The Chamber Hall of Fame Awards were established in 2017 to honor local businesses and organizations that have been in operation for more than 10 years and are pillars in our community, demonstrating excellence and impact beyond their own walls.
Lake View Motel
Founded by the Krantiz Family and owned by the Barton Family since 1992, the Lake ‘N Pines is known for its exceptional service, pristine grounds, and picturesque setting overlooking Otsego Lake. Located seven miles north of Cooperstown, its amenities include indoor and outdoor heated pools, water activities, a lakefront beach area, game room and more as it continually evolves, offering a unique blend of modern luxuries while staying true to its delightfully vintage roots. The motel is a vastly knowledgeable connector to all the area has to offer, and dedicated to generously serving the community. The Lake ‘N Pines is a favorite for many visitors who return time and again, and for families eager to share beloved memories made with future generations.
Founded in a basement in Cooperstown in 1981 by Don and Sharon Oberiter, it is currently one of the oldest bat companies in the United States. Known for its custom laser engraving it has specialized in personalized gifts, trophies, award and more. In 2008, the business was purchased by Tim and Connie Haney who have created their own legacy. It began producing professional quality game used bats for all ages including Major League players. In 2018, their products were used in on the grandest state of the all, The World Series. One of its greatest attributes is as a proud supporter of many local community and school events.
Cooperstown Fire Department
Since the early 1800’s, the department has protected the Village of Cooperstown and its surrounding area. Staffed entirely of local volunteers, the department has grown from humble beginnings with hand drawn hose carts and horse drawn steamers, to a modern firefighting and rescue department. In 1970, the department began to offer emergency medical services to the area and is now the busiest volunteer ambulance in Otsego County. Steeped in tradition, it carries on its history of camaraderie, fellowship, and service.
Founded in 1991 by local non-profit OTSEGO 2000, the market has served as an outlet for local farmers and producers. With a mission to create sustainable farming operations in Otsego County, it offers growers, producers, and artisans a marketing outlet to the community. They have prided themselves on connecting its customers directly with the producer of their food while becoming a mainstay for the Cooperstown community. Located in Pioneer Alley, the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market has provided a mutually beneficial relationship with downtown merchants.
Founded by Cooperstown philanthropist Stephen C. Clark after purchasing the “Doubleday Baseball,” he created a one-room display of baseball objects in a local Cooperstown club. Located in the heart of Downtown Cooperstown, its “first class” of Hall of Fame players were elected in 1936 with the Museum opening three years later on June 12, 1939 with 25 inductees having been elected by that time. As one of the most exclusive clubs in all of sports, election to the Hall of Fame is the highest mark of achievement in the game. The Museum has hosted more than 17 million visitors since opening its doors and has been a staple to Cooperstown’s tourism economy.
Established in 1922 as a two-building school for children with down syndrome. Now a 300-acre non-for-profit organization that includes a private school, summer camp, clinical services, research and resource center, and provides on-site businesses that provide prevocational opportunities for its residents. It has been a national leader in community-based services for children and adults with down syndrome and other developmental disabilities. Now with residents from across the country and around the world, Pathfinder Village continues to bring diversity, recognition, and economic growth to Otsego County.
Founded by Rod and Robin Torrence on October 1, 1993, at 31 Pioneer Street in a building originally built in 1791 as the Blue Anchor Tavern. It opened a second location in Albany in 1994. For many locals and visitors, it has become a hub for everyday life in Cooperstown. Through great customer service and dedication to providing quality locally sourced food from artisans and Otsego County farms it has separated itself. Now under the leadership of brothers Matthew and Chris Grady, the local family business continues to be the “roast of the town” as proud supporter of many local organizations, events, and independent farms.
