Mohawk and here is Barge canal
Lock No. 14, Dam No. 9. Canajoharie's model food packing plant is open
to the public. The local bag making and printing factory is one of the
largest and finest in the world.
Fort Frey (!739), near Central station, is the site
of first settlement here, by Frey, a Swiss, in 1689. Van Alstine house
(1749) in Canajoharie, is famous as a Revolutionary patriot meeting
place of the Tryon County Committee of Safety (1776-1783). Washington
stopped here in 1783. Marker shows the mobilization (1779) of General
Clinton's American army for overland portage and march to Otsego lake;
site of Battle of Stone Arabia (1780), 1 m. northeast of Central
station. Canajoharie falls, 1 m. south, pretty but difficult of access.
Wagner sleeping car (1858), passenger car elevated roof (1859) and
palace car (1867) invented at Palatine Bridge. New York Central lines
freight traffic originated here in 1836. Colonial style stone Frey house
(1808) in Palatine Bridge.
Optional detour, going west, north to Stone Arabia
churches, 4 m. Reformed church (1788), Lutheran (1792), center of first
Palatine German valley settlement (1722), return to Turnpike westward at
Nelliston. Roads south, Canajoharie to Cherry Valley and Otsego lake,
southeast to Sharon Springs, Cobleskill, through Catskills to Catskill
on the Hudson. Palatine Bridge is Turnpike half-way point between
Schenectady and Utica. The road the Otsego lake is "Clinton's
Road" - Gen. Clinton's army route of 1779; also known as the
For Stone Arabia detour, after passing left hand
(south) street to the Canajoharie bridge, take the first right hand
(north) street over concrete road to Stone Arabia Reformed church, 4 m.,
for motorists going west. This route runs north to Ephratah and
Johnstown (1922), thence to Garoga and Canada lakes and Adirondack
42 FORT PLAIN - NELLISTON 53
By New York Central R.R., New York, 200 m.; Buffalo, 239 m.; sea elevation, 294 ft. Fort Plain takes its name from
Revolutionary Fort Plain (1776-83). Also called "Little Old Fort Plain." Parts known after the Revolution as Sand Hill and Totoville.
New York, 206 m., Buffalo, 242 m., by highway. 1920 population, Fort Plain, 2,747; Nelliston, 664. Fort Plain made a
village in 1832, Nelliston in 1878. Knit goods, silk, furniture and condensed milk manufactured here. Center of dairy and fruit country,
large quantities of plums being raised hereabouts. Bridge across Mohawk. Barge canal Lock No. 15, Dam No. 10 here. Otsquago (meaning
"under the bridge") creek here enters the Mohawk.
Settled by Palatine Germans about 1725. Ehle house (1727-1755) in Nelliston, near Central station. Paris store
(1786), now Bleecker house, in Fort Plain. Wagner-Fayant (1921) house is on cellar of British colonial Governor Clarke's, 1738-42,
The "Otsquago Trail" is the road southwest to Otsego lake along Otsquago creek.
Road west, over Dutchtown road, 14 m., to Gen. Herkimer Home, gives fine upland valley and mountain
Roads northeast to Stone Arabia, Ephratah and Johnstown, Gloversville, Adirondacks, Garoga and
Bus lines to Cherry Valley, Canajoharie, St. Johnsville, Little Falls.
At Cherry Valley, 12 m. s.e., occurred one of the most terrible Tory-Indian massacres of the
Site of castle of Tortoise clan, middle Mohawk castle of Tarajorees (1700-1755) on Prospect
Hill. Fort Hill, site of Fort Plain, 1776 - Fort Rensselaer, valley military headquarters (1780-1783). Section
scene of Brant's Indian-Tory raid, 1780. Fort Plain roads south to Cherry Valley, Otsego lake, Cooperstown
(where baseball was invented in 1840) and Richfield Springs. Nelliston named for the Palatine-German Nellis
family. Note valley views to south, going west on Turnpike. Pass Fort Wagner (old stone farmhouse), 2 m. west,
Cross Garoga creek to
45 PALATINE CHURCH 50
New York, 209 m., Buffalo, 239 m., by highway; sea elevation, 302 ft. The north side river section,
from Yosts to Little Falls, was called Palatine in 1772, hence the name which is now applied to Palatine township
(Montgomery county), in which the church and hamlet are located, names coming from settlers from Rhine Palatinate, who
settled here about 1725.
