Cooperstown New York not only baseball
A gracious, tree-lined village amid upstate New York’s woodlands, Cooperstown sits proudly stuck in time on the southern tip of placid Otsego Lake, a hill-ringed lake so crystal clear it is the source of the town’s drinking water. According to legend, it was here, in 1839, that Abner Doubleday laid out the dimensions of a diamond and originated the game of baseball—a distinction that’s made the town a pilgrimage site for baseball lovers and home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Set in a modest three-storey brick building on the town’s four-block-long Main Street, the museum’s collection runs the gamut from Joe DiMaggio’s locker and Brooks Robinson’s glove to Babe Ruth’s ‘Called Shot’ bat from the 1932 World Series—in all, some 36,000 objects.
An unusually attractive small town with a year-round population of 2,000, Cooperstown draws throngs of tourists each summer, but they’re not all here for the baseball.
Every July and August since 1975, Cooperstown hosts the prestigious Glimmerglass Opera, an acclaimed festival that blends classic repertory with operatic rarities, Rossini to Janacek, performed by a renowned cast. An intimate, acoustically perfect 900-seat house has walls that open on to views of surrounding farmland. Nineteenth-century novelist James Fenimore Cooper, son of the New Jersey transplant who founded Cooperstown in 1786, referred to Otsego Lake as ‘Glimmerglass’, and thus the festival’s name.
Artifacts from the younger Cooper’s life can be found at the Fenimore Art Museum, a 1930s neo-Georgian mansion on Lake Otsego, along with an exceptional collection of North American Indian Art. The museum also holds a world-class collection of folk art and a sterling collection of Hudson River artists like Thomas Cole.
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