Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Defining The Mohawk Valley. Part 3.

In his book The Mohawk Codman Hislop defines the Mohawk Valley in terms of physical geography. The Mohawk Valley, according to this definition is the area covering the Mohawk River watershed. This area encompasses most of Schenectady, Schoharie, Herkimer and Montgomery Counties, about half of Fulton and Oneida Counties, and a tiny portion of Albany, Saratoga, Otsego, Hamilton and Lewis Counties.

Codman's book is part of the Rivers Of America Series. It was published in 1948 so is somewhat dated now in parts, but still is an enjoyable book.

The Schoharie Creek is the largest tributary of the Mohawk River. The Schoharie Valley does have its own identity. In some ways it is more beautiful than the Mohawk Valley proper, having not been spoiled as much. A great deal of the water from the Schoharie ends up coming out of taps in New York City, thanks to the Gilboa Dam and reservoir.

This definition, like all definitions of the valley, is not without its difficulties. If the Mohawk Valley is the area covered by the Mohawk River watershed, then the Hudson Valley is the area covered by the Hudson Valley watershed. This would mean that the Mohawk Valley is part of the Hudson Valley, just as the Schoharie Valley is part of the Mohawk Valley.

In any event, my blog does cover the Schoharie Valley as well as the Mohawk Valley because they have always had such a close connection. By the way, Codman's book does have a chapter on the Schoharie Valley.

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