Located just six miles outside of the Village of Cooperstown, Brewery Ommegang was founded by Don Feinberg and Wendy Littlefield in 1997. Known as much for its traditional Belgian Farmhouse as its product, this business has helped revolutionize and bring back a traditional part of Cooperstown’s economy. In 2003, Belgian Brewer Duvel Moortgat purchased Ommegang and took it to new heights. Celebrating its award winning beers from award winning brew master Phil Leinart, Ommegang distributes to 46 states, the District of Columbia, and internationally. Each summer, the Brewery hosts one of the biggest beer festivals in the country, Belguim Comes to Cooperstown, and its summer concert series continues to bring visitors from near and far to the community. Beyond its performance as an anchor business to Cooperstown’s economy, Brewery Ommegang is a true community ambassador as a supporter of many important local events, including Cooptoberfest, that sets it apart.
A part of local college SUNY Oneonta, the Cooperstown Graduate Program has been a part of the Cooperstown community since 1964 when it was founded by Louis C. Jones, then-director of the New York State Historical Association. As one of the oldest Museum Studies graduate programs in the country, it continues to grow each year. In 2011, CGP as it is known in the community, moved into a space just north of the Village of Cooperstown that is one of the only buildings in the world designed specifically for museum studies. Additionally, CGP offers a Science of Museum Studies program, which was the first masters program of its kind in the country. Each year, the local community is sprinkled with over 40 graduate students who help in providing studies that help improve Cooperstown’s community, offering unique perspectives, with many having gone on to live and contribute to many of Otsego County’s museums and businesses.
This museum sits on land that has been part of a working farm since 1813 when it was owned by legendary author and native son James Fenimore Cooper. The property was then owned by the Judge Samuel Nelson, and then acquired by the Clark Family in 1870. In 1944 the estate was opened to the public and became The Farmers’ Museum that has been an anchor for the Cooperstown Community. In 2018, the showcase complex known as the “Cow Palace,” built by architect Frank Whiting in the Colonial Revival style by the orders of Edward Clark, will celebrate its 100th anniversary. Originally built as a home for his prize herd of cattle, this building has become the signature piece of the museum. This private, non-governmental educational organization has been an integral part of every childhood memory in central New York, and welcomes tens of thousands of visitors on an annual basis. Each year, it continues to redefine itself offering wonderful programming and events such as the Harvest Festival and Candlelight Evening. Today the museum collections number more than 23,000 artifacts, and remains one of the top destinations in Cooperstown.
This local corner market was founded by Orlando Spurbeck, a former railroad employee, and his wife Caroline in 1941 and has been a family-owned and operated business for over 75 years. Following in his footsteps, their daughter Gertrude “Gert” Spurbeck would take over operation with her husband Leroy in 1967 and would operate for decades. In 1991, Gert’s son Roger Smith, following his retirement as Cooperstown Postmaster, became involved in the business, eventually taking over ownership in 2000 wife Dorothy until this December 2017. Located on Railroad Avenue for its entire existence, Spurbeck’s would become a frequent lunchtime stop with its sandwiches and soup and its famous “Spurbeck’s Cheese,” which can be found as a key ingredient at many local restaurants throughout the region. In 2017, Spurbeck’s was sold to a new family to lead into the next generation.
Founded by Mrs. Isobel Marks Hyde and other prominent citizens in 1917, the Otsego County SPCA arranged for strays to live with area veterinarians. In 1972, this non-profit organization built its first dedicated shelter in Pierstown, just a few miles north of the Village of Cooperstown. At the time, the shelter was maintained entirely by volunteers who answered telephones, fed, and cared for the animals. In the early 1980’s, the SPCA opened the Better Exchange Thrift Shop which has been a key revenue generator for the maintenance of the shelter and its animals. In the mid 1990’s the shelter adopted a new business model and officially became a no-kill shelter, and would care for an animal no matter its age or time spent at the shelter. In 1981 the organization was renamed to the Susquehanna SPCA, which its could be referred to until November 2014, when it became its current name, the Susquehanna Animal Shelter.
