Charles B Knox Gelatine Co. Inc.
Edition of
The Old Mohawk-Turnpike Book

Fort Schuyler Club, Utica.
At the corner of Genesee and Court streets, Utica.

   

UTICA.

(Oneida County)

(Over N.Y.C.R.R., N.Y. 237 m.; Buff. 202 m.; Pop. 1920, 94156, 1910, 74419; sea elevation, 404 feet.)

  

Mohawk Turnpike and New York-Buffalo Highway Distances.

Eastward: Frankfort 10 m., Ilion 12 m., Mohawk 14 m., Herkimer 15 m., Fort Herkimer Church 16 m., Little Falls 22 m., Fink's Basin Bridge (Fall Hill) 24 m., (by detour here to south shore) Gen. Herkimer Homestead 26 m., Indian Castle 28 m., East Creek 29 m., St. Johnsville 32 m., Palatine Church 36 m., Ft. Plain-Nelliston 29 m., (by detour northeast) Stone Arabia Churches 43 m., Canajoharie-Palatine Bridge 42 m., Yosts (the Noses) 47 m., Fonda-Fultonville 53 m., (by detour north) Johnstown 57 m., Gloversville 61 m., (by detour to south side at Fultonville) Auriesville 57 m., Tribes Hill-Fort Hunter 59 m., Fort Johnson 62 m., Amsterdam 64 m., Schenectady 80 m., Albany 96 m., New York 245 m.

Westward: Yorkville 3 m., Whitesboro 4 m., Oriskany 7 m., Oriskany Battlefield Monument 9 m., Rome 15 m. By Seneca Road, Clinton 9 m., Vernon 16 m., Sherrill 20 m., Oneida Castle 23 m., Oneida 24 m., Canastota 30 m., Chittenango 35 m., Fayetteville 41 m., Syracuse 50 m., Rochester 147 m., Buffalo 204 m.

  

Important points eastward are Frankfort, 10 m.; Ilion, 12 m.; 
Herkimer, 15 m., and Little Falls, 22 m.; westward, Oriskany Battlefield, 9 m.; Rome, 15 m.

At the eastern limits of Utica the New York State Masonic Home buildings are located. The eastern limits of the Home property divide the counties of Herkimer and Oneida.

 

New York State Masonic Home.
View of the front of the main building, of which the cornerstone
was laid, May 21, 1891, by John W. Vrooman, Grand Master of 
Masons of the State of New York; dedicated October 6, 1892, by
James Ten Eyck, Grand Master.

New York State Masonic Home.

In the year 1842, Greenfield Pote contributed a dollar toward the establishment of a Masonic Home. Other subscriptions followed. The fund grew through the years and on Sept. 11, 1889, the Grand Lodge purchased 160 acres on which the present buildings now stand. Later land purchases made a total of 300 acres.

Included in the group of Masonic Home buildings are: the administration building, school for children, girls' dormitory, gymnasium building, nurses' home, memorial chapel, Soldiers' and Sailors' Hospital, and subsidiary and farm buildings.

These buildings are open to the public under certain rules and regulations of the Board of Trustees.

May 21, 1891, the corner stone of the main building was laid by John W. Vrooman, Grand Master of Masons of the State of New York. Oct. 6, 1892, this building was dedicated by James Ten Eyck, Grand Master. The other buildings were erected at intervals of a few years. The chapel is the largest and finest Masonic chapel in the world.

The corner stone of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Hospital (costing over $1,000,000) was laid by William S. Farmer, Grand Master, Sept. 20, 1919. With this building, the entire Home property represents an investment of about $3,000,000.

In 1922, the Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Hospital was dedicated with imposing ceremonies and a great Masonic parade, the largest ever held in Utica, with 20,000 Masons in line. A beautiful World War memorial group statue, the gift (1922) of New York city Italian lodges, adorns the northern side of the building. The hospital is for the care of any Masons who may require medical care such as only a hospital of the highest standing can give.

Every boy and girl in the Home may receive a college course, and all children remain here until their general education is completed, when they are given good positions. Religious instruction and training is also afforded. Of the 506 boys and girls here cared for, up to 1921, not one had died while here resident.

Dec. 21, 1920, the Grand Lodge of the State of New York had 888 lodges with 254,282 members.