The most terrific Indian battle in the Mohawk valley took place near present Palatine Church
(probably 1-1/2 m. e. on Garoga creek) in 1693. A French-Canadian Indian war party burned all the Mohawk villages
and took and burned the Upper Castle of Tionondogue, after a bloody battle where 300 Mohawks were made prisoners.
About opposite Palatine Church, in 1634, stood the great Mohawk castle of Tenotogehage, with over 1,000 people.
Palatine Lutheran church (1770), American army camp, after Battle of Klock's Field, Oct. 19, 1780.
Gen. Cochran house, 1790, west of church, north side of Turnpike, home of Dr. John Cochran, Surgeon General of U.S.
Hospitals, 1781-3; close friend of Washington. Fort Klock (1750) is two miles west, close to St. Johnsville, and
marks site of Battle of Klock's Field, Oct. 19, 1780, when American militia defeated Johnson's British raiders. Garoga
creek has important electrical development to the north. Garoga means "dark and sullen waters," or "savage waters."
48 ST. JOHNSVILLE 47
By New York Central R.R., New York, 206 m.; Buffalo, 233 m.; sea elevation, 302 ft. The town
takes it name from St. John's Reformed church, established about 1750.
New York 212 m., Buffalo 236 m., by highway. 1920 population, 2,469. Knit goods, threshers, felt
shoes, piano players and records are chief manufactures.
Settled by Palatine Germans about 1725. Village started by Jacob Zimmerman's flour mill in
1776. Village incorporated 1857. Picturesque Zimmerman creek here enters Mohawk. Bridge here across river. Middle
point between Schenectady and Rome on the Mohawk Turnpike.
A picturesque and scenic upland valley detour may be made from here to Dolgeville, returning to the
river on Fall Hill to Little Falls. Ask as to road conditions. Bus line to Little Falls, Fort Plain, Canajoharie.
Barge canal Lock No. 16, Dam No. 12, is at Mindenville, 2 m. w. of St. Johnsville. Optional detour
to south side river road to Indian Castle, 6 m., where Indian Castle church (1769) marks site of castle of Bear clan or
the Upper or Canajoharie Castle of the Mohawks (1700-1775), home of Mohawk chieftains, King Hendrick and Joseph Brant
and Molly Brant, housekeeper of Sir William Johnson.
Mindenville is a station on the West Shore R.R.
The 1921 preferred route, going west to the General Herkimer Home is by detour to south shore from
Fink's Bridge, thence 1 m. east to the first turn left going east from bridge, thence over State Reservation road 3/4 m.
Going west, 2-1/2 m., from St. Johnsville, note on the south shore, Barge canal Lock No. 16, Dam
No. 12, where canal leaves river channel for first time, going west, and runs in a land line, 3 m. west, of the original
river channel paralleling it, and in the river here can be seen one of the river rifts, or rapids, which made old-time
river navigation difficult and dangerous.
56 DOLGEVILLE (BY DETOUR) 55
1920 population, 3,448. By highway, New York, 224 m.; Buffalo, 244 m, via detour from St.
Johnsville. Via detour from Little Falls, New York, 230 m.; Buffalo, 234 m. By New York Central (via Little Falls and
Dolgeville branch), New York, 224 m.; Buffalo, 231 m. Sea elevation, lowest 760 ft.; highest, 1,020 ft., in the park.
