History of Waterville Collection

Collection Owner:
Cover Image:
History of Waterville Collection
Waterville's Academic Union 1915, page 15 - Image Source

Collection Facts

Dates of Original:
1851 - 1886; 1915 - 1919

Historical Context

Waterville is a village in Oneida County, New York officially formed in 1808. The town of Sangerfield is south of Waterville, also in Oneida County, was established in 1795 and named after Revolutionary War soldier Col. Jedediah Sanger. The region was originally settled by the Iroquois or Haudenosaunee Indians, in particular the Oneida tribe. During late 19th century, Waterville and the surrounding area was known as the "Hops Capital of the World" for growing large quantities of hops, which are a primary ingredient in the brewing of beer. Following Prohibition and the Great Depression, hop production became less prominent and the region shifted to other forms of agriculture.

The Waterville High School in use during the time the Academic Union yearbook was published was built in a Gothic Style between the years 1909-1912. Two large additions were built in the 1930s to accommodate a growing student body.

Scope of Collection

The documents detail the history of the region and early settlers, including their relationship with the Oneida. Topics include early politicians; schools; building of roads; Oneida settlement patterns and artifacts; local industries such as earthenware milk pans and bricks; distilleries; the history of hops production; inventions developed by locals such as the Trask bark mill, Harris paint mill, and Harris hops lever press; and geological features of the area.
The collection includes yearbooks from the Waterville High School, dated from 1915 - 1919. Also included are historical accounts of the town of Sangerfield, written in the mid to late nineteenth century and transcribed in the late twentieth century.