The New York State Masonic Home, buildings and grounds form one of the chief beauty spots along the Mohawk Turnpike.

  

Utica - Geographical.

New York state's land boundary limits have a peculiar conformation, roughly resembling a three-pointed star. Utica occupies a place very centrally located from all these three points, the northern (178 miles to the Canadian border and 233 to Montreal from Utica), the southeastern with New York city (237 miles from Utica) at its limit and the western with Buffalo (202 miles from Utica) at its western end. The foregoing are railroad mileage figures over the New York Central Lines.

Utica is near the geographical center for the state, the actual point being about twenty miles west, at Eaton Hill, 1,340 feet sea elevation.

Utica virtually lies at the western limits of the highlands of the Mohawk, which gradually recede from the narrow river flats, west of Dutch Hill (1,060 ft. sea el., 3 m. e. of Utica), on the southern shore and Starling creek, opposite this small mountain on the northern shore. The city lies in this westerly widening basin of river flatlands, which are here three miles in width, from the base of the Adirondack foothills known as Deerfield hills on the north to the foot of Forest Hill (832 ft. sea el. and 428 ft. above the Mohawk) on the southern city limits. The city site is practically level, the rise from the Mohawk to the base of Forest Hill being only 80 feet in the three miles, ne. to sw., in which lie the Utica municipal limits. From the Genesee street river bridge to the Mohawk Turnpike (north shore) at Deerfield Corners, lies a practically level flat a mile in width. Deerfield township of Oneida county, lies opposite Utica, on the north bank of the Mohawk. To the west is the Oneida county township of Whitestown, south that of Hartford and to the east the townships of Frankfort and Schuyler, Herkimer county.

  

Frankfort Hill, 1,016 Feet, and Forest Hill, 428 Feet Above the Mohawk.

Beautiful Forest Hill cemetery is located on this sightly spur of Frankfort Hill, a small mountain, 1,420 ft. sea el. and a height above the Mohawk of 1,016 feet. Its summit lies 2 m. s. e. of the city limits. Several city reservoirs lie on the slope of this hill.

A tall monument on the summit of New Forest cemetery, adjoining Forest Hill cemetery, marks the grave of Justus H. Rathbone (1839-1899) , founder in 1864 of the Order of the Knights of Pythias. Many famous Uticans are buried on this sightly hill and here is one of the noted "Oneida stones", which came from Oneida Castle in 1849, these stones being connected with their rites and ceremonials.

  

Utica's Beautiful Parks.

Utica is surrounded to the southward by a series of beautiful parks, the gift to the city of Mr. Thomas R. Proctor. On the west side are Addison C. Miller and Horatio Seymour parks. On the south side is Roscoe Conkling park, the largest in the city. This lies on the northern front of Forest Hill. It has tennis courts, a baseball diamond and a menagerie and deer park. Forest Hill is a western spur of Frankfort Hill and rises 428 feet above the Mohawk, thus commanding an extensive view of the city and the upper Mohawk Valley. A statue of Mr. Proctor stands on the central slope of this park. Thomas R. Proctor and Frederick T. Proctor parks lie on the east side of the city adjacent to the Masonic Home grounds. Starch Factory creek is a picturesque feature of these parks. All these parks are connected by a parkway, in which stand statues of Vice-President Sherman, General Steuben and the picturesque Hiker statue, a figure of a Spanish War soldier commemorating Utica's part in that conflict. A monument to Utica's soldiers and sailors of the Civil War stands on Genesee street, in Oneida Square.

  

Deerfield Hills and Bell Hill (1582 feet sea el.), Highest Mohawk Mountain.

The Deerfield Hills, north of Utica, are southern foothills of the Adirondacks. They are the western heights of the Hasenclever group of hills which form the western watershed of the West Canada creek. The main Deerfield hill summits, from east to west, are Bell Hill, 1,178 ft. above the Mohawk and 1,582 above the sea; Smith Hill, 803 ft. above river, 1,207 ft. above sea; Marcy Hill, 1,260 ft. above sea, 856 ft. above Mohawk. Bell Hill is the highest summit rising directly from the Mohawk river flats. Its gentle slope is deceptive as to its height. Smith Hill is the northern height, seen framed by the buildings of lower Genesee street. The best Utica view of the Deerfield Hills is from Forest Hill (832 ft. sea el., 428 ft. above the Mohawk), in Roscoe Conkling park. Fine views of Utica are obtained from the Black River road over the Deerfield Hills.

