Waterville, New York

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Waterville, New York
Waterville Triangle Historic District Sep 09.jpg
Oneida County New York incorporated and unincorporated areas Waterville highlighted.svg
Location in Oneida County and the state of New York.
Coordinates: 42°55′54″N75°22′36″W / 42.93167°N 75.37667°W / 42.93167; -75.37667 Coordinates: 42°55′54″N75°22′36″W / 42.93167°N 75.37667°W / 42.93167; -75.37667
Country United States
State New York
County Oneida
  Total1.3 sq mi (3.4 km2)
  Land1.3 sq mi (3.4 km2)
  Water0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation1,201 ft (366 m)
Population (2010)
  Estimate (2016) [1] 1,542
  Density1,200/sq mi (470/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
  Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code 13480
Area code(s) 315
FIPS code 36-78663 [2]
GNIS feature ID0968917 [3]

Waterville (called Ska-na-wis, "long swamp" by the Haudenosaunee [4] ) is a village in Oneida County, New York, United States. According to the 2010 census, its population was 1,583.

Iroquois Northeast Native American confederacy

The Iroquois or Haudenosaunee are a historically powerful northeast Native American confederacy. They were known during the colonial years to the French as the Iroquois League, and later as the Iroquois Confederacy, and to the English as the Five Nations, comprising the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, and Seneca. After 1722, they accepted the Tuscarora people from the Southeast into their confederacy and became known as the Six Nations.

Village Small clustered human settlement smaller than a town

A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet but smaller than a town, with a population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand. Though villages are often located in rural areas, the term urban village is also applied to certain urban neighborhoods. Villages are normally permanent, with fixed dwellings; however, transient villages can occur. Further, the dwellings of a village are fairly close to one another, not scattered broadly over the landscape, as a dispersed settlement.

Oneida County, New York County in the United States

Oneida County is a county located in the state of New York, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 234,878. The county seat is Utica. The name is in honor of the Oneida, one of the Five Nations of the Iroquois League or Haudenosaunee, which had long occupied this territory at the time of European encounter and colonization. The federally recognized Oneida Indian Nation has had a reservation in the region since the late 18th century, after the American Revolutionary War.



Long the traditional territory of the Iroquoian-speaking Oneida people of the Haudenosaunee, the Waterville area was first settled by European Americans circa 1792 after the United States victory in the American Revolutionary War. The US forced the Iroquois Confederacy to cede most of its land in New York state. The settlement was known as "The Huddle". In 1808, the settlement formally took the name of Waterville. The village is named after Waterville, Maine. [5]

Oneida people ethnic group

The Oneida are a Native American tribe and First Nations band. They are one of the five founding nations of the Iroquois Confederacy in the area of upstate New York, particularly near the Great Lakes. The Iroquois call themselves Haudenosaunee in reference to their communal lifestyle and the construction style of their dwellings.

American Revolutionary War War between Great Britain and the Thirteen Colonies, which won independence as the United States of America

The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War of Independence, was an 18th-century war between Great Britain and its Thirteen Colonies which declared independence as the United States of America.

Waterville, Maine City in Maine, United States

Waterville is a city in Kennebec County, Maine, United States, on the west bank of the Kennebec River. The city is home to Colby College and Thomas College. As of the 2010 census the population was 15,722, and in 2017 the estimated population was 16,600. Along with Augusta, Waterville is one of the principal cities of the Augusta-Waterville, ME Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Hops (humulus lupulus) were introduced to the area in about 1820; by 1875, Waterville was considered the "Hops Capital of the World." [6] Several inventions related to the cultivation and curing of hops were developed locally, the most important of which was liquid hop extract. The International Hop Stock Exchange was established in the 1860s.

Hops female flowers of Humulus lupulus

Hops are the flowers of the hop plant Humulus lupulus. They are used primarily as a bittering, flavouring, and stability agent in beer, to which, in addition to bitterness, they impart floral, fruity, or citrus flavours and aromas. Hops are also used for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine. The hop plant is a vigorous, climbing, herbaceous perennial, usually trained to grow up strings in a field called a hopfield, hop garden, or hop yard when grown commercially. Many different varieties of hops are grown by farmers around the world, with different types used for particular styles of beer.

