The Town of Sangerfield occupies the most southern portion of Oneida County. Officially established on March 5, 1795, early settlers were attracted by its water supply and rich soil which provided the basis for its main industry through the years,-- farming. Situated on the ‘Cherry Valley Turnpike', now US Route 20, its location mid-way between Albany and Buffalo made Sangerfield a thriving community with many taverns, stores and churches and stop for many turnpike travelers.
The town was named for Col. Jedediah Sanger. The Town encompassed a well-worn Indian path known as the "Oneida Path" or "Great Indian Trail" and had been used for fishing and hunting expeditions as well as General George Washington on a visit to the Oneida in 1783.
While dairy farming has been the mainstay throughout its history, the introduction of hops in the 1830's proved to be a boon to the area and Waterville and the surrounding area was considered the ‘Hops Capital of the World." The development of railway service through the Town of Sangerfield made the area a major shipping point for hops-related cargo. Waterville was the ‘exchange center for hops' for the entire nation at hop growing's peak in the 1880's and generated significant wealth to the area. Small businesses such as a cheese box factory, boot and shoe factory, brick manufacturing, distilleries, coal gas production, textile and soap factories sprang up in the Town.
Engrained in Sangerfield's history is the notorious and colorful Loomis Gang - its most infamous family. Settling near the area known as the ‘Nine Mile Swamp' in 1802, the Loomis family organized a large family of criminals that became widely known for horse thievery, burglary, counterfeiting and other notorious exploits. They utilized the swamp to hide stolen horses and cattle and as an escape when pursued by local law enforcement. These outlaws have been the topic of numerous books and movies.
The rich history of the area and its citizens can be researched at the Waterville Historical Society and Waterville Public Library.
The Town of Sangerfield Bicentennial history, published in 1995, is also a wealth of information.