West of Utica the Mohawk south shore heights rapidly recede from the river, the edge of these Appalachian highlands running almost due west from Forest Hill. Westward from Utica the main summits of these foothills are Crow Hill (1,303 ft., 5 m. s. w.), College Hill (1,080 ft. at Clinton, 10 m. w.) , Prospect Hill (1,380 ft., 12 m. w.), Eaton Hill (1,340 ft., 18 m. w. and 5 m. s. e. of Oneida Castle, 24 m. w.) , which is the geographical center of New York State. These highlands are the most northerly of the Appalachian mountains in New York State.

  

New York - Buffalo Highway - Seneca Road, Utica to Syracuse, 50 Miles.

The old Seneca road section of the New York-Buffalo automobile highway skirts the northern base of these foothills from Utica to Syracuse, 50 m. w. This is the present (1924) main route of this great highway between these two cities.

  

"The Road of Memory."

In 1921 a movement was inaugurated to make the New York-Buffalo Highway a "Road of Memory," with hundreds of thousands of native trees planted along its 450-mile length to commemorate the brave sons of New York state who fell in the World war. The initial planting of these memorial trees was scheduled for 1921 when 20,000 elms were to be set out on the Utica-Syracuse section.

  

Old Genesee Street, Utica.
Old time Utica mansions, in 1922, on Genesee street south of
Hopper.  Business is rapidly advancing southward on Genesee.  The
house on the left has since been remodeled for offices and a filling
station located immediately southward.

Genesee Street.

Genesee street, one of America's most beautiful avenues, is the backbone of Utica and its most characteristic feature. One cannot think of Utica without visualizing Genesee street. It runs from old Deerfield Corners, on the Mohawk Turnpike in present Utica, west beyond New Hartford, in which six miles it is built up the entire distance. Actually the same street is building northward, on the Black River road, so that Genesee street before many years, will extend as a built up tree-lined street from Deerfield Hills to Clinton and Hamilton College, a distance of twelve miles. From Baggs Square to beyond Hopper Street Genesee street is a business street, traversing the heart of the business section, which is rapidly encroaching on the Genesee street residential section, southwest. Many of Utica's finest business buildings and residences lie on Genesee street.

Genesee street was originally the Indian trail to the Seneca country, later known as the Genesee Road and improved as the Seneca Road in 1800, by which name this beginning of the road to Buffalo is known today. The trail from Old Fort Schuyler and the Mohawk river passed over present Park Avenue and met the Genesee trail at present Oneida Square.

Genesee street is the Mohawk river crossroads of a trail which runs from the St. Lawrence river to Utica and thence by forks south to Chesapeake Bay and west to Buffalo.

In the Turnpike mileage distances published herein, the Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo distances given are those over the Utica-Syracuse section of the New York-Buffalo Highway, as that is the recognized main line section of 1924. As all automobile distance recording machines vary, the reader may find the New York Central distances, given herein, of use as these railroad distances are naturally the limit of accuracy.

At Utica the New York-Buffalo highway has a sea level elevation of about 440 feet, the same as that of the divide at Karner's between Albany and Schenectady. The Utica-Syracuse highway reaches its highest point at Lairdsville, 10 miles west of Utica and 3 m. w. of Kirkland, at a sea elevation of 720 feet.

Three small streams pass through the city and enter the Mohawk, the most westerly having had its bed utilized by the Chenango canal, now (1924) abandoned. the other creeks are Ballou and Starch Factory creeks. The Sauquoit enters the Mohawk between the western city suburban villages of Yorkville and Whitesboro. Several suburban industrial places are located on the Sauquoit south of Utica.

In the construction of the Barge canal (1905-1918) a moveable dam and a terminal lock were located at Utica terminal harbor. West of Utica to Rome the Barge canal follows a land line cut on the north side of the Mohawk river.

The New York State Hospital for the Insane is located near the western limits of Utica. The Marcy division of the Utica State Hospital is located on the Utica-Rome highway, about five miles west of Utica.

