Utica is a city in the Mohawk Valley and the county seat of Oneida County, New York, United States. The tenth-most-populous city in New York, its population was 62,235 in the 2010 U. S. census, located on the Mohawk River at the foot of the Adirondack Mountains, Utica is approximately 90 miles northwest of Albany and 45 miles east of Syracuse. Formerly a river settlement inhabited by the Mohawk tribe of the Iroquois Confederacy, Utica attracted European-American settlers from New England during and after the American Revolution. In the 19th century, immigrants strengthened its position as a city between Albany and Syracuse on the Erie and Chenango Canals and the New York Central Railroad. During the 19th and 20th centuries, the citys infrastructure contributed to its success as a manufacturing center, Uticas 20th-century political corruption and organized crime gave it the nicknames Sin City, and later, the city that God forgot. Like other Rust Belt cities, Utica had a downturn beginning in the mid-20th century. Several theories exist about the history of the name Utica, prior to construction of the fort, the Mohawk, Onondaga and Oneida tribes had occupied this area south of the Great Lakes region as early as 4000 BC. The Mohawk were the largest and most powerful tribe in the part of the Mohawk Valley. Colonists had a fur trade with them, in exchange for firearms. The land housing Old Fort Schuyler was part of a 20, since the fort was located near several trails, its position—on a bend at a shallow portion of the Mohawk River—made it an important fording point. The Mohawk called the bend Unundadages, and the Mohawk word appears on the citys seal, during the American Revolution, border raids from British-allied Iroquois tribes harried the settlers on the frontier. George Washington ordered Sullivans Expedition, Rangers, to enter Central New York, more than 40 Iroquois villages were destroyed and their winter stores, causing starvation. In the aftermath of the war, numerous European-American settlers migrated into the state, in 1794 a state road, Genesee Road, was built from Utica west to the Genesee River. That year a contract was awarded to the Mohawk Turnpike and Bridge Company to extend the road northeast to Albany, the Seneca Turnpike was key to Uticas development, replacing a worn footpath with a paved road. The village became a rest and supply area along the Mohawk River for goods, the boundaries of the village of Utica were defined in an act passed by the New York State Legislature on April 3,1798. Utica expanded its borders in subsequent 1805 and 1817 charters, on April 5,1805, the villages eastern and western boundaries were expanded, and on April 7,1817, Utica separated from Whitestown on its west. After completion of the Erie Canal in 1825, the growth was stimulated again. The municipal charter was passed by the legislature on February 13,1832
Image: Utica Panorama
This 1883 index map shows the development around Utica and Bagg's Square, with the Erie Canal (now Oriskany Street) and Chenango Canal towards the upper-right.
Bird's-eye view of Utica over Bagg's Square in the 1850s, showing the smoke from numerous factory chimneys