The territory which embraces the town and city of Oneonta was once the site of Indian villages, one at the mouth of the Charlotte Creek and the other at the juncture of the Susquehanna River and Otego Creek. Following along the present day Main Street ran the great Indian trail which was the "highway" between the Great Lakes, New England and the Hudson. The town of Oneonta was organized in 1830 from parts of Otego and Milford and had a population of 1,149. The village of Oneonta was incorporated in 1848. In 1865, the Albany and Susquehanna Railroad, predecessor of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad, reached Oneonta, accelerating the growth of the community. With the construction of the D&H machine and repair shops in 1871, development occurred at an even more rapid pace. On January 1, 1909, the village of Oneonta became a city. The population had grown from 2,600 in 1875 to 10,000 by 1912, and 12,000 by the 1920's. By the 1950's, the automobile and trucking industries were taking their toll on the railroad, and operations of the Delaware and Hudson began to wane. The D&H Railroad gradually reduced its operations in Oneonta, and was finally bought out by the Canadian Pacific in January 1991. Oneonta is now a college town. The State University of New York at Oneonta and Hartwick College provide a means of livelihood for a large number of Oneonta residents.