Published by Milo M. Fish.
Circa 1910

Little Falls is situated on the most beautiful and picturesque part of the Mohawk River, and is mid-way between New York and Buffalo, being 217 miles west of New York and 223 miles east of Buffalo. The site is a grand one, and from the high elevations of the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains onto north and south, which are 40 to 500 feet above sea level, the view up and down the Mohawk Valley is one not surpassed in beauty by any other in the United States, or world.

Little Falls possesses great natural and acquired advantages for becoming even a greater and more important manufacturing and trading center than at present.

Commercially, its location is almost perfect. The old canal was started in 1792, and completed in 1795 by the Inland Lock Navigation Company. It was part of a system to connect navigable waters of the Mohawk with Oneida Lake through West Wood creek, and the Oswego river, with Lake Ontario. The five locks built here were of wood, but nine years later they were rebuilt of stone.

The State bought the above company out and built the basin and aqueduct to feed the canal [Erie.] The remains of the lower lock can be seen at the Little Falls Paper Company’s waterway, and the upper lock on Elizabeth street.

In building the basin and aqueduct the villagers furnished the material for the aqueduct free, so boats could tie in the basin to be loaded and unloaded. The Erie Canal opened from Lake Erie to the Hudson River October 26, 1825 at Little Falls. Before its final completion, it had a temporary terminus from west near the first lock below the falls at the foot of Moss Rock [now Moss Island.] The canal has been enlarged from time to time; there are four locks in the city limits at the present time, which will give way to one large lock when the barge canal is completed.

The Mohawk River is harnessed to give motion to the shafting and machinery of her numerous industries; the Erie Canal gives easy access to all the grand highways of navigation in the country; and three railroad, The New York Central & Hudson River and the West Shore, each connects with all the great trunk lines of the continent, and with the great trading centers in every section of the Union. The Little Falls & Dolgeville railroad is the connecting link between the city and the Northern Adirondack region.

Owing to one of the best water systems in the country, the city has an inexhaustible supply of pure and wholesome water for household, manufacturing and fire purposes. The city and the country around it are healthful to an eminent degree, and the climate is as salubrious as any in the state, the death rate being lower than that of any other city of its size in the United States. The water and sewer systems aid much in this direction.

The principal streets have brick and macadam pavements. Electric cars and electric lights; numerous churches and public and sectarian schools all serve to keep the spirit of progress unimpaired, which seems to have been born with the place itself.

In its early history, Little Falls was known by the native Indians as Astenrogen, “swift water”; by the white navigators in 1758 as “Little Carrying Place”; by Sir Henry Moore, a Colonial Governor of New York State in 1768 as “Canajoharie Falls.” But from its first settlement, Little Falls has retained the name [with the exception of from April 1850, to April 1852, when I was named Rockton] until the present time, which was suggested to the pioneer settlers by the series of cascades and rapids in the Mohawk in the center of the city.

Little Falls received its name in contradistinction from the great falls of the Mohawk at Cohoes. The first settlement was made here in 1723, under what is known as the Burnetsfield grant. Afterwards, came Glen’s purchase, Lindsey’s patent, the Herkimer or Fall Hill patent and others.

Little Falls is the greatest manufacturing center of knit goods for its size in the world. We have ten knitting mills, employing 3600 hands. The daily capacity is about 5300 dozens.

Little Falls is in the center of a very rich dairy farming district and is one of the largest inland cheese markets in the world.

Editor’s Note: Dan Carter provided the booklet with the images (below) and text that had been given to him after being found in an attic in Springfield, NY.