The village of Dolgeville is reached by detour 8 m. north from the Mohawk Turnpike over roads from St.
Johnsville, East Creek, Fall Hill and Little Falls. All four routes give fine upland rides through a splendid dairy farm
country with beautiful and extensive views of the Mohawk valley and the Adirondack foothills, at the edge of which
Dolgeville lies. Dolgeville has rail connection with Little Falls over the Little Falls and Dolgeville railroad
(terminus at Salisbury Centre) a branch of the New York Central. Motor bus connection with Little Falls. Roads run
north into the southern Adirondack region. Felt manufactures and hydro-electric plant here.
Settled about 1795. Named for Alfred Dolge, who established the town's felt industry.
51 EAST CREEK 44
By New York Central R.R., New York, 209 m.; Buffalo, 238 m.; by highway, New York, 215 m.;
Buffalo, 233 m.; sea elevation, 322 ft.
Site of British Fort Canajoharie (1754-60), on south shore opposite outlet of East creek, where it
guarded a ford.
Beautiful falls one mile north on East Canada creek. East Canada creek is so named because its
source (in the Adirondacks) was in lands claimed by France in Colonial days. East Creek has important electrical
development here, and at Ingham Mills, 5 m., and Dolgeville, 8 m., to which road leads just west of East Creek bridge.
This is a fine scenic route to Dolgeville, returning to Mohawk Turnpike at Little Falls west or St. Johnsville east.
Ask about roads.
Note the ruined Beardsley stone "castle" just west of Central station. The run w. 7 m., to Little
Falls, is through beautiful farming country with fine river views approaching the rugged, forest covered cliffs of Fall
Hill (north and south shores). One stretch of this run is through a half-mile of fine forest.
53 INDIAN CASTLE 42
Going west from East Creek, note, on the south shore, the mouth of Nowadaga (mud turtle) creek. Back
of it to the south Indian Castle (1769) church is seen, standing near the site of the Great Upper (Canajoharie) Castle
of the Mohawks (1693-1775). Just west in river is Rocky Rift Dam.
Site of British Colonial Fort Hendrick (1756-1760).
Indian Castle is a station on the West Shore railroad.
At 54 m. is the yellow brick house of Major Andrew Fink, Revolutionary valley soldier, and 1/8 m. w.
stands a red brick house, willed to Molly Brant by Sir William Johnson.
Running westward you see on the south shore, a famous landmark - the General Herkimer Home (red
brick house, built 1764), with the American flag always flying, and the Gen. Herkimer monument nearby.
56 FINK'S BRIDGE (FALL HILL) 39
New York, 221 m.; Buffalo, 227 m., by highway; sea elevation, 322 ft.
Bridge here across river. Fall Hill, the upper uplift of the Mohawk, rises north of Turnpike to sea
elevation of 1,060 ft. or 740 ft. above river; on south river shore to 860 ft. or 540 ft. above Mohawk. Fink's Bridge
is named for Major Andrew Fink, a Mohawk valley Revolutionary officer, who built the inn here.
For detour to General Herkimer Home (open free to public), after passing Turnpike inn and running
under bridge, turn to right on bridge roadway, cross Fink's bridge to south shore highway, running east 1 m. and
take first turn to left at General Herkimer Homestead sign, run 1/4 m. through Herkimer Home State Reservation (160-acre
57 GENERAL HERKIMER HOMESTEAD 40
Built by General Nicholas Herkimer (1764), who commanded American militia at Battle of Oriskany
(Aug. 6, 1777), where he was mortally wounded, brought by river and litter to his home here where he died (following
amputation of his wounded leg) Aug. 16, 1777. Monument marks his grave. Historical collections open free to the
public. Herkimer farm and house (State reservation) under Herkimer Home Commission. Beautiful site and views of Fall
Picnicking grounds and comfort station. Rest pavilion is on the General's stone "powder chest," or
underground powder magazine, used in the Revolution.
