Cooperstown’s Farmers’ Museum is an open-air
museum depicting rural life circa 1840.
In the museum’s dairy barn, Farmer Wayne gives
Helen a hands-on lesson on milking a cow.
From the back porch at Otsego Resort, the
source of the Susquehanna stretches north.
The mighty Susquehanna River contributes
the largest amount of freshwater to the
Bay—more than half. The river extends
almost to the top of the Chesapeake Bay
watershed. At the Susquehanna’s source,
Cooperstown hugs the base of Otsego Lake.
In season, the lake is prime for swimming,
fishing, and boat tours aboard the
Glimmerglass Queen. Other attractions include
the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market, the
Fenimore Art Museum, The Cooperstown
Beverage Trail, and the National Baseball Hall
of Fame and Museum.
To the south and west, New York’s part of
the Bay watershed is largely forested and
rural. Otsego County, home of
Cooperstown, boasts about 1,000 farms,
with dairy accounting for 76 percent of the
total agricultural revenue. Although agriculture is a source of pollution to our
waterways, USDA’s Natural Resources
Conservation Service (NRCS) reports that
many in New York’s agricultural community are voluntarily making positive changes.
And NRCS is helping with nutrient management plans, creation of habitat for
wildlife, and erosion control.
■ LOCATION: About 80 miles northeast of Binghamton in New York’s Otsego County,
Cooperstown lies at the base of Otsego Lake at the northern end of the Susquehanna.
■ GEOGRAPHY: This 1.8-square-mile village (population 1,884) is surrounded by hilly,
mostly forested, rural land where dairy farming is a prominent industry.
■ ATTRACTIONS: Otsego Lake (fishing, swimming, boating), Glimmerglass Queen boat
tours, the Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown Farmers’ Market, the Cooperstown Beverage
Trail, the Fenimore Art Museum, and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Appropriately, our very first stop was the
Cooperstown Farmers’ Museum. My copilot, daughter Helen, and I were ready to
“get our boots dirty.”
The open-air museum depicts rural life in
the 1840s. The village’s interactive exhibits
include a blacksmith shop, country store,
and working farmstead.
As we mooed at a cow in the dairy barn,
Farmer Wayne approached. Helen was
quickly engaged in a lesson and successfully milked “Daisy May” while I snapped
photos. We toured the rest of the exhibits
and made our way into town.