Cooperstown Things to Do

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Best Rated Things to Do in Cooperstown

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    National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jan 1, 2005

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    The National Baseball Hall of Fame

    Cooperstown is probably best-known for being the home of 'America's sport' - baseball. Located in a prominant position on Main Street is the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum, established here in 1939 by the influential Clark family (whose fortune derived from the success of the Singer Sewing Machine Company).

    The Clark's had a long association with Cooperstown and were seeking to establish new tourist attractions to overcome the effects that both the Great Depression and Prohibition had had on the local economy.

    The Museum is quite a building, and was undergoing further renovations when I was there. Each of it's three floors has different tributes to the game and you can also watch a movie that outlines various aspects of the game.

    I had some free time when I arrived in Cooperstown, so I decided that now would be a great chance to finally see this place! Entry for a single adult was US$8.55 and you are free to wander around at your leisure.

    I ended up taking a photo of the back-side of the building because the front was cluttered with temporary wooden structures as a result of the renovations.

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    Farmer's Market

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jan 1, 2005

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    A Portion of the Farmer's Market

    Another Cooperstown attraction which owes it's origins to the Clark family is the Farmer's Museum.

    Located almost directly across Highway 80 from the Fenimore Art Museum, the Farmer's Market depicts life on an 1845 era farm.

    This site was actually a working farm in 1813 under the ownership of James Fenimore Cooper. It eventually ended up in the hands of the wealthy Clark family in the 1870s. In 1918, the farm was modernized to look after the needs of the family cattle herd with the buildings being constructed using local stone in the Colonial Revival-style.

    By 1944, the entire complex was opened to the public as the Farmer's Museum and today it includes other buildings moved in from other parts of the state to reflect what life would have been like on an area farm of the mid-1800s. Staff at the Museum provide a living history of a by-gone life by demonstrating the skills of blacksmiths, a working general store and a wall-paper production shop among other things.

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    The Otesaga Resort Hotel

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jan 1, 2005

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    Lakeside View of the Otesaga Resort

    Finished in 1909, the 139-room Otesaga Resort was built to allow the elite tourist crowd access to the pristine wildness of upstate New York. Located beside the beautiful Lake Otesago (sometimes also called 'Glimmerglass' Lake) in quiet Cooperstown, this is an amazing old structure that owes it's existance to the very wealthy Clark family who settled in Cooperstown (see my Accommodations tips for more details).

    It's hallways are lined with photos showing the developement of the town over the years and it's rooms and facilities are first-class. Only recently, the hotel spent US$40 million on renovations, and it shows!

    This view shows the rear balcony where patrons can relax with a great view out over Lake Otesago. 'Otesaga' is an appropriate name for the resort because it is an Indian word meaning 'a place to meet'.

    Despite it's elegant appearance, many of its attractions are open to the public and at relatively modest prices.

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    The Fenimore Art Museum

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jan 1, 2005

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    The Fenimore Art Museum

    In addition to building the Otesaga Resort Hotel, Edward Severin Clark, the 6th son of Edward Clark, also built a mansion in Cooperstown that eventually became the Fenimore Art Museaum.

    Located on the shore of Lake Otesago, and within easy walking distance of the Resort Hotel, this Georgian-style building houses a renowned collection of fine, folk, decorative and American Indian art that presents the life-style of the formative 18th and 19th century years of this part of America.

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    Baseball Exhibits

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jan 1, 2005

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    Statue of Ted Williams

    It was interesting to walk through the many exhibit halls of the Hall of Fame & Museum. The walls are adorned with the photos of many players who, over the years, have been elected to join the select company displayed here.

    In my younger days, I followed baseball (and hockey) much more than I now do. Because of the relative isolated position of the Maritimes Provinces of Canada from the remainder of the country, Boston has been the major league city of choice for many Maritimers, me included. I religiously followed the fortunes of the Bruins (hockey) and Red Sox (baseball). As far as baseball is concerned, my favourite player was Carl Yastrzemski (an evenutal Hall of Famer) who replaced Ted Williams on the team.