  

Utica Characteristics.

Utica still maintains the pleasant reserve and dignity of handsome iron fences and hedges about its better residences - a feature again properly coming into vogue.

Utica has other characteristics all its own differentiating it from the American Mohawk Valley towns to the eastward with their "Mohawk Dutch" antecedents. Utica shows its British heritage by observing Christmas eve with lighted candles and household illumination. Utica has its Proctor day (June 11) and its Kite day. Its ragamuffin parade is on Election day night, instead of Thanksgiving day, as in New York. Halloween is widely observed, its parties often stretching over two weeks time.

  

Utica, Charitable, Social, Fraternal.

Utica has the General, Faxton, Homeopathic, St. Luke's and St. Elizabeth's hospitals, Home for the Homeless, Home for the Aged, Utica Orphan Asylum, St. Vincent's Industrial School, House of the Good Shepard, and the New York State Masonic Home. There are a number of private schools.

Utica Day School and the Yahnundahsis Golf Club are located at New Hartford. The Utica Golf and Country Club is at New York Mills; the Sadaquada Golf Club on Hart's Hill. An aeroplane flying field has been located at Utica.

Utica has several orphan asylums, 28 public schools, incorporated community chest, through which funds are raised annually in one week's intensive effort; there are many thousand contributors to this chest; 70 churches, representing all denominations; 23 Masonic organizations; five modern hospitals; the very best hotel accommodations with ample facilities in up-to-date hostelries to care for all large gatherings that may assemble in Utica; 60 fraternal societies; 16 organizations of Odd Fellows; many clubs, including three for women; and Elks' lodge, with a membership of two thousand and possessing a magnificent club house; Knights of Columbus Council, owning and occupying commodious property which includes club house, auditorium, gymnasium, swimming pool, etc.; Rotary, Kiwanis, Exchange, Lions, Harmony, Kirotex, Ad and Zonta luncheon clubs. Other clubs include the Fort Schuyler club, Elks club, City club, University club, Moose club, Republican club, Y. M. C. A., Y. W. C. A., etc.

  

Utica Schools, Public Library, Music and Art Center.

Utica's schools are noted for their efficiency. Utica Free Academy, occupying a series of large and attractive buildings is famous for a century of high educational standards.

The Utica Public Library has a beautiful building on Genesee street and is recognized as one of the model public libraries of the State. It has an art gallery which houses frequent traveling exhibitions. Here the Utica Society of Fine Arts (organized in 1922) holds its annual exhibition, while it maintains an art school elsewhere.

Utica is a noted musical center for a city of its size, largely because of its large proportion of Americans of Welsh descent, insuring a racial heritage of music. There are a number of musical organizations and a Conservatory of Music has been in existence here for many years. Organs for churches and theaters are made in Utica.

There are several musical clubs, including the B Sharp club, composed of 1,500 women; the Haydns, a famous male chorus, and the Philharmonics, a mixed chorus that has won laurels over a wide territory. In addition, Utica is the home of the Cymreigyddion society which each year conducts a great Welsh musical festival covering a period of several days and attracting vast throngs from the eastern states to compete in the various musical contests or to enjoy this wonderful occasion of music, art and story. Here also recently was organized the National Eisteddfod Association, a Welsh organization devoted to the promotion of music and art.

Utica is a church city, with many handsome churches representing nearly all the leading denominations, many of these churches being fine specimens of architecture. There are 70 churches in Utica.

The amusement side of Utica is well represented by theaters and moving picture houses. Utica has for years supported an excellent stock company during the summer months.

  

Oneida County Historical Society.

In the Munson-Williams Memorial building are located the important historical collections of the Oneida County Historical Society. They are open free to the public which is cordially invited to inspect them.

  

Utica - Industrial, Statistical, Power.

Utica has hydro-electric power service and a park system comprising 543 acres. Its abundant supply of soft water is a valuable city asset.

The 1924 area of Utica was 20 1/2 square miles, which will probably necessarily be enlarged to accommodate the growth of the city.

Utica was incorporated as a city in 1832. In 1910, 36 per cent of the population was of foreign parentage and nearly 29 per cent of foreign birth, southern and eastern Europeans predominating.

