Discover the History of Cooperstown, NY

When most people think of the history of Cooperstown, NY, they can’t help but immediately think of baseball. But there is so much more to Cooperstown than as the hometown of America’s favorite pastime.

While many visitors flock, every year, to Cooperstown to pay tribute to their favorite baseball heroes at the Baseball Hall of Fame, along the way some also discover an important piece of America’s heritage, rich in history, natural beauty, art, and architecture. Cooperstown offers more than just baseball with the Fenimore Art Museum, The Farmer’s Museum, it’s historic districts, and many other unique attractions that make it America’s best small town. Discover the history of Cooperstown, NY with these things to do on your next vacation.

Home to the famous author James Fenimore Cooper

The history of Cooperstown, NY begins with William Cooper who, through his visionary ways, founded Cooperstown in 1786. The son of William, James Fenimore Cooper, also known as America’s first internationally recognized novelist, is probably the most famous historical figure of Cooperstown. While James Fenimore may not be the most recognizable name to some, a few of his novels are well-known around the world including Last of the Mohicans, The Leatherstocking, and The Spy.

Antique engraved portrait of James Fenimore Cooper.

After much of his travels, James returned to Cooperstown and settled on his farm and land, which is now the Fenimore Art Museum. The museum currently maintains a collection of his personal artifacts from the famous novelist that visitors can view year-round.

Antique illustration of Fenimore Cooper house in Cooperstown

The National Baseball Hall of Fame

Home to Doubleday Field and The National Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown is probably best known for its significant contributions to the game of baseball. Doubleday Field, originally an old cow pasture, was where locals used to play what was then called “town ball.” It is believed that a Civil War general Abner Doubleday laid out the first baseball diamond on this very field, thus the history of baseball began.

image of the baseball hall of fame

Glimmerglass Historic District

The district itself spans over 15,000 acres, which include the village of Cooperstown. Most of Cooperstown’s historical presence can be experienced by biking the scenic loop around Otsego Lake. Here visitors will pass by the Glimmerglass State Park, National Baseball Hall of Fame, Fenimore Art Museum, the Glimmerglass Festival and more. Also, discover some of the places made famous by some of Fenimore’s novels including the Sunken Island and Natty Bumppo’s Cave. 

Fly Creek Historic District

The Fly Creek Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. The area demonstrates the feel of a mid-nineteenth century village with clusters of water-powered mills along the roadside. Experience the workings of the 160-year old Fly Creek Cider Mill that presses fresh cider every year, during harvest season. 

A bit of hop history

Beer lovers unite here in Cooperstown as upstate New York has a long-standing reputation for being the leading producer of hops in the mid-1800s, at one point producing more than three million pounds annually. Crops that were grown in Otsego County were hailed as the best in America and competed against hops being produced around the world. In modern-day Cooperstown this history of hops lives on with The Farmer’s Museum annual event, Hopsego and the many breweries around town like Brewery Ommegang.

We also capture the spirit of our hop history at The Inn at Cooperstown with our bed and brew packages with Brewery Ommegang.

The historic Inn at Cooperstown

To continue your historic journey through Cooperstown, plan for a stay at The Inn at Cooperstown. Our Cooperstown Inn hotel is a historic landmark and a beautiful example of Second Empire architecture. The building’s architect, Henry J. Hardenbergh was most noted for his designs of the Dakota Apartments and the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

image of the inn at cooperstown

Discover our historic charm and character that is carried throughout the inn with unique details and furnishings in each of our rooms. We offer spacious accommodations that come with an exceptional level of comfortability and elegance. Discover the history of Cooperstown by booking your stay with us today!