Here is the first of the markers, erected 1912, by D.
A. R. Mohawk valley chapters, marking Gen.
Herkimer's route to Oriskany battlefield (34 m.).
By highway the Herkimer Home is 221 miles from New York and 229 miles from Buffalo.
Going east, south shore highway detour may be continued over State road 2 m. to Indian Castle church
(1769), near site of Great Upper Castle of the Mohawks (1693-1775), thence east over (1921) dirt road through
Mindenville, 5-1/2 m., recrossing river to Mohawk Turnpike at St. Johnsville, 8 miles. Motorists are advised to inquire
as to condition of south shore river road from Indian Castle to St. Johnsville. This run may also be continued
eastward from Gen. Herkimer Home, past Indian Castle church, straight ahead over upland (Dutchtown). State road
through fine farming country, with splendid views of the Adirondacks and Cherry Valley mountains, to Fort Plain, 14 m.
LITTLE FALLS GORGE
Returning west, from the General Herkimer Home, cross Fink's bridge to the
Mohawk Turnpike on the
north shore. Fall Hill ridge (on both shores) was the site of a great post-glacial Mohawk river cataract, rivaling
present-day Niagara. Glacial ice and the waters of the ancient mighty Mohawk here wore down this backbone of the
Appalachian mountain system, creating Little Falls gorge and making possible the New York to Buffalo "water level" route.
The Little Falls Gorge is not only the "Gateway to the West," but it is the "Watergate of America,"
affording a passage between the waters of the Hudson and the Great Lakes over the Barge canal route.
BARGE CANAL BIG LOCK
Going west from Fink's bridge, you enter Little Falls Gorge, 2 m. long; 1/2 m. west from the bridge
is the Great Barge canal lock (40-1/2 ft. lift), largest in North America and higher than any on the Panama canal.
Going west on right or north side of lock is Moss Island, on which are the world's greatest pot holes (one being 20
ft. across), worn by the action of post-glacial cataract. River westward to lower falls here reaches depth of 130
feet, greatest along whole length, its greatest depth being due to the erosion of the ancient great cataract.
58 LITTLE FALLS 37
Over New York Central R.R., New York, 216 m.; Buffalo, 223 m; sea elevation, 322-1/2 ft. below
Big Lock, 363 ft. above it.
New York, 222 m., Buffalo, 226 m., by highway. 1920 population, 13,029. City limits rise to over
1,000 ft. sea elevation, highest of any town on New York-Buffalo highway. River here cut a way through the backbone of
the Applachian mountain chain. The Rollaway (400 ft. above river), Lover's Leap, Profile rock and Moss Island are
scenic features. Largest pot holes on earth on Moss Island. Splendid valley views from high Fall Hill roads,
accessible from city. Ask as to road conditions. Bridge here across Mohawk.
City is named Little Falls in distinction from the Great Falls of the Mohawk at Cohoes, 1 m. from
its outlet into the Hudson opposite Troy. The city's slogan is "Picturesque, Productive Little Falls." Located between
the great rock cliffs of the Gorge, Little Falls is the actual geographical and historical "Gateway to the West." The
Mohawk Indian name of Little Falls was As-te-ron-ga, meaning "rocky place."
Water power of the Little Falls started the city's industries, chief of which (1921) are knit goods,
leather, bicycles, dairy machinery, incubators, cotton yarn, batting, book cases, felt shoes, dairy preparations and
butter color, upholstery fibre, knit goods machinery. Largest calfskin finishing works in U.S., and here are the
largest tissue paper, bicycle and hammer works in the world.
Old carrying place of Indians and first settlers. Important portage place of Colonial and
Revolutionary wars. Settled about 1723 and Petrie flour mill built on Furnace creek, 1725. Only the Petrie house
here up to 1790, when New England settlement began with later Irish influx. All lands subject to lease up to 1836,
when proprietor was bought out by local land company. Early American lock canal here constructed (1 mile through solid
rock) in 1797. American cheese making started near city in 1800 and Little Falls was chief American cheese market up to
1900. City chartered a village in 1814, a city in 1895. New York Central here makes one of the sharpest curves
(entering city from east) of any railroad line in the United States.
