Hartwick, New York

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Hartwick is a town located in Otsego County, New York, USA. As of the 2000 census, the town had a population of 2,203.

Town of Hartwick is located in the middle of the county, southwest of Village of Cooperstown. Hartwick, New York is the largest Hartwick in the world in terms of population.



It was named after Lutheran Minister John Christopher Hartwick (1714–1796), an early landowner of the town. Hartwick had bought the area (the Hartwick Patent, granted 1761) that now constitutes the township from the Mohawk Indians in 1763. Discontent with the sparsely settled communities of Palatine Germans in the Mohawk Valley to the north, which Hartwick believed made people immoral, he bought the original Hartwick Patent with the intent to build a "New Jerusalem." This did not occur as Hartwick stipulated, according to conditions in his lease that residents look to him as their religious superior, and by the 1790s the shrewd land speculator William Cooper had sold most of Hartwick's land against his wishes.

Instead of a New Jerusalem, Hartwick requested in his will that a Lutheran seminary be opened with his estate. Upon Hartwick's death in 1797, efforts to do this started but were complicated by the fact that Hartwick left his estate to Jesus Christ. Fifteen years later, Hartwick Seminary - the oldest Lutheran Seminary in the United States - opened in 1812. The seminary closed in the 1920s, and the proceeds were used to open Hartwick College in nearby Oneonta in 1925.

The town was established in 1802 from the Town of Otsego. In 1803, the north town line was altered.

The largest commercial enterprise to occur in Hartwick was probably the Oneonta-Mohawk trolley line which had extensive shops, car barn and yards on the southeast side of the village, many of the hamlets and crossings still show architectural signs of it's passage nearly a century after the last passenger service.

People of note in Hartwick

  • William H. Bissell, born in Hartwick in 1811, later congressman and governor in Illinois.
  • George Lough, Scottish immigrant who was one of the earliest importers of cheviot sheep to America, and with son in law William Curry established the American Cheviot Sheep Breeders Association.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 40.3 square miles (104.5 km²), of which, 40.2 square miles (104.0 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km²) of it (0.45%) is water.

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