    Ted (before my time!) was the last player in the major leagues to bat over .400 for the season, in 1941. He was a standout in many aspects of the game, and further endeared himself to Maritimers by enjoying his Atlantic Salmon fishing trips to New Brunswick. This life-sized statue of Ted was carved from laminated Balsa wood by Armand LaMontagne. I was amazed by it's details, even showing the veins on his hands and the ripples in his baseball clothing!

    These days, I have lost interest in professional sports due to the outrageous salaries that are paid to the players and the high cost of tickets for the average fan. The only sporting events that I now truely enjoy are international affairs such as the Olympics or the World Cups of Football (Soccer), Rugby or Hockey!

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    Cooperstown, New York.....Baseball Hall of Fame.

    by ladyanne Written Aug 22, 2005

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    Double Day Field, Cooperstown, NY

    This is a view of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Double Day Park where we attended the 2005 Hall of Fame Game with the World Series winners the RED SOX playing against the DETROIT Tigers, strange enough the Tigers won,.....but the highlight of the day was the "Homerun Derby" in which several players from each team are given a chance to hit 10 balls each for a homerun out of the park.....well needless to say "Big Pappa" Dave Ortiz hit a many and set the record. Several flew straight over our heads. One ball which everyone in my area tried to catch and one actually hit my husbands glove only to be fooled because a net was around it swooped by a young fellow behind us. "Spitting mad" we were until, we started receivng a "United Press" Photo of it from several different newspapers all over the US. So it was worth the loss of the ball. I think!!!!!

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    National Baseball Museum

    by davecallahan Updated May 18, 2007

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    National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is for baseball history and heroes that lived and played in USA. There is also a Canadian baseball museum (in Canada).

    This is the main focus item for most people coming to Cooperstown area.
    I have been there with each of our generations (parents, kids, grandkids) and it hasn't changed much over time.
    The building houses plaques and photos and memorabilia of all the great baseball players that were inducted in the hall of fame. It also includes items from famous financers and referees and coaches who were important to the growth of the game in becoming the national pasttime. Recently they have added a section about the baseball parks and the fans that attend the game. There are three floors of exhibits, so be prepared for a bit of walking.
    Besides the artifacts, there is a movie about the construction of the hall of fame and the early inductees. There is a gift shop where you can get your souvenier teeshirt or mug

    Every year (in June I think) more players are inducted, so the museum is forever growing in number of items

    The self-guided tour takes about two hours (including wife-time at the gift shop).
    The cost is about $15 for adults and $5 for kids.

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    The Smithy-Pioneer Gallery

    by rdywenur Written Aug 1, 2004

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    A quaint street

    The Smithy is the oldest building in Cooperstown. It was built by Judge William Cooper in 1786 to serve as a blacksmith shop or as a storage place for the infant settlement of Cooperstown. It was a blacksmith shop at least as early as 1806, and its forges, anvil stands, smoke-shadows of horseshoes and other features remain to be seen by the observant visitor. In 1927 its first floor was converted into an antique shop by Marguerite Standish Cockett and her companion Marjorie Jackson. Later the first floor became a pottery studio which has recently been revived, offering spring and fall classes for adults and children.

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    Baseball Hall of Fame.

    by cjg1 Written Sep 24, 2003

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    This is one of the main reasons most people come to Cooperstown. This is where you can see, remember, and learn of the history of the game. So many great players in here. Almost seems sad that they are adding new players that I watched growing up as it just seems like they dont belong.

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    Don't Forget the Negro League Ballplayers

    by zrim Written Mar 12, 2003

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    Early African-American ball heroes

    Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell, Satchel Paige. Legends, all of them. It is great that while they may have been segregated from white ballplayers in the first half of the 20th century, they are enshrined at Cooperstown side by side. No question that these guys could flat out play the game.

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    Fenimore Art Museum

    by davecallahan Written May 17, 2007

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    from the ads

    This museum is opened from April to December. It is part of the New York Historic Society's presentations in Cooperstown along with the Farmer's Museum and the Baseball Museum.
    You can get a single museum ticket for $10 or a triple museum ticket for $20.