Little Falls is midway (72-1/2 m.) between Syracuse and Albany, on highway. Western city limits
mark half-way distance between New York and Buffalo - 224 m. to each point over the highway. Electric road west to
Rome. Bus lines to Dolgeville, St. Johnsville, Fort Plain, Canajoharie and Richfield Springs. Roads north to Dolgeville
and other Adirondack regions, and south to Richfield Springs, Canadarago lake, Cooperstown and Otsego lake.
Aeroplane landing field located here.
Railroad connection with Dolgeville (8 m. n. e. on East Canada creek), with important felt
manufactures. optional detour, going west, crossing river to south shore road to Fort Herkimer Church (built 1767 and
part of Revolutionary Fort Herkimer, 1776-1783), 6 m. to Mohawk, 8 m., better reached by detour south on south shore
road from Herkimer and Mohawk. On Mohawk Turnpike, going west from Little Falls, are fine views of river gorge. Three
m. w. of Little Falls on south shore rises Jacksonburg Mt., or Mt. Kouari (Bear Mountain), 1,380 ft. above sea level and
1,017 ft. above Mohawk river. At Jacksonburgh W.S.R.R. station marks half-way point in railway distance (220 m.) between
New York and Buffalo. Here is Barge canal Lock No. 18.
The Little Falls Country club, situated on the plateau opposite Jacksonburgh, marks the half-way New
York to Buffalo railway distance over the New York Central, about 219 m. to each point. Beautiful river views west to
Cross West Canada creek, 60 m. long and second largest Mohawk tributary with important electrical
development northward at Trenton Falls. Hinckley reservoir, on the West Canada, is important Barge canal feeder. Cross
65 HERKIMER 30
By New York Central R.R., New York, 223 m.. Buffalo, 216 m.; the distances applying also to Mohawk,
the Central station serving both towns. Sea elevation, 363 ft. Herkimer is the county seat of Herkimer county, named
for General Herkimer. Herkimer's slogan is "Herkimer lead, Herkimer leads."
New York, 229 m., Buffalo, 219 m., by highway. 1920 population, 10,453. Village incorporated 1857.
Largest desk manufacturing center in U.S. Knit goods (underwear), furniture, air rifles, bookcases, paper fibre, gloves,
nut picks, nut crackers made here. First American wood pulp printing paper made here in 1866.
Bridge here connecting Herkimer with Mohawk. Motorists going west, generally cross here to south
side to Utica, 15 m. The south shore road is old Revolutionary military road to Fort Stanwix (1758-1781), at present
Rome. The Mohawk Turnpike on north shore, west from Herkimer to Utica, 15 m., and Rome, 30 m., is also used. Bus line
up West Canada creek valley road to Middleville, Newport, Poland, Cold Brook. Herkimer county fair held here.
Settled 1722-5 by Palatine Germans. French-Indian attack and massacre, 1757; Indian raids, 1778,
1782; Reformed church and marker site of Fort Dayton (1776), from which Gen Herkimer's American militia valley regiment
marched, August 4, 1777, to Battle of Oriskany, August 6, 1777. Statues of Gen. Herkimer and U.S. Treasurer Spinner in
park; Herkimer Historical Society open free. Terminus of New York Central (Mohawk & Malone) branch and of electric
road south to Richfield Springs and Cooperstown. Roads north up West Canada creek valley to Adirondacks, over the
West of Herkimer the north shore Turnpike runs through North Ilion, North Frankfort and the hamlets
of East Schuyler and Schuyler, through a fertile and picturesque farming country to Deerfield Corners (settled 1785),
now North Utica. This was Gen. Herkimer's route in 1777 to the Oriskany battlefield, marked in 1912 by the Mohawk
Valley chapters of the D. A. R.
