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Through the Years: A Brief History of the Otesaga

By: Otesaga Resort Hotel / 26 Jun 2023
Through the Years: A Brief History of the Otesaga

For 114 years, the Otesaga has stood as a timeless testament to history, elegance, and hospitality. With its rich heritage and lakeside destination, the resort has been the site of luxurious getaways for so many visitors to Cooperstown. Read on for a look back at the storied history of our upstate New York hotel.

The Early Years

In 1909, the Otesaga Resort Hotel opened its doors, offering visitors a grand retreat amidst the stunning beauty of Otsego Lake and Cooperstown. Designed by renowned architect Percy Griffin, the hotel showcased Federalist-style architecture complete with 30-foot columns on the front portico. Guests today still marvel at this impressive sight as we welcome them with the gracious hospitality that has defined the Otesaga for generations. 

While our award-winning Leatherstocking Golf Course initially opened in 1909, it wasn't until 1919 that renowned golf architect Devereaux Emmet transformed the 9-hole course into the 18-hole championship course that guests play today. With incredible scenic views, a round at Leatherstocking also offers the chance to experience a piece of golf history! 


Legendary Getaways

Cooperstown and baseball share a special bond, with the Otesaga playing an important role. Each year, our resort serves as a home base for the legends of the game during the induction ceremony for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Our serene surroundings have provided the backdrop for countless memorable moments in the sport's history. In 1936, the inaugural class of inductees was enshrined, including Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth, whose golf game that weekend started a long tradition of Hall of Famers playing Leatherstocking Golf Course during Induction Weekend.


Thoughtful Renovations & New Additions

As a member of the Historic Hotels of America, maintaining the architecture of the resort remains important, but the Otesaga has also changed with the times, adapting to the needs of the modern traveler. In 2013, our popular Fire Bar opened, offering guests the opportunity to raise a glass as the sun sets over Otsego Lake. Two years later, Hawkeye Spa opened, providing rejuvenating massage and facial treatments. In 2017, Hawkeye Bar & Grill underwent significant renovations, expanding the space and offering more lake views. Our 110th anniversary in 2019 saw the opening of our destination steakhouse 1909. And we have a new addition to the resort, Mohican Market, our gourmet coffee bar featuring espresso drinks, signature pastries, sandwiches, salads, and unique Otesaga gifts.


A Timeless Retreat

The Otesaga is an enduring symbol of elegance, history, and hospitality. Its rich legacy and dedication to preserving tradition have made it a cherished destination for travelers seeking a refined retreat. With stunning architecture, spectacular lake views, and gracious hospitality, the Otesaga continues to enchant guests as we did way back in 1909. Book your getaway today!


The Otesaga Resort Hotel remains steadfast in our efforts to ensure the health and safety of our staff and guests. We continue to adhere to our strict cleaning and safety guidelines. Please visit our website for more information on Otesaga CARE - our commitment to a Clean And Responsible Environment.

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