Elmira /ˌɛlˈmaɪrə/ is a city in Chemung County, New York, United States. It is the principal city of the Elmira, New York, metropolitan statistical area, which encompasses Chemung County, New York. The population was 29,200 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Chemung County.
The City of Elmira is in the south-central part of the county, surrounded on three sides by the Town of Elmira. It is in the Southern Tier of New York, a short distance north of the Pennsylvania state line.
Elmira, New York
|• Mayor||Daniel Mandell (R)|
|• City Manager||P. Michael Collins|
|• City Council|
|• City||7.58 sq mi (19.63 km2)|
|• Land||7.25 sq mi (18.78 km2)|
|• Water||0.33 sq mi (0.85 km2)|
|Elevation||873 ft (266 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||3,855.76/sq mi (1,488.70/km2)|
|• Metro||90,070 (Chemung County)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
This was long an area inhabited by indigenous people. In historic times, it was occupied by the Cayuga nation of the Iroquois Confederacy, also called the Kanawaholla. They had some relations with Europeans and English over fur trading, but were relatively isolated from the encroaching settlements.
During the American Revolutionary War, the Sullivan Expedition of 1779 was mounted against the four Iroquois nations who had allied with the British and Loyalist forces. It fought a combined British-Iroquois force at the Battle of Newtown, south of the current city, in which Sullivan and his forces were victorious. After the conclusion of the war, the Iroquois and the new United States made a treaty at Elmira in 1791 to settle territorial disputes in the region. Most of the Seneca emigrated under pressure with the other Iroquois to Canada, where they resettled on land provided by the British Crown.
The first European-American settler in Elmira was captain Abraham Miller of the Continental Army. He built a cabin after resigning just before the Revolutionary War. Miller's Pond and Miller Street are named after him and are near the location of his house.
The New York legislature established the Township of Chemung, now Chemung County, in 1788. The settlement of Newtown was soon established at the intersection of Newtown Creek and the Chemung River. In 1792, the settlement at Newtown joined with the Wisnerburg and DeWittsburg settlements to form the village of Newtown. In 1808, the village officially changed its name to the Town of Elmira, at a town meeting held at Teal's Tavern. It is said the town was named after tavern owner Nathan Teal's young daughter, but that story has never been confirmed. In any case, the City of Elmira, also called "The Queen City", was incorporated in 1864 from part of the town of Elmira and the village of Elmira. The remaining part of the town of Elmira exists still, surrounding the city on the west, north and east. The city and town share an intricately entwined history. According to Amos B. Carpenter's Family History book printed in 1898, Elmira is named after Major General Matthew Carpenter's daughter. This occurred according to the book in 1821 at the constitutional convention to which Matthew was a delegate.
Elmira served as a transportation hub for New York's Southern Tier in the 1800s, connecting commercial centers in Rochester and Buffalo with Albany and New