The east bridge over river connects with Fort Herkimer.
64 FORT HERKIMER CHURCH 31
By highway, New York, 228 m.; Buffalo, 220 m.; sea elevation, 363 ft.
Fort Herkimer church, on the south shore turnpike, is generally reached by detour from Herkimer or
Mohawk. It can be reached over south shore turnpike going west from Little Falls. Inquire as to road conditions.
This church was the central and main defense of the stockaded post of Revolutionary Fort Herkimer,
1776-1783. The name comes from Johan Jost Herkimer, the leading Palatine-German pioneer, who located here about 1722,
the place soon becoming known as "Herkimer's." Just east of here was the British Colonial Fort Herkimer, an important
frontier post, 1756-1760, near where a marker shows the birthplace of Gen. Nicholas Herkimer, 1728. This Reformed Dutch
church was then also (1754-1760) a British Colonial fortification. The church was completed in 1767, after building for
twenty years. Many Colonial and Revolutionary soldiers are buried in the church yard and even under the church. Gen.
Herkimer and other severely wounded American soldiers were brought here by boat from Old Fort Schuyler the night
following the Battle of Oriskany, August 6, 1777. Many important Revolutionary and Indian councils were held here.
Gen. Washington was here in 1783 and made this a river depot for the western army posts. This is the
only Revolutionary army post remaining on the Mohawk turnpikes.
66 MOHAWK 29
Sea elevation, 383 ft. The town takes its name from the Mohawk tribe of Iroquois Indians.
New York, 230 m., Buffalo, 218 m., by highway. 1920 population, 2,919. Village chartered 1844.
Mohawk is first town of the Mohawk -Ilion-Frankfort (1921) village community lying five miles along the Mohawk south
shore, with combined 1920 population of 17,286. Knit goods are (1921) chief manufacture. Barge canal Dam No. 14 here
located. Fulmer creek here enters river. Co. I, 10th Inf., New York National Guard Armory here located. Champion
1923 marksmen, National Guard, U.S.A.
First settled by Palatine Germans, 1722-5. Shoemaker house, where Butler was captured, 1777.
Detour, going east, on south side to Fort Herkimer church (1767), 2 m. State road and trolley south, Mohawk to
Richfield Springs, Canadarago lake to Cooperstown and Otsego lake and Oneonta, known as the "Leatherstocking Trail."
68 ILION 27
By New York Central R.R. (from North Ilion station), New York, 225 m., Buffalo, 214 m.; sea
elevation, 383 ft. Strawberries are (1921) largely raised in surrounding country.
New York, 232 m., Buffalo, 216 m., by highway. 1920 population, 10,169. Village incorporated
1852. Rifles, ammunition, typewriters, cash registers, steel office, show case and store fixtures chief (1921)
manufactures. Bridge here across Mohawk to Central station, called North Ilion. The city is named from ancient Ilium
(or Troy) of the Trojans.
First settled by Palatine Germans, 1722-5. Considerable New England immigration began in 1784.
Eliphalet Remington made first Remington rifle at Crane's Corners, 5 m. southwest of Ilion, in 1816; removed to Ilion
1832. Great quantities of U.S.A. rifles made here in Civil and World wars. First practical typewriter was made here
in 1873; first bolt type army magazine rifle in 1878; first transmission of electricity for power printing in 1884. A
great many useful and important inventions have been here perfected in the Remington works.
Great quantities of Lee-Enfield rifles were made here for Great Britain and the United States during
the World war (1914-1918).
Beautiful Ilion Gulf road south to Unadilla river. Oak Hill on north Mohawk shore, opposite Ilion,
is 580 ft. above river. Steele's creek or the Gulf Stream here enters Mohawk.