Offering personalized, one-on-one service and customer care this local pharmacy was originally opened by Henry Church, with Charles Scott joining in the 1890s. For generations, this small business was located on the corner of Main and Pioneer Streets in Cooperstown’s Downtown Business District before moving to their current location south of the Village in the 1990s. A proud supporter of many local community organizations and events.
Known as the Alfred Corning Clark Gymnasium, it was originally located on the corner of Main and Fair Street. Complete with an indoor track, bowling alleys, locker rooms, and a general-purpose floor, it was an instant success. Membership was offered to both men and women, a rarity for the times. In 1929, the original building was demolished and a new building was erected. In 1986, a new state-of-the-art facility was constructed south of the Village on Susquehanna Avenue. Renamed The Clark Sports Center in 1994, it continues its commitment to take an active role in the health, fitness, recreational and educational life for residents.
A multi-generational family owned and operated business, serving up tastes and traditions shared by local residents and visitors alike. Its marketplace offers more than 40 daily samples of sauces, preserves, dips, cheese, fudge, and specialty food. Their farm winery, features apple wines and hard ciders make from 100% New York State apples, is a stop on the Cooperstown Beverage Trail. In 2016, it was renovated to provide a learning center, expanded viewing of the historic cider press and year-round operations.
The Freeman’s Journal
The Freeman’s Journal, established in 1808 by William Cooper, Cooperstown’s Founder, and has been a locally owned community newspaper serving Cooperstown and surrounding areas for more than two centuries. The paper has had many home in its long history. Once located within the historic Hotel Fenimore, it moved to the old Taylor Block and 76 Main Street before until it burned down in the fire of 1961 to become the current Pioneer Park. Despite the fire, it never missed an issue. Currently housed on Railroad Avenue, the paper created a sister paper, Hometown Oneonta in 2008, followed by AllOtsego.com, the foundation for the newspaper’s continuing financial viability.
Conceived and constructed by George Clarke, a member of Britain’s Landed Gentry, Hyde Hall was begun in 1817 and finished in 1834. Sitting on Mount Wellington overlooking Lake Otsego, it has been declared on the the “three of four great buildings in America of its time” by the New Yorker Magazine. This neoclassical country mansion is the only National Historic Landmark in Otsego County. In 1964, The Friends of Hyde Hall, was formed to help save and maintain the house for public use and enjoyment.
Since its construction, it has offered genuine hospitality and distinctive accommodations. Originally an annex to the the old Hotel Fenimore, this Historic Landmark was designed by Henry J. Hardenbergh, who also designed The Plaza Hotel and The Dakota in New York City. This 18-room quaint hotel was fully restored in 1985 and serves as a model business in developing unique visitor experiences and packages. Due to its superior customer service, it has earned a spot in The Select Registry since 1998. Proprietor and Innkeeper, Marc Kingsley, served as President of the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce from 2007 to 2010.
This small, family-owned floral shop, still operates in its original location on “Upper Main.” Dedicated to creating a pleasant and professional experience, it has served as the center of many special events, weddings, and celebrations within the Cooperstown area. Former owner, Charles Bateman, served as President of the Chamber of Commerce in 1974. His daughter and current owner Carol Waller, served as Mayor of Cooperstown. A strong supporter of local organizations and schools. In 2016, it was named to the popular wedding website, The Knot, Best of Weddings Hall of Fame, a designation only given to 2% of registered vendors.
This 132-room resort was the vision of Edward S. Clark and Stephen C. Clark, grandsons of Cooperstown’s prominent benefactor Edward Clark. Designed by Percy Griffin, it has offered first-rate accommodations and fine dining for over a century. From 1920-54 it housed the exclusive Knox School for Girls from September to June while welcoming guests during the summers, and served as home for residents of the local Thanksgiving Home after a fire displaced its residents from 2002-2004. A true economic driver, it has been recognized by the prestigious Historic Hotels of America, it home to the premier Leatherstocking Golf Course, and hosts many business conferences, weddings, and special events throughout the year.