Perspective map of Waterville from 1885 with list of landmarks by L.R. Burleigh Waterville, N.Y., 1885 LOC 78692967.jpg
Perspective map of Waterville from 1885 with list of landmarks by L.R. Burleigh

With the introduction of railway service in 1867, chiefly the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad, Waterville became a major shipping point for hops-related cargo; "Waterville Hops" and hop extract were shipped to brewers all over the world. The economic prosperity fueled by the hop industry was reflected by merchants building fine Victorian-style homes. By the 1920s, hop production began to wane, due primarily to poor agricultural technology. By the close of the 1940s, Waterville's working hop farms had all been converted to other uses. Some locals continue to grow hops as a recreational "tip of the hat" to Waterville's past.

Victorian architecture series of architectural revival styles

Victorian architecture is a series of architectural revival styles in the mid-to-late 19th century. Victorian refers to the reign of Queen Victoria (1837–1901), called the Victorian era, during which period the styles known as Victorian were used in construction. However, many elements of what is typically termed "Victorian" architecture did not become popular until later in Victoria's reign. The styles often included interpretations and eclectic revivals of historic styles. The name represents the British and French custom of naming architectural styles for a reigning monarch. Within this naming and classification scheme, it followed Georgian architecture and later Regency architecture, and was succeeded by Edwardian architecture.

The Loomis Gang, a notorious group of horse thieves, lived and operated in the Waterville area during the mid-nineteenth century. [6] Beyond documented history, there is much folklore associated with the Loomis family, including legends of ghosts that haunt the Nine Mile Swamp area located one mile south of Waterville.

The Loomis Gang was a family of outlaws who operated in central New York during the mid-19th century.

Also of interest is the former home of George Eastman, the father of the Kodak Company. Kodak made, and continues to make, high-quality cameras and accessories. The parking lot across from St. Bernard's Church is the approximate site of Eastman's former residence.

George Eastman American entrepreneur, inventor and photographer

George Eastman was an American entrepreneur who founded the Eastman Kodak Company and popularized the use of roll film, helping to bring photography to the mainstream. Roll film was also the basis for the invention of motion picture film stock in 1888 by the world's first film-makers Eadweard Muybridge and Louis Le Prince, and a few years later by their followers Léon Bouly, William Kennedy Dickson, Thomas Edison, the Lumière Brothers, and Georges Méliès.

Kodak American photographic and film company

The Eastman Kodak Company is an American technology company that produces camera-related products with its historic basis on photography. The company is headquartered in Rochester, New York, and is incorporated in New Jersey. Kodak provides packaging, functional printing, graphic communications and professional services for businesses around the world. Its main business segments are Print Systems, Enterprise Inkjet Systems, Micro 3D Printing and Packaging, Software and Solutions, and Consumer and Film. It is best known for photographic film products.


Waterville is located at 42°55′54″N75°22′36″W / 42.93167°N 75.37667°W / 42.93167; -75.37667 (42.931591, -75.376538). [7]

The Village of Waterville is on the border of the Town of Marshall and the Town of Sangerfield - two subdivisions of Oneida County, New York.

New York State Route 12 runs north-south through the center of town, where it intersects New York State Route 315. One mile south of the village, U.S. Route 20 runs east-west and intersects Route 12 in Sangerfield, New York.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2), all of it land except Big Creek, a tributary to the Oriskany Creek that runs through the center of town crossing under Sanger Avenue (Route 12) and paralleling Buell Avenue (Route 315). Rolling hills, farmland, and mixed forests are found in the surrounding area. Other nearby bodies of water include Chittening Pond, Bailey Lake, Gorton Lake, the Waterville Reservoirs (headwaters of Big Creek) and the Nine Mile Swamp.

The nearest city, Utica, New York, lies approximately fifteen miles north of the village. At 1,200 feet MSL, the village is at a higher elevation than Utica, which is located in the Mohawk River Valley. By Route 20, Waterville is approximately sixty miles east of Syracuse, NY and eighty miles west of Albany, NY.

To the east of the village is Tassel Hill, the highest point in Oneida County at 1,945 feet above sea level. Tassel hill is located in the Tassel Hill State Forest, which offers all-season recreational opportunities such as camping, hiking, biking, ATV-riding, and snowmobiling. Nearby is the Albert J. Woodford State Forest.