70 FRANKFORT 25
By New York Central R.R. (from North Frankfort station), New York, 227 m., Buffalo, 212 m.; sea
elevation, 383 ft.
New York, 234 m., Buffalo, 214 m., by highway. 1920 population, 4,198. Village incorporated 1863.
Chief manufactures are (1921) hoes, forks, chucks, castings and road building machinery. Bridge here across Mohawk to
Central station, called North Frankfort. Moyer creek here enters Mohawk through picturesque Frankfort Gulf.
Settled by Palatine Germans in 1723, one of whom, Laurence
Fatrank, had a fortified house called
Frank's Fort, which gave the place its name. Frankfort Gulf road runs south to Unadilla river.
Barge canal, west to Rome, 25 m., follows largely a land cut channel. River flats widen out west of
Three m. west is Dutch Hill on south shore, 1,060 ft. sea elevation and 680 ft. above Mohawk.
Five m. w. is Lock No. 19 on the canal near Sterling creek, entering Mohawk on north side. Central crosses canal
from north to south shore, about 3 m. east of Utica.
This bridge marks approximately the half-way point (253 m.) on the New York-Buffalo waterway (over
Hudson river and Erie section, Barge canal), 507 miles in all.
The hamlet of Harbor is passed about 6 m. w. of Frankfort, and 2 m. e. of Utica city limits.
About opposite Harbor and almost three miles north of the north side Mohawk Turnpike is Bell Hll,
1,582 feet above the sea and 1,178 above the Mohawk. This is the highest hill along the Mohawk rising directly from
the river flats.
Utica park lies just outside the eastern limits of Utica.
77 NEW YORK STATE MASONIC HOME 18
At the eastern limits of the city of Utica and the county of Oneida is the Home of the Free and
Accepted Masons of the State of New York. One of the finest homes in the world conducted by a fraternal order. It
admits Masons, their wives and children. Main building (opened in 1892), children's building, chapel, Soldiers and
Sailors Memorial Hospital and other buildings located on beautiful grounds and farm at the foot of Frankfort Hill
(1,420 ft. sea elevation and 1,016 ft. above the Mohawk). Starch Factory creek runs through Home grounds. Frederick
T. Proctor park adjoins and south shore Mohawk Turnpike and trolley line (to Utica and Rome on west and Little Falls on
east) runs directly along north front of Home grounds. (See body of the book for description.)
80 UTICA 15
By New York Central R.R., New York, 237 m., Buffalo, 202 m.; sea elevation, 404 ft.
New York, 244 m., Buffalo, 204 m., by highway. 1920 population, 94,156; with suburbs, over
100,000. Incorporated as a village in 1798, chartered a city in 1832. Large trading, manufacturing and transportation
center. County seat of Oneida county. Chief manufactures are (1921) white goods (cotton cloth), cotton yarn, cloth and
worsteds, heating furnaces, metal furniture, firearms, locomotive repairing, machinery, brass goods, automobile and
wheel rims, springs, metal goods, cutlery, engines, clothing, food products, cigars, printing, paper gods, woodworking,
furniture, pearl buttons, knit goods, caps, fire apparatus, fire alarms, paper, fishing rods, fishing tackle, organs,
luggage, street sweepers, germicides, radiators, etc. Great quantities of Lewis machine guns were made here for the
Allies during the World war (1914-1918). Headquarters of the Dairymen's League.
Knit goods manufacture is Utica's leading industry with cotton cloth and cotton goods (white goods)
the second. Utica is (1922) the first city in New York State in white goods manufacture and the second in knit goods
and the first city in the Unites States in general textile industry.
Oneida county is important agricultural and dairying country. Utica was formerly the chief U.S.
cheese market. Watertown is now the leading state cheese market.
Bridge here crosses the Mohawk. Motorists, going east, have option of either north or south shore
roads, both generally good; the south shore road is (1921) generally preferred. Road west on south shore to Oriskany
Battlefield is to be improved to Rome, the north shore being the State and best road in 1921.
