Schoharie_County,_New_York

Schoharie County, New York

Schoharie County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. At the time of the 2000 census, the population was 31,582. It is part of the Albany-Schenectady-Troy Metropolitan Statistical Area. The county seat is Schoharie, a name that comes from a Mohawk Indian word meaning "floating driftwood."

History

When counties were established in New York State in 1683, the present Schoharie County was part of Albany County. This was an enormous county, including the northern part of New York State as well as all of the present State of Vermont and, in theory, extending westward to the Pacific Ocean. This county was reduced in size on July 3, 1766 by the creation of Cumberland County, and further on March 16, 1770 by the creation of Gloucester County, both containing territory now in Vermont.

On March 12, 1772, what was left of Albany County was split into three parts, one remaining under the name Albany County. One of the other pieces, Tryon County, contained the western portion (and thus, since no western boundary was specified, theoretically still extended west to the Pacific). The eastern boundary of Tryon County was approximately five miles west of the present city of Schenectady, and the county included the western part of the Adirondack Mountains and the area west of the West Branch of the Delaware River. The area then designated as Tryon County now includes 37 counties of New York State. The county was named for William Tryon, colonial governor of New York.

In the years prior to 1776, most of the Loyalists in Tryon County fled to Canada. In 1784, following the peace treaty that ended the American Revolutionary War, the name of Tryon County was changed to Montgomery County to honor the general, Richard Montgomery, who had captured several places in Canada and died attempting to capture the city of Quebec, replacing the name of the hated British governor.

In 1789, Montgomery County was reduced in size by the splitting off of Ontario County from Montgomery. The actual area split off from Montgomery County was much larger than the present county, also including the present Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Steuben, Wyoming, Yates, and part of Schuyler and Wayne Counties.

In 1791, Otsego County was one of three counties split off from Montgomery (the other two being Herkimer, and Tioga County).

In 1795, Schoharie County was created by joining portions of Otsego County and Albany County.

The historic Middleburgh-Schoharie Railroad was situated in Schoharie County.

Notable residents

Geography

Schoharie County is in central New York State, west of Albany and southeast of Utica.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 626 square miles (1,622 km²), of which, 622 square miles (1,611 km²) of it is land and 4 square miles (11 km²) of it (0.69%) is water.

Much of the southern portion of the county lies within the Catskill Mountains. Land rises in both directions quite rapidly from Schoharie Creek in the middle of the county. The Schoharie Creek is a northward-flowing tributary of the Mohawk River. The Schoharie Creek watershed spans an area of approximately 950 square miles. The course of Schoharie Creek includes two reservoir-dam systems. The Gilboa Dam and the Schoharie Reservoir are part of the New York City Water Supply System. The New York Power Authority operates the Blenheim-Gilboa Dam and its reservoir to produce hydroelectric power.

The highest point is found at the summit of Huntersfield Mountain on the southern boundary with Greene County, 3,423 feet (1,043 m) above sea level. The lowest point is where the Montgomery County line meets Schoharie Creek, 520 feet (158 m) above sea level. The most prominent geological feature is Vroman's Nose, in the town of Middleburgh.

Adjacent counties

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 31,582 people, 11,991 households, and 8,177 families residing in the county. The population density was 51 people per square mile (20/km²). There were 15,915 housing units at an average density of 26 per square mile (10/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.62% White, 1.28% Black or African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.47% from other races, and 0.93% from two or more races. 1.86% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 20.9% were of German, 15.6% Irish, 11.5% American, 10.8% Italian and 9.7% English ancestry according to Census 2000. 95.5% spoke English, 1.7% Spanish and 1.0% German as their first language.

There were 11,991 households out of which 31.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.20% were married couples living together, 9.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.80% were non-families. 25.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.00% under the age of 18, 10.60% from 18 to 24, 26.20% from 25 to 44, 24.40% from 45 to 64, and 14.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 99.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,585, and the median income for a family was $43,118. Males had a median income of $31,725 versus $24,475 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,778. About 7.90% of families and 11.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.70% of those under age 18 and 8.60% of those age 65 or over.

Economy

The primary industry of Schoharie County is agriculture. Farms are situated all over the county. At one time, there was a small-intensity factory in Cobleskill called Guilford Mills. At Guilford, textiles were made before its surprise closing in 2001. Over 700 residents lost their job, although two people were hired to mow the lawn in 2005.

There is a small but growing tourist industry regarding the county. Visitors come to visit Howe Caverns, Vroman's Nose, the Old Blenheim Bridge, and the Old Stone Fort. There has been a local movement of late to have residents shop locally.

Politics

Schoharie County is primarily Republican, and voted for George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. Its town boards are largely Republican.

  • County Clerk- Indica Jaycox (R) defeated former Middleburgh Supervisor Michael Shultes (D) and former Middleburgh Mayor Gary Hayes (C) 60-25-15% respectively.
  • Assemblyman- former County Clerk and Schoharie Supervisor Pete Lopez (R). Schoharie County is in the 127th NYS Assembly District. Defeated Siena professor Scott Trees 58-42% in 2006.
  • State Senator- James Seward (R).
  • Congresman- Michael McNulty (D).
  • County Historian- Harold Zoch (R). Expert on Dutch Barns.
  • Deputy County Historian-Anne Hendrix (R).

Towns and Villages

==> Labels in parentheses show official political designation

Hamlets

See also

References

External links

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