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News of Otsego County

boating

For The Love Of Boating

For The Love Of Boating

Since 1975, Larger Boats On Otsego Lake,
But Owners Using More Smaller Craft, Too

Editor’s Note: Bill Harman has led SUNY Oneonta’s Biological Field Station on Otsego Lake since its founding.

The Otsego Lake Association’s Fourth of July Boat Parade gives boaters – ever more of them since the Biological Field Station began tracking them in 1975 – a chance to celebrate the Glimmerglass they love. In the background is Mount Wellington, the Sleeping Lion. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Bill Harman

Historically, as in all our inland lakes after the original European settlement, rowboats, canoes, and sailboats capable of carrying a few passengers dominated Otsego Lake.

Early on it provided a corridor between the waters of the Mohawk drainage and the Southern Atlantic states via the Susquehanna River and was of national importance. It was used for a diversity of commercial and military activities over that length of time.

The first dirt road was built up the east side of the lake by William Cooper in 1787. By 1818, sections of road had begun to be built along the west side of the lake between Cooperstown and Springfield, but there was no direct route until about 1917.

Those early roads did not provide access to hotels and residences along the lake since they were constructed along the ridgetops to avoid the necessity of building bridges over the many streams running to the lake.

During that period, the lake itself served for commercial as well as recreational transportation. The first steamboat was launched in 1858. The last commercial steam vessel plied the lake in 1933.

During the height of those activities in 1894, 10 steam-powered vessels were active on the lake. At least two, the “Natty Bumppo” and the “Cyclone,” could carry more than 300 passengers.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, SEPT. 17
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, SEPT. 17

Race On The Lake

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GLIMMERGLASS REGATTA – 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Celebrate the 50th regatta with Otsego sailing club. See the races on Otsego Lake. Otsego Sailing Club, 5992 St. Rt. 80, Cooperstown. Call 607-547-9473 or visit www.facebook.com/Otsego-Sailing-Club-810835935714714/

THEATER – 2 p.m. Orpheus Theater presents “Spring Awakening.” Hamblin Theater, SUNY Oneonta. Call (607) 432-9392 or visit www.orpheustheatre.org

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, SEPT. 16
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, SEPT. 16

Celebrate The Harvest

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HARVEST FESTIVAL – 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Celebrate the fall harvest with food, music, and activities for all. The Farmers Museum, Cooperstown. www.farmersmuseum.org/Harvest-Festival

LUMBERFEST – 9 a.m.-5 p.m. See timbersports, enjoy activities with Hanford Mills, go on a train ride, do a project, see a demonstration, more. Free, open to public. Co. Rt. 35a, Portlandville. Visit WightmanLumber.com

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103