Hometown Throwdown: Cherry Valley, New York. Cool History, Bro!
Cherry Valley, New York is a town and village that is located in the northeastern portion of Otsego County. Steeped in history and peppered with household names, Cherry Valley has some cool things to offer.
History Happened Here
Cherry Valley is one of Otsego County's original towns. During the American Revolution, it was the site of one of the more horrific tragedies of the era - the Cherry Valley massacre. A mix of British soldiers, loyalists, Mohawks, and Senecas converged on the town. Despite explicit warnings, villagers were woefully unprepared for the attack. Reportedly, 30 people who were not combatants were slayed.
Established as a town in 1791, Cherry Valley is one of Otsego County's original towns, and it was so big that the towns of Worcester, Middlefield, Springfield, and Roseboom were spun off in 1797. During this period, the town was known as the gateway to America's Western Frontier.
In the mid 1800s, inventor Samuel Morse's family possessed a summer home in the area, and used the local telegraph office to experiment with Morse Code in the early days of its existence.
Modern Day Resurgence
The word I like to use to describe Cherry Valley today is eclectic. It's seen a convergence of artists and poets in the 20th century. The town is extremely walkable, and contains an array of restaurants, shops, an arts center, and lots of interesting Victorian era architecture. There's even a smattering of kitsch for good measure!
Here's an overview of just some of the cool stuff you'll find in town.
History Wrapped in History
Cherry Valley Bookstore is a destination in and of itself. The bookstore is the leading authority in Otsego County when it comes to rare and one of a kind books. In 1840, it was a cabinet shop owned by Amos Swan. The aforementioned Samuel Morse was pals with Swan, and this building is where Morse Code magic happened.
Performance and Healing
Right next door to the Cherry Valley Bookstore, the Telegraph School was founded by Angelica Palmer in 2021. Per their website, it is a a home for "Performing and Healing Arts". Classes in dance, meditation, and yoga are currently offered.
Another Roadside Attraction
I love kitsch. If it was up to me, my house would look like most of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. Most kitschy roadside attractions have gone the way of the dodo, but not the Tepee. Built in 1954 and standing 50 feet tall, today the Tepee houses a gift shop and food counter. The Tepee was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.
Accessible Art Found Here
25 Main Collective is an artist run space that houses works for sale by at least 30 artists and makers at any given time. Browse and purchase a wide array of mediums including glass art, pottery, fiber arts, items for the home, jewelry and more. The vast majority of artists and makers are locally based.
See History For Yourself
If all the talk of Cherry Valley's history has piqued your interest, a visit to the Cherry Valley Museum is in order. The museum contains items from the Cherry Valley massacre, historic furniture, Civil War memorabilia, and paintings.
I'm a Lumberjack and I'm OK
Cherry Valley is also the home of one of the country's best lumberjack competitions, the Cherry Valley Outdoor Games held annually over Father's Day weekend.
Oneonta and Otsego County Barbecue Trail