    The art museum has some of the best representations of American artists anywhere in the U.S.
    The exhibits change on a regular basis so you need to see the website below for which artists will be highlighted during your visit to Cooperstown.

    Remington, Ansel Adams, the Thaw Collection, Smith and Telfer are just a few you may see.
    There are some exhibits that are more or less permanent that show art of a particular period (19th century for example) or art that has a common theme (like, paintings of the prairies).

    This is a good two hours of enjoyment for the art lovers amongst you tourists.

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  • The Farmer's Museum

    by Loonbeam Written Oct 13, 2006

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    The Empire Carousel
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    The Farmer's museum features 3 distinct areas. An exhibit detailing the history of the Lake Ostego region, a recreated hand-carved carousel and band orgran and an interpretive farm village featuring 1800's living methods.

    All are exceedingly well done and worth a visit. Younger children will especially enjoy the Carousel (only $.25 per ride!) and the chance to get up close with some animals. Older ones may enjoy the blacksmithing and broom making demos among others.

    Allow 1-2 hours. Combination tickets with Baseball HOF and Fenimore available.

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    The Farmer's Museum

    by davecallahan Written May 17, 2007

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    from the ads

    This is one of three museums in the area that are open from April to December. You can get a ticket for this one museum for $10 or buy a ticket to all three (Farmer's, Fenimore, Baseball) museums for $20.

    The outdoor museum areas has homes, barns, farms, and fields like they would have been 200 years ago. The place is filled with "characters" in period clothing doing the work and everyday business of the 18th century. There are exhibitions of work skills and products produced and equipment used. Over 23000 authentic items are present in the whole museum.

    There is a great gift shop where you can get homemade articles representing the 18th century or more modern teeshirts, caps and mugs. The Cottage Restaurant is there for your convenience to refill your energy reserves after spending two to three hours walking around the museum

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    Grand home of baseball lore

    by rexvaughan Updated Jul 23, 2010

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    Grandson with photo of Hank Aaron's 715th homerun
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    Anyone who is a fan of American baseball will certainly enjoy this place. It sits in the town where purportedly baseball was invented, although there are some questions about the actual origin. In addition to a grand hall called the Plaque Gallery where there are bronze plaques commemorating the 292 members which includes not only major league players, but also Negro League players along with a some managers, umpires and other leaders. There are displays of notables associated with all aspects of the game and a room full of lockers from every major league team. We took our 10 year-old grandson who is quite informed about the game so we saw virtually everything on display. We went for a couple of hours one day, and a total of about 4 or 5 the next so it can take as much time as you want to give.

    There is a lot about famous players, but only two have their own area: Babe Ruth and Henry (Hammerin' Hank) Aaron. Being from Atlanta, we are naturally great fans of Aaron so were glad to see the new area devoted to him and the huge photo of his historic home run.

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    Special events at the Hall of Fame

    by rexvaughan Written Jul 27, 2010

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    Theatre screen in the Hall
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    There are a lot of special events and programs at the Hall so you should consult their calendar when planning. It is available on their website. We just happened to be there the day of the All-Star Baseball Game between the National and American League. They were showing the game on a big screen in the 200-seat theater so we went. They provided complimentary hot dogs, soft drinks, chips and peanuts and at the end of every half-inning would turn off the commercials and select members of the audience for a game or quiz, with every participant receiving a small prize. Our grandson go to go up for a trivia quiz on the all-star games, answered every question before they finished asking it, and won a Baseball Hall of Fame pennant. He was delighted. It was an excellent evening. I don’t know about all the other events, but they seem to do everything well, so it is worth checking.

    To support the museum and also to allow for multiple visits, consider a membership. I must confess that what prompted me to do this was seeing the All-Star Game at the Museum and you had to be a member to purchase tickets to this evening (the tickets were quite reasonable at $10 for adults and $5 for kids). We purchased a family membership for $70 which got us into the museum both days. That would have cost us $54 (2 seniors and one child for 2 days) so the membership was pretty cheap. For a younger family the membership would be the same and one day’s admission for 2 adults and 2 children would be $45, so I think it is worth at least considering. We will not likely go back within the next year, but if we do, our admission will be free.

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Cooperstown Things to Do

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