Canastota is a village located along the Erie Canal. The name is derived from an Oneida term meaning “cluster of pines near still waters.” Once a vibrant canal town, in later years Canastota became known for the growing of onions, which once accounted for a majority of villagers’ income.
Canastota hosted an important dress reform convention in 1857. The location was chosen in part because Canastota lay just seven miles north of Peterboro, home of reformer/philanthropist Gerrit Smith, who supported the event financially. Since 1990 Canastota, home of two twentieth-century boxing champions, has hosted the International Boxing Hall of Fame.