Schoharie County, New York
|Schoharie County, New York|
Location in the state of New York
New York's location in the U.S.
626 sq mi (1,621 km²)
622 sq mi (1,611 km²)
4 sq mi (10 km²), 0.69%
52/sq mi (20/km²)
Schoharie County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. At the time of the 2010 census, the population was 32,749. 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."
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. One of the prominent sites in the County is the Old Stone Fort, which was a fort used during the Revolution and the Civil War as an armory.
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 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 
- Peter I. Borst, 1797–1848, U.S. representative from New York
- William C. Bouck, 1796–1859, former governor of New York 1843-1845
- John McGiver, 1913–1975, actor
- Timothy Murphy, 1751–1818, Revolutionary War sniper
- George Westinghouse, 1846–1914, engineer, inventor and entrepreneur
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) is land and 4 square miles (11 km²) (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. In contrast, the northern part of the county is predominately small hills and valleys. More than 75% of the county's population lives in the north. The Schoharie Creek is a northward-flowing tributary of the Mohawk River. The Schoharie Creek watershed spans an area of approximately 950 square miles (2,500 km2). 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 headwaters of the Delaware River is located in the Town of Jefferson. Despite its proximity to Albany the county has remained relatively rural.
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 Fulton, near the village of Middleburgh.
Adjacent counties 
- Albany County - east
- Delaware County - southwest
- Greene County - southeast
- Montgomery County - north
- Otsego County - west
- Schenectady County - northeast
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 95.06% White, 2.14% Black or African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.36% 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.
The primary industry of Schoharie County is agriculture. Farms are situated all over the county and farm stands with local produce are located throughout the Schoharie Valley. Many people also have work in the capital region which is within commuting distance.
Wal-Mart has a distribution center located in the Village of Sharon Springs, and a supercenter in Cobleskill.
There is a small but growing tourist industry regarding the county. Visitors come to visit Howe Caverns, Secret Caverns, The Carrot Barn, Vroman's Nose, the Old Blenheim Bridge (which was destroyed by Hurricane Irene in August 2011), and the Old Stone Fort.
- Charlotteville, New York
- Central Bridge
- Esperance, New York
- Fultonham, New York
- Sloansville, New York
- West Middleburgh
TV, movies and pop culture 
- In 1983 the book Midnight's Lair by Richard Laymon was about trapped explorers in Howe Caverns.
- David Letterman did a parody about the town of Schoharie.
- In 2006 near-local resident Rachael Ray did a $40/day episode in the town of Cobleskill.
- In May 2010 the reality series The Fabulous Beekman Boys, which is set in Sharon Springs, aired its first episode.
- In August 2010 the series Ghost Hunters did an episode at the Old Stone Fort which aired December 8, 2010.
- A finalist on Tila Tequila took the show to the bowling alley in Cobleskill
See also 
- List of counties in New York
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Schoharie County, New York
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Schoharie County, New York official site
- Schoharie County official tourism site
- Chamber of Commerce site
- Finnegan's Wake Music Festival
- Early history of Schoharie County
- Summary history of Schoharie County
- Boy Scout Camp Serving County - Henderson Scout Reservation
- Schoharie County at the Open Directory Project