The confluence of the Mohawk River and the Canajoharie Creek made Canajoharie a natural location for the c.1771 Old Continental Mill, one of the earliest gristmills in the valley. Arkell & Smith produced the first paper bags used for storing flour and sugar in 1859. Served by the Erie Canal and the West Shore Railroad, Canajoharie was made rich and famous by Beech-Nut Nutrition, the first company to package baby food in glass jars rather than lead-soldered cans (now considered a health hazard). Canajoharie today boasts a downtown brimming with antique stores, restaurants, retail shops and the Arkell Museum and Library. Canajoharie is also home to the historic Van Alstyne House (aka Fort Rensselaer) .
Start your trip at the Regional Visitors Center at Canajoharie, located at 89 Church Street. Just around the corner, the Arkell Museum and Library houses an extensive collection of American paintings, primarily from 1860-1940, as well as historical exhibits about the history of the Mohawk River Valley and the Beech-Nut baby food company.