Fort Plain, New York

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Fort Plain, New York
Fort Plain, New York is located in New York
Fort Plain, New York
Fort Plain, New York
Location within the state of New York
Coordinates: 42°55′51″N 74°37′29″W / 42.93083°N 74.62472°W / 42.93083; -74.62472Coordinates: 42°55′51″N 74°37′29″W / 42.93083°N 74.62472°W / 42.93083; -74.62472
Country United States
State New York
County Montgomery
 • Mayor Guy Barton
 • Total 1.4 sq mi (3.7 km2)
 • Land 1.4 sq mi (3.5 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 305 ft (93 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 2,322
 • Density 1,700/sq mi (630/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 13339
Area code(s) 518
FIPS code 36-26924
GNIS feature ID 0950490

Fort Plain is a village in Montgomery County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 census, the village population was 2,322. The village is named after a fort built during the American Revolution at the junction of the Mohawk River and its tributary Otsquago Creek.[1]

The village of Fort Plain is at the border of the Towns of Minden and Canajoharie and is west of Amsterdam.

Because of its small size and the close connections with neighboring communities, some former residents who now live in more populous regions use Fort Plain to refer collectively to the village of Fort Plain and the surrounding villages of Nelliston, Canajoharie, and Palatine Bridge.


The village is in a region where the Mohawk had four major villages along the Mohawk River in the 17th century. They historically had occupied territory west of the Hudson River and extending up to the St. Lawrence River and south to the Delaware Water Gap, but their main villages were located close to the Mohawk River. Due to losses from a smallpox epidemic in 1635, the Mohawk reduced their villages to three. By the early 18th century they had two major villages.

In 1738, the governor of New York built a stone house here for the use of his sons. Other early settlers included Palatine Germans, whom the Mohawk had permitted to settle in exchange for gaining help with their defenses in 1712 from Queen Anne of England. Anne's government had supported immigration of the Protestant Germans as religious refugees and paid for their passage, for which they exchanged work in New York in camps along the Hudson River. As the Mohawk requested, Queen Anne ordered the construction of Fort Hunter in 1712 near Tionondoraga; that village was also known by Europeans as the "Lower Castle."

The village of Fort Plain developed at the foot of the hill where the fort once stood. The Revolutionary War fort was constructed in 1776; a blockhouse was garrisoned here throughout the war. While many of the village's men were fighting elsewhere, the women, dressed as men, manned the fort and fought off Indian attacks. The village developed around Otsquago Creek, which has its confluence with the Mohawk River.

Fort Plain became an incorporated village in 1832. The opening of the Erie Canal was an economic boom, stimulating the village to become a center of manufacturing during the nineteenth century. It produced textiles from cotton from the Deep South and furniture. Textile mills in upstate New York depended on processing southern cotton; these products made up a major part of exports from New York City in the antebellum years.

Fort Plain is the birthplace of Bud Fowler, the first black professional baseball player. Fowler appeared in an exhibition game with a team from Lynn, Iowa in 1878, 68 years before Jackie Robinson played in a professional baseball game in the major leagues.

Numerous Amish have migrated to New York from Pennsylvania since the late 20th century, seeking affordable farm land. Many have settled in Fort Plain. Montgomery County has one of the largest populations of Amish in the country.

The Fort Plain Conservation Area and United States Post Office are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[2]

On June 28, 2013 there was extensive flooding on Otsquago Creek, tearing up its streambed and damaging houses up the creek to Stark. More than 100 houses were damaged or destroyed in Fort Plain, where 4 inces of rain fell. Bridges over the creek were destroyed. Ten miles upstream, Start received 7 inches of rain, which entered the creek and washed its bed away. The state quickly started the extensive work needed to repair the stream bed, nearby roadways and other infrastructure. Tons of rocks were laid down to stabilize the banks.[3]

Notable residents[edit]


Fort Plain is located at 42°55′51″N 74°37′29″W / 42.930846°N 74.624799°W / 42.930846; -74.624799.[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2), of which, 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (3.55%) is water.

The village is located on the south bank of the Mohawk River, where the Otsquago Creek enters the Mohawk. The Erie Canal, using the Mohawk River, is adjacent to the village. The Village of Nelliston is on the opposite shore of the river.

New York State Thruway (Interstate 90) passes through the community. The intersection of NY Route 80 (Reid Street), NY Route 5S (Canal Street), and NY Route 163 is located in Fort Plain. NY 163 has its northern terminus at NY 80 in the village.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 1,797
1880 2,443 35.9%
1890 2,864 17.2%
1900 2,444 −14.7%
1910 2,762 13.0%
1920 2,747 −0.5%
1930 2,725 −0.8%
1940 2,770 1.7%
1950 2,935 6.0%
1960 2,809 −4.3%
1970 2,809 0.0%
1980 2,555 −9.0%
1990 2,416 −5.4%
2000 2,288 −5.3%
2010 2,322 1.5%
Est. 2014 2,272 [6] −2.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 2,288 people, 960 households, and 599 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,680.0 people per square mile (649.6/km2). There were 1,108 housing units at an average density of 813.5 per square mile (314.6/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 98.60% White, 0.09% African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.48% from other races, and 0.44% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.44% of the population.

There were 960 households out of which 30.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.6% were non-families. 32.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the village the population was spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 19.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.6 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $27,476, and the median income for a family was $40,302. Males had a median income of $28,462 versus $21,557 for females. The per capita income for the village was $16,369. About 10.5% of families and 14.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.0% of those under age 18 and 11.0% of those age 65 or over.


  1. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 129. 
  2. ^ Staff (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  3. ^ Bryan Fitzgerald, "Piecing it all back together", Times Union, August 2013, accessed 13 November 2015
  4. ^ "Local actress made a mark in Hollywood". The Daily Gazette. May 6, 1996. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links[edit]