Utica has mills that operate approximately 400,000 spindles; industries that convert 150,000 bales of cotton into yarns and fabrics annually; foundries that use over 100,000 tons of iron each year.

A plentiful supply of hydro-electric power, generated at Trenton Falls, north of Utica, is available here. This hydro-electric power is supplemented by an extensive steam plant system. The development of the proposed super-power plan in the eastern states contemplates Utica as one of the load centers and distributing points. This fact is of vast significance and importance and will prove a powerful incentive for locating many new industries in Utica.

The Utica gas and Electric Co. owns and operates the Trenton Falls hydro-electric plant (producing 35,000 hp. in 1924 from its plants there, at Little Falls and at Dolgeville) , together with a city steam plant. This company issued a very handsome and informing work on the industry and transportation of the upper Mohawk Valley in 1923, entitled "The Upper Mohawk Valley."

  

Utica, America's Textile Center.

Utica is the center of an industrial district producing a great variety and amount of manufactures, which are constantly increasing. The textile industry is Utica's greatest manufacturing line and Utica is the chief textile manufacturing center in the United States.

In 1919, Utica had 370 factories, with 18,564 workers; 40,419 primary horsepower; capital of $67,255,000; annual value manufactured product of $77,746,000 (1920 U.S. Census report).

In 1924, Utica manufactured white goods, cotton yarn, cloth and worsteds, heating furnaces, metal beds and springs, firearms, fire apparatus, locomotive repairs, machinery, brass goods, automobile and wheel rims, metal goods, cutlery, engines, clothing, millinery, food products, cigars and tobacco, paper goods, paper, woodworking, furniture, pearl buttons, knit goods, caps, fire alarms, street sweepers, air compressors, fishing rods and tackle, trunks and luggage, germicides, radiators, church organs, printed and lithographed goods, engraving, woolen cloth, corduroy cloth, sheets and pillow cases, toys, suspenders, box board, paper boxes, emblems, badges, auto bodies and accessories, metal stampings, farm implements, chemical products, extracts, sportsmen's clothing, sporting rifles and pistols, buffing wheels, pliers and nippers, boilers, tanks, mail boxes, electric washing machines, refrigerator equipment, etc.

For information regarding Utica's manufacturing and industrial features and possibilities write Secretary, Utica Chamber of Commerce, 8 Elizabeth street, Utica. The Chamber publishes "Greater Utica" and the "Utica Blue Book".

According to the census of 1920, Utica was proportionately the fastest growing city in New York State. Its 1924 population is estimated at 110,000, with 135,000 in the Utica metropolitan district, within a radius of ten miles of the Utica City Hall. The increase in population and material wealth of Utica has, however, been solid, substantial and enduring. Inflation and boom methods are discredited here.

  

Utica, Banking and Insurance Center.

Utica is an important banking, financial and insurance center of New York State, these institutions being housed in handsome buildings.

There are three National banks, three Trust companies, one Savings bank and two State banks in Utica. Their combined resources are $150,000,000. Savings deposits in these institutions aggregate $80,000,000.

  

Utica, Wholesale and Retail Business Center.

Utica is an important manufacturing and transportation center of America. It is also increasingly important as a wholesale and retail business center, receiving the trade of the western Mohawk Valley, the Adirondack region (of which it is a gateway) and of that of a great part of Northern New York, while to the south, it competes with Syracuse for the trade of the Susquehanna Valley. Utica has an increasing number of beautiful specialty shops, while its larger stores give metropolitan shopping opportunities. In every way Utica is passing from the conservatism of its earlier growth and taking on the character of a metropolis of Central New York. Its fine banking, insurance, office and store and other structures are constantly increasing in number.

  

Dairy Center and Milk Shipping.

Utica is a center of the great belt of dairy country which runs north and south through central eastern New York - up the Hudson and Mohawk valleys to Utica and Rome, thence up the Black River valley to the St. Lawrence and along the St. Lawrence and the Canadian frontier to Lake Champlain.

Utica is the (1924) headquarters of the Dairymen's League. It is the point from which milk from the north is sent to New York at express speed. Milk is one of the chief items of the express traffic of the New York Central and the Mohawk Valley fills a great part of the metropolitan milk can. Following the decline of Little Falls (about 1890) as the chief cheese market of the east, Utica became the chief market for a number of years, but Watertown is (1924) now the chief eastern market, with Gouverneur in second place.

