In its heyday, this Erie Canal town bustled with mills and factories churning out manufactured goods, from carpets and curtains to carriage springs. Amsterdam was once the nation's biggest producer of brooms, crafting 7 million a year from corn grown in the Mohawk Valley. Today visitors stop in the former Rug City (population 21,000) on their way to many historic sites, both American Indian and colonial. The city has one
of the oldest upstate Hispanic communities and is the home of musicians Alex Torres and the Latin Kings.