Otselic Valley Fishing & Heritage Association
Founded: In 1807 by Ebenezer Hill, moving south from Georgetown to what is now Otselic Center.
Hamlets within the town: Beaver Meadow, Otselic Center, Sandersonville, Seventh Day Hollow and South Otselic.
Named after: An Iroquois word that translates to Plum Creek.
Current population: 1,054 (2010 U.S. Census)
Notable people: Grace Brown (1886-1906) was an Otselic native murdered by her boyfriend, Chester Gillette. Her story received national attention and was the subject of the fictional character Roberta Alden in Theodore Dreiser’s novel An American Tragedy as well as Jennifer Donnelly’s novel A Northern Light. She is buried in Valley View Cemetery in South Otselic. Gillette was eventually convicted of her murder and electrocuted at Auburn Prison.
Interesting facts: Otselic has the only D.E.C. fish hatchery in Chenango County. Built in the late 1930s, it was located in South Otselic because of the influence of the Gladding Fishing Line owners. The New York, Oswego & Midland Railroad, commonly referred to as the Butter & Cheese Express, passed through Otselic. The Rainbow Trestle was a notable landmark in its day. So named because of its graceful curve, it was 750 feet in length and 45 feet high, crossing the Otselic River basin and meeting land on Crumb Hill in Otselic Center.
Industry past: During the heyday of local creameries, the creamery located in Otselic was one of the largest in the state. Gladding Braided Products was formed in 1816 in South Otselic. It manufactured fishing line and ropes. At one time, it even manufactured children’s sleds.
Industry present: Gladding Braided Products continues to make rope products. It has expanded in recent years with colored paracord. It currently produces more than 2 million feet of braided cord, wire and cable a day.