  

Utica, Transportation.

The location and site of Utica offer possibilities for great industrial development. The railroad terminal facilities are unsurpassed, all roads entering Utica having the privilege of use of all the city railroad freight terminals. The Barge canal affords waterway transportation to Duluth on the Great Lakes, New Orleans on the Gulf of Mexico (by way of the Chicago canal and the Mississippi river) and to New York city on the Atlantic. The great trunk highways entering Utica allow motor freight trucking to all points. The electric power available and possible and the large amount of level land, lying close to these transportation routes, afford most unusual industrial possibilities. Roger W. Babson, the financial expert, in 1922 prophesied that the Mohawk Valley, because of its strategic industrial position, would eventually become America's greatest manufacturing district - and he has made investments to back his own faith.

 

Union Station, Utica.
A fine modern railroad station, costing $2,000,000.  All New York
Central trains but one stop at the Utica station.

Utica, Railroad Center.

Utica is known as the "Crossroads of New York State." It occupies a dominating position as a center of railroad and automobile transportation. In the days of canal transportation, it was also a waterway center as the Chenango canal from the south here met the Erie canal and, 15 miles west, the Black River canal entered the Erie at Rome.

Utica is a railroad and automobile gateway northward to the Adirondacks, Thousand Islands and Canada and southward to the Susquehanna Valley.

Utica is a very important railroad center of the northeastern United States. The beautiful Union station is one of the finest in the east and serves the following lines:

New York Central Railroad; all Central trains but one (1924) stop at Utica.

West Shore Railroad.

New York Central, St. Lawrence division, north to Trenton (Trenton Falls) 18 m., Remsen 22 m., Lowville 59 m., Watertown 83 m., Cape Vincent 98 m., Carthage 75 m., Philadelphia 88 m., Clayton (Thousand Islands) 95 m., Ogdensburg 135 m., Potsdam 142 m., Massena Springs 161 m.

New York Central, Adirondack division, north to Thendara (Fulton Chain) 52 m., Tupper Lake Junction 108 m., Saranac Lake 132 m., Lake Placid 142 m., Malone 167 m., Montreal 233 m., Ottawa division (from Tupper Lake Junction), Cornwall, Ont., 178 m.; Ottawa, Ont., 235 m.

The word Adirondack means "tree-eaters," and was applied in contempt by the Iroquois Indians of New York State to their Algonquin Indian enemies in Canada.

Utica branch, Delaware, Lackawanna and Western, running south to Binghamton, with a branch to Richfield Springs and Canadarago (Schuyler) Lake.

Utica branch, New York, Ontario and Western, running south to Norwich, Walton and Weehawken.

The New York State Railways operate electric trolley lines eastward to Little Falls, westward to Rome and Syracuse.

The New York Central Railroad maintains a railroad school, where instruction is given in telegraphy, station work and other branches of railroading in the Union Station.

  

New York Central Lines, World's Greatest Company
- Value $2,000,000,000 -
Only Six Track Railroad in the World Through Mohawk Valley.

The New York Central Lines constitute not only the biggest business enterprise in the Mohawk Valley but the most valuable property under one management in the World, being valued at two billion dollars. It is also the World's greatest railroad system.

The Mohawk division (Albany to Syracuse) is the oldest and most important division of the New York Central Lines carrying not only the New York metropolitan district traffic but that of Boston and New England to the west and return. Its passenger, mail express, milk and freight haulage is enormous. The Central and West Shore tracks, from Rotterdam Junction to Syracuse, on the Mohawk division, cinstitute the only six-track railroad in the World. The New York Central Lines haul one-tenth of the railroad traffic of the United States. All Mohawk River towns, from Rome to Schenectady, are fortunate to be situated on the main line of the World's Greatest railroad and Utica is particularly favored as it is an important junction point of the New York Central Lines.

  

Automobilists' Information Bureau.

The Utica Motor Club maintains an office in the Hotel Utica, with branch offices in the Hotel Martin and Baggs Hotel, which offers every aid and direction to automobilists who stop at this "Cross-Roads of New York State."

  

On to Utica, Part II

     

  

  

      

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