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First National Bank of Cooperstown, NY - Check - Baseball Hall of Fame

Inv# CK1001   Check
First National Bank of Cooperstown, NY - Check - Baseball Hall of Fame
State(s): New York
Years: 1870's
Color: Blk

Banking Check. Yellow imprinted revenue stamp in the center of the check and a nice vignette of a statue of a man and dog. Titled 'Leatherstocking'.

Cooperstown is a village in and county seat of Otsego County, New York, United States. Most of the village lies within the town of Otsego, but some of the eastern part is in the town of Middlefield. Located at the foot of Otsego Lake in the Central New York Region, Cooperstown is approximately 60 miles (97 kilometers) west of Albany, 67ámi (108ákm) southeast of Syracuse and 145ámi (233ákm) northwest of New York City. The population of the village was 1,852 as of the 2010 census.

Cooperstown is best known as the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The Farmers' Museum, opened in 1944, on farmland that had once belonged to James Fenimore Cooper. The Fenimore Art Museum and Glimmerglass Opera are also based here. Most of the historic pre-1900s core of the village is included in the Cooperstown Historic District, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980; its boundaries were increased in 1997 and more contributing properties were identified.

Before European colonization, Iroquois Indians inhabited the area around the village and Otsego Lake. The name Otsego is from a Mohawk or Oneida word meaning "place of the rock", referring to the large boulder near the lake's outlet, today known as "Council Rock". It is a large boulder whose top is above the water's surface and can be seen from shore. It is believed to have been a meeting place for Native Americans prior to the American Revolutionary War. A small parcel of land near Council Rock was presented to the Village of Cooperstown in 1957, on the condition that it remain open to the public as a park.

The village was developed within part of the Cooper Patent, which William Cooper ľ who later became a county judge ľ purchased in 1785 from Colonel George Croghan, former Deputy to Sir William Johnson, British Superintendent of Indian Affairs of the Northern District. The land amounted to 10,000 acres (40ákm2). William Cooper founded a village on Otsego Lake. His son James Fenimore Cooper grew up in the frontier town. He later became a noted American author with The Leatherstocking Tales, a series of historical novels that includes The Last of the Mohicans.

Cooper established the village of Cooperstown in 1786, laid out by surveyor William Ellison. At the time, the area was part of Montgomery County. It was incorporated as the "Village of Otsego" on April 3, 1807. The name was changed to "Village of Cooperstown" June 12, 1812, after the founder. William Cooper was appointed as a county judge in the late 18th century and was elected to the state assembly from Otsego County.

Cooperstown 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 best known as the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, which was founded in 1939 by Stephen Carlton Clark. According to an interview conducted in 1906 by the Mills Commission, nearby resident Abner Graves attributed the game's invention to his deceased friend, Abner Doubleday. Graves stated that Doubleday invented baseball on a cow pasture within the village in 1839, the present site of Doubleday Field, but this claim is universally discounted by baseball historians.

Once known as the "Village of Museums", until the 1970s Cooperstown also boasted the Indian Museum (adjacent to Lakefront Park), The Carriage and Harness Museum (displaying a world-class collection primarily from F. Ambrose Clark's estate; now the Bassett Hospital offices on Elk Street), and The Woodland Museum near Three Mile Point. The latter, opened in 1962 by heirs to the Anheuser-Busch company, folded in 1974. It ran a close third in annual attendance to the Hall of Fame and Farmers' Museum.

The Cooperstown Historic District, Glimmerglass Historic District, Middlefield District No. 1 School, Fly Creek Historic District, Otsego County Courthouse, and United States Post Office are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Superficially, the downtown commercial district looks not unlike it did in the 1970s. It has undergone significant change since the late 20th century.

Through the 1970s, Main Street was still home to at least five grocery stores, including an A&P. Western Auto had a branch on Main Street and J.J. Newberry's had built, in 1960, a two-story five-and-dime with a fountain and lunch counter. Smalley's, a stage theater converted into a movie theater, had a single screen across from a Farm & Home store. With its post office, library, and the Baseball Hall of Fame, Main Street resembled a true village square.

Today, the village has fewer traditional services for year-round and seasonal residents. Once boasting half a dozen gas stations, the village now has two. Traditional grocers have been reduced to one, and in 1977 Great American was built on the outskirts of town, replacing the town's bowling alley. In 2010 it was converted to a Price Chopper. Hardware stores such as Western Auto, McGown's and Farm & Home have been displaced by an Ace Hardware just outside the village. Newberry's morphed into a single-floor general store with the basement stairs boarded up, and even this general store finally closed entirely in 2017. Sherry's Famous Restaurant closed in the late 1990s after more than half a century of business. Most Main Street shops now cater to the tourist trade and feature gifts and souvenirs.

The Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce, established in 1917, looks to develop business and trade in the Cooperstown region. Serving also as a visitor center in its main office, the Chamber also manages a seasonal kiosk on the corner of Main and Pioneer St for tourists.

Cooperstown was formerly served by the Cooperstown Municipal Airport, which was a two-runway facility fewer than two miles to the northwest of town center. That field closed in the 1960s. The village is now served by a small grass field in nearby Westville and a larger paved one-runway facility in Oneonta, NY.

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