Utica is an important Barge canal port, with large terminal docks. Canal channel westward to Rome,
15 m., follows land line cut north of the Mohawk channel.
Old Indian trail center (trails running north, south, east and west) and cross roads of early valley
highways. This fact and river ford here located the city. Site of British Colonial post of Old Fort Schuyler
(1758-1760), just east of Central station.
Valley American army here crossed (August 5, 1777) Mohawk to the south shore on way to the Battle of
Oriskany, August 6, 1777. General Herkimer's force camped here night after Oriskany battle and the wounded General went
east by boat to Fort Herkimer that night. Utica settled about 1785, largely by Yankees and Welsh (city and county).
John Post built river dock, opened a river freight and passenger boat line (to Schenectady) and a general store here in
1790. Mohawk Turnpike (east to Schenectady) and Seneca Turnpike (west to Buffalo) improvements begun in 1800. Town was
a great river, turnpike, canal and railroad early transportation center and figured largely in American troop movements
of War of 1812. Erie canal opened to Rome in 1819. City chartered 1832. Utica & Schenectady railroad opened
1836. Utica & Syracuse railroad opened 1839. Manufacture of white goods (cotton cloth) begun in 1848. Utica was
home of James S. Sherman, U.S. Vice-President (1912-1916), and Gov. Horatio Seymour, Democratic presidential candidate
against Grant in 1868.
Armory of K, L, Hdq. Cos., 10th Infantry, Troop G, 101st Cavalry, New York National Guard.
Oneida Indian ceremonial boulder at Forest Hill cemetery. Extensive beautiful city park system.
House of U.S. Senator Roscoe Conkling. Statue of Gen. Von Steuben (drill master of the Revolution) and Vice President
Sherman. Oneida County Historical Society building, collections open free to the public.
The name of Utica comes from the ancient Phoenecian city of north Africa, which supplanted Carthage
after its conquest by the Romans. Utica is the central great city of New York State the exact geographical center being
eighteen miles west, south of the New York-Buffalo Highway at Eaton Hill.
Utica is "the Cross Roads of New York State." It is also known as "the City of Beautiful Parks."
Oneida Indian name was Yah-nun-da-sis, meaning "trail around the hill," referring to Forest hill at the southern city
limits. Nearby hills, with their distances from the Utica City Hall and the elevation above the Mohawk are: Smith
hill, 4 m. n. e., 803 ft; Bell hill, 7 m. n. e., 1,178 ft.; Frankfort hill, 5 m. s. e., 1,016 ft. Utica is also
called "The City of Trees," referring to its beautiful elm-shaded streets. Utica is the chief center of Welsh
immigration (beginning before 1800) into the United States. Large Italian colony in Utica.
Genesee street leads west to Syracuse, 50 m., Buffalo, 204 m. (over old Seneca turnpike), also
south to Susquehanna valley. 9 m. southwest is Hamilton college, at Clinton. Roads north run through Black River
valley to St. Lawrence and Thousand Islands, north and northeast into Adirondacks. Terminus of New York Central Black
River and St. Lawrence branches and of Utica terminal branches of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western R.R. and the
New York, Ontario & Western R.R. New York Central and West Shore R.R. service. Railroad traffic radiates from the
Aeroplane flying field at Utica. Utica has electric railway connections with Little Falls, Rome,
Clinton, and Oneida to Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo; bus lines to West Winfield, Clayville, Rome, Sylvan Beach,
Boonville, Old Forge, Hinckley, Cleveland, etc.
The south shore Mohawk river road is the old Colonial and Revolutionary
military road to Fort Stanwix
(latter, 1776, Fort Schuyler) at present Rome. On it, just west of the Utica city limits, is the village of Yorkville
and west of Yorkville lies Whitesboro, which with New York Mills (south of Yorkville) all form part of the western
Utica city district.
On to Part III