Portion of Little Falls may be labeled historic

Catherine Kurtelawicz

A small portion of Little Falls soon may become eligible for tax credits and grants after it is added to the State and National registers of historic places. 

Parts of South Ann, Mill and Mohawk streets that run along the Erie Canal and once served as the industrial hub of the city are slated to join the list because of their historical significance and contributions to the community. 

“Little Falls was a very important industrial base at one time in that area,” Herkimer County Historical Society Executive Director Sue Perkins said. 

The district stretches from the present CSX railroad on the north, rear property lines fronting on Ann Street on the east, the Mohawk River and Erie Canal on the south and by property lines on the west. The area contains 16 buildings and structures dating from 1827 to 1911 that contribute to the historical significance. 

Cathy Jimenez, spokeswoman for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said the addition to the register has several advantages for the community. 

“It brings recognition to the area as a historic resource,” she said. 

She also said the area will receive some protection from the federal government. 

“If there were any projects that would require either state or federal permits, or state or federal funding, then they would review the project to make sure there would be no adverse effect on the area,” she said. 

The South Ann and Mill street areas were developed following the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825. Because of the waterway, manufacturing grew, which resulted in the addition of many jobs and more development for the young city, which was incorporated in 1811. 

“It was just amazing how (the city) grew in the late 1890s, early 1900s,” Perkins said.

Richard Vogt owns the Stone Mill, a former textile mill built in 1839 that now is home to seven businesses and one of the buildings included in the historical district. 

“I'm really proud to be part of it,” he said. 

Vogt said not many people know the history of the area, and he hopes the addition onto the lists will bring more recognition. 

“(Residents) don't even know we're here,” he said. 

The only steps left to make the site's place on the register official is for state and federal officials to sign it. 

“It's just a matter of process at this point,” Jimenez said.