a small but enthusiastic group of Uticans, all owners of the then-new "horseless carriages," gathered
together in 1898 to form a socially oriented motoring club, little
did they envision
that their early efforts would, at a later date, contribute so substantially
to the founding and growth of the world's largest and most effective
motoring organization, the American Automobile Association.
Naming their group the Automobile Club of Utica,
they sought, and obtained, their corporate charter in 1901. Elected to
the club's presidency
that same year was Charles S. Mott, a local industrialist and owner
of Weston-Mott Wheel Works.
Invited to Chicago in 1902, Mott joined
with the representatives of eight other regional motoring associations
in a meeting following
the now universally recognized American Automobile Association (AAA),
In the years between 1909 and 1943, the local
club established its headquarters at the Hotel Martin. Under the able
management of Edward O'Mally, the club joined with the Automobile
Club of Central New York in 1924, thereby expanding its area of services
to include the already-growing number of motorists residing within
the greater Mohawk Valley.
In the early 1900s, Oneida County was on its way to
becoming a giant in the burgeoning automobile industry. Company owners, however, received little encouragement
from area leaders in the textile industry who were wary of competition
from automakers because they paid workers more than knitting mills
S. Mott, who manufactured bicycle wheels and rims in Utica from
1900 - 1905, later began to make wheels
for "horseless carriages" and produced the Remington
automobile. In 1901, the Remington Automobile and Motor Company
moved into a
3-story building on First Street in Utica and began to make the Remington automobile. Subsequently
Mott moved his company to Michigan and sold it to a young company called General
in exchange for stock. He continued to reinvest the stock and soon
owned the largest number of shares in the firm and became its richest
stockholder. He was a billionare when he died in 1973 at age 97.
Also in 1901,, W.H. Birdsall designed the Buckmobile
and A. Vedder Brower and a group organized a company to manufacture
the 2-cylinder car. The factory was at John and Catherine
streets and later moved to Shepherd Place
the Remington and the Buckmobile did not last long, but one
Utica company in the automobile business did. Edward
A. Willoughby was a carriage-maker in Rome. When fire destroyed
his factory, he moved to Utica and purchased
the old Utica Carriage Company. Soon, the company was making bodies
for automobiles. The Willoughby Company remained in business until
1936. It built bodies for Packard, Cadillac, Rolls Royce and Lincoln.
Francis P. Miller and Harry Mundy established
Utica's first automobile dealership, the Miller-Mundy Motor Carriage
Company, in 1901. They began by selling White Steamers
and Pierce-Stanhopes and later added other makes.
In 1906, the Utica Motor Car Company was locted
on Bleecker Street, across from Chancellor Park. Tony Ledermann,
one of the top mechanics in the area and the man in charge of Utica Motor
Car Company's repair department, later opened a Pierce-Arrow dealership
at Plant and Hart streets in Utica.