Historical population
1890 2,024
1900 1,571−22.4%
1910 1,410−10.2%
1920 1,255−11.0%
1930 1,2983.4%
1940 1,48914.7%
1950 1,6349.7%
1960 1,90116.3%
1970 1,808−4.9%
1980 1,672−7.5%
1990 1,664−0.5%
2000 1,7213.4%
2010 1,583−8.0%
Est. 20161,542 [1] −2.6%
U.S. Decennial Census [8]

As of the census [2] of 2000, there were 1,721 people, 626 households, and 435 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,297.8 people per square mile (499.6/km²). There were 673 housing units at an average density of 507.5 per square mile (195.4/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.08% White, 0.46% African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.58% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, and 0.52% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.81% of the population.

There were 626 households out of which 38.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 16.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.5% were non-families. 26.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the village, the population was spread out with 27.9% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 18.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 80.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 70.7 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $37,563, and the median income for a family was $46,761. Males had a median income of $32,009 versus $23,333 for females. The per capita income for the village was $17,219. About 8.6% of families and 12.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.0% of those under age 18 and 12.8% of those age 65 or over.



The Waterville Knitting Mill produced textiles until the early 1980s. In 1969, the Waterville Knitting Mill built a new building around the corner from their original building. In 2009, the original Knitting Mill was torn down due to dangerous conditions within the building and trespassing. In 1995, C & H Plastics, a custom thermoplastic injection molding facility founded in 1970, bought the newer facility on Conger Avenue and renovated it. It continues to operate to this day. Dairy farming remains an important industry in the greater Waterville area.

Community development and renewal

Recent infrastructure development has included a new Municipal Hall (2002), and state-of-the-art Waterville Public Library with formal gardens (2006) and 19 kW photovoltaic solar array (2009) and croquet lawn (2017). From 2005-2006, the Village underwent major thoroughfare reconstruction under the auspices of the New York State Department of Transportation. The project included new sidewalks, decorative red brick paving, granite curbing and newly planted trees along Main Street; Victorian street lamps line Main Street and Sanger Avenue (NYS Rt. 12). Donated by the Rotary Club of Waterville, a decorative town clock adorns the corner of Main Street and White Street in the center of the Village . Upgraded sewer lines have helped curb pollution of the Waterville Creek. In 2009-10, funded by private donations, a Victorian-era bandstand was erected in the Village Park. The Barton-Brown Observatory, a joint venture of the Waterville Public Library and Mohawk Valley Astronomical Society, opened in 2012 on the grounds of the Library. The Observatory houses two large, research grade telescopes and hosts monthly stargazing events open to the public.

Arts and culture

Annual cultural events

The Waterville Volunteer Fire Department used to host an annual "Field Days", which was typically held on the third weekend of July, featuring a parade, amusement rides and fireworks. The "Cruisin' Into Waterville" festival has been held in Waterville every Fall since 2005, commemorating the completion of the Route 12 renovations in the village. [9] [10]


The Waterville Triangle Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. [11] The Tower Homestead and Masonic Temple was listed in 1977. [11]

The Waterville Public Library is a hub of cultural activity, presenting an array of film, music, art and educational events and programs. [12]

The Waterville Historical Society on East Main Street houses a museum of local history exhibits.


The Waterville Central School District serves several communities in the area including Deansboro, North Brookfield, Oriskany Falls, and Sangerfield. The district has two buildings including Memorial Park Elementary School for grades K-6 (located on East Bacon Street), and Waterville Jr/Sr High School for grades 7-12 (located on Madison Street). [13] [14]

Colleges within twenty-five miles include Hamilton College, [15] Colgate University, [16] Utica College, [17] SUNY IT, [18] and Mohawk Valley Community College. [19]

Notable people

Related Research Articles

Utica, New York City in New York ----, United States

Utica is a city in the Mohawk Valley and the county seat of Oneida County, New York, United States. The tenth-most-populous city in New York, its population was 62,235 in the 2010 U.S. census. Located on the Mohawk River at the foot of the Adirondack Mountains, Utica is approximately 95 miles northwest of Albany, 55 mi (89 km) east of Syracuse and 240 miles northwest of New York City. Utica and the nearby city of Rome anchor the Utica–Rome Metropolitan Statistical Area, which comprises all of Oneida and Herkimer counties.

