Main Street Photograph Collection
The Main Street Photograph Collection documents the development of Waterville’s Main Street, the commercial heart of the village, from the mid-19th century to the present. Main Street is conventionally divided into East and West Main where it intersects Oneida County Route 315 (Buell Avenue, formerly Mill Street) on the north and White Street on the south. It forms part of New York State Route 12, the major north/south corridor between Utica and Binghamton, which continues along Sanger Avenue to the south. A substantial portion of the street’s 19th-century architecture remains intact. Brick commercial buildings with Italianate arched windows and bracketed cornices line the north side of West Main Street. On East Main Street, commercial blocks give way to offices, shops, churches, and residences. The 1929 Waterville National Bank building occupies the point of the Triangle District, next to the 1880s Waterville Opera House, which was once connected to the 1814 American Hotel. The Episcopal, Presbyterian and Baptist Churches were all located on East Main Street in the second half of the 19th century.
These photographs were acquired mainly through transfer from the Waterville Public Library, and gifts from local private collectors. Many are works of art as well as historical documents. As a group they show the processes of continuity and change in the Waterville community, and are a vital resource for research on its history.
Scope of Collection
This collection of photographs documents the development of Waterville's Main Street, the commercial heart of the village, from the mid-19th century to the present.