The Village of Cooperstown, NY is located in the Leatherstocking Region on the southern shore of Ostego Lake. The village lies primarily within the town of Ostego with some of the eastern part in the town of Middlefield.
The village was home to renowned author James Fenimore Cooper. He was best known for The Leatherstocking Tales, a series of historical novels that includes The Last of the Mohicans. However, it was his father William Cooper who is the namesake of this village.
William Cooper purchased the Cooper Patent in 1785. He established the village of Cooperstown in 1786. It was incorporated as the Village of Ostego in 1807, but in 1812, the name was changed back to the Village of Cooperstown. It is one of only twelve villages in New York still incorporated under a charter, the other villages having incorporated or re-incorporated under the provisions of Village Law.
Cooperstown is proud to boast of itself as the home of baseball. Today, it is best known as the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. It’s sister city is Windsor, Nova Scotia because Windsor is the home of hockey. Both location homes of the pastime of their respective nation.
Among the notable historic year-round or summer residents of Cooperstown was Abner Doubleday, a Civil War officer and the apocryphal inventor of baseball. Hopefully, while you were in Seneca Falls, you took a quick trip over to Leo Pinckney Field at Falcon Park to catch an Auburn Doubledays game and got a lovely photo with the mascot, Abner.
Don’t miss out on Doubleday Field located on the former cow pasture where baseball was invented in 1839 by Abner Doubleday, but only according to his friend Abner Graves.
LEG 1: ACTIVITY (choose one)
Body of Water – Otsego Lake
Start/End Point – Leatherstocking Golf Course
LEG 3: RUN
Run to the heart of the village and then all around it. If you are going to do an out and back, you might as well do it to see a bronze statue like “The Hunter”.
Distance 4.45 miles Elevation 275 feet
This 75-minute tour will give you a great overview of the main attractions in Cooperstown. If you have time, follow up this tour with the Beverage Trail Tour to explore all the brewery, winery, cidery, distillery choices that Cooperstown has to offer.
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
The Hall of Fame’s collection contains more than 40,000 three-dimensional artifacts, including bats, balls, gloves, and uniforms donated by players and fans. The collection grows by roughly 400 artifacts each year. The curators tell the story of the National Pastime through exhibits.
Fenimore Art Museum
Located on the former property of James Fenimore Cooper, the museum is known for its collections of American folk art and the renowned Thaw Collection of American Indian Art. Here you will also find a collection of original handwritten letters that fueled the rift between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.
In 1996, Belgian breweries Duval Moortgat, Affligem, and Scaldis joined with importers/entrepreneurs Don Feinberg and Wendy Littlefield to build the first farmhouse brewery in America in 100+ years.
The Farmers Museum is one of the oldest living museums, allowing visitors to experience village life and agriculture in New York State circa 1845. The museum features exhibits, craft demonstrations, and hands-on activities. Daily chores are carried out at this working farm while commerce takes place at the Village Crossroads.
Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad
Built in 1869, the railroad was restored in the late 90s to give you a chance to experience what was once the primary form of transportation through the country, riding the rails. Vintage rail cars and locomotives will take you through the scenic wilderness of the upper Susquehanna River Valley.