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This entry includes a virtual tour! Take the tour.

Welcome to the Walking Tour of Utica's Shoe District brought to you by the Oneida County History Center. The museum, library, and archive are located at 1608 Genesee Street, and we hope you can come to visit. This tour will stop at five sites associated with Utica's now vanished shoe industry.

Utica has a rich industrial past and manufactured everything from stoves, guns, radios, and, most notably, long underwear. It is best known for its massive textile industry, and at one time, Utica produced more knitted goods than any city in the United States.

This tour focuses on one of the lesser-known industries, shoemaking. Utica was a leading city in producing women's and children's shoes for almost twenty years. Many of the factories were just a few blocks from each other.


Moses Bagg, ownere of Bagg's Hotel

Forehead, Handwriting, Jaw, Signature

Photo of Bagg's Hotel where Bagg Square got its name.

Building, Landmark, Tints and shades, Font

Bagg's Hotel Menu

Font, Parallel, Paper, Paper product

Earyl makers workshop

Footwear, Table, Art, Font

You are standing on Main Street at what was once the foot of Genesee Street. Before the highway overpass and multilane highways were built a town square known as Bagg's Square was located here. It was named after Bagg's Hotel which was started in seventeen-ninety-seven. The stone building located in the park to the north is the Bagg's Memorial Building built by the proctor family to memorialize the famous hotel which stood here.

From its earliest days, Utica had shoemakers. They were an essential part of the community because everyone needs shoes. Small workshops and itinerant shoemakers custom-made shoes for each customer. Shoemakers were also known as "cobblers" or "cordwainers."

The first City Directory of Utica was printed in eighteen seventeen it lists twenty -three shoemakers, most of them were located with a few blocks of Bagg's Square.

Moses Bagg

Bagg, Moses. Accessed May 1st 2022.

Accessed May 27th 2022. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/u?/p15195coll34,10.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Oneida County History Center

Oneida County History Center

http://digital.lib.uh.edu/u?/p15195coll34,10

https://www.revolutionarywarjournal.com/cordwainers/