Oneida, New York City in New York, United States

Oneida is a city in Madison County located west of Oneida Castle and east of Wampsville, New York, United States. The population was 11,390 at the 2010 census. The city, like both Oneida County and the nearby silver and china maker, was named for the Oneida tribe, which had a large territory here around Oneida Lake during the colonial period.

Marshall, New York Town in New York, United States

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Paris, New York Town in New York, United States

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Rome, New York City in New York, United States

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Sangerfield, New York Town in New York, United States

Sangerfield is a town in Oneida County, New York, United States. The population was 2,561 at the 2010 census. The town is named after Jedediah Sanger, an early settler.

Whitestown, New York Town in New York, United States

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Bridgewater, New York Town in New York, United States

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New York State Route 5 highway in New York

New York State Route 5 (NY 5) is a state highway that extends for 370.80 miles (596.74 km) across the state of New York in the United States. It begins at the Pennsylvania state line in the Chautauqua County town of Ripley and passes through Buffalo, Syracuse, Utica, Schenectady, and several other smaller cities and communities on its way to downtown Albany in Albany County, where it terminates at U.S. Route 9 (US 9), here routed along the service roads for Interstate 787 (I-787). Prior to the construction of the New York State Thruway, it was one of two main east–west highways traversing upstate New York, the other being US 20. West of New York, NY 5 continues as Pennsylvania Route 5 (PA 5) to Erie.

New York State Railways

New York State Railways was a subsidiary of the New York Central Railroad that controlled several large city streetcar and electric interurban systems in upstate New York. It included the city transit lines in Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Oneida and Rome, plus various interurban lines connecting those cities. New York State Railways also held a 50% interest in the Schenectady Railway Company, but it remained a separate independent operation. The New York Central took control of the Rochester Railway Company, the Rochester and Eastern Rapid Railway and the Rochester and Sodus Bay Railway in 1905, and the Mohawk Valley Company was formed by the railroad to manage these new acquisitions. New York State Railways was formed in 1909 when the properties controlled by the Mohawk Valley Company were merged. In 1912 it added the Rochester and Suburban Railway, the Syracuse Rapid Transit Railway, the Oneida Railway, and the Utica and Mohawk Valley Railway. The New York Central Railroad was interested in acquiring these lines in an effort to control the competition and to gain control of the lucrative electric utility companies that were behind many of these streetcar and interurban railways. Ridership across the system dropped through the 1920s as operating costs continued to rise, coupled with competition from better highways and private automobile use. New York Central sold New York State Railways in 1928 to a consortium led by investor E. L. Phillips, who was looking to gain control of the upstate utilities. Phillips sold his stake to Associated Gas & Electric in 1929, and the new owners allowed the railway bonds to default. New York State Railways entered receivership on December 30, 1929. The company emerged from receivership in 1934, and local operations were sold off to new private operators between 1938 and 1948.

New York State Route 12 highway in New York

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New York State Route 365 highway in New York

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New York State Route 5A highway in New York

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New York State Route 8 highway in New York

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New York State Route 49 highway in New York

New York State Route 49 (NY 49) is an east–west state highway in central New York in the United States. It runs for just over 64 miles (103 km) from an intersection with NY 3 in the town of Volney to an interchange with Interstate 790 (I-790), NY 5, NY 8 and NY 12 in the city of Utica. The route follows a generally northwest–southeast alignment between the two points, passing along the north shore of Oneida Lake and directly serving the city of Rome. As NY 49 heads east, it connects to several highways of regional importance, such as I-81 in the village of Central Square and NY 13 in the town of Vienna. Most of NY 49 is a two-lane surface road; however, the section between Rome and Utica is a freeway known as the Utica–Rome Expressway.

New York State Route 5S highway in New York

New York State Route 5S (NY 5S) is an east–west state highway located in the Mohawk Valley of New York in the United States. It extends for 72.92 miles (117.35 km) from an interchange with NY 5, NY 5A, NY 8, and NY 12 in Utica to a smaller interchange with NY 890 in Rotterdam. The route runs along the south side of the Mohawk River for its entire length and parallels NY 5, which runs along the north side of the Mohawk River. In some locations, NY 5S has been upgraded into a super two or an expressway, mostly in Utica and western Herkimer County. The route is part of New York State Bicycle Route 5 west of its junction with NY 103 in Schenectady County.

New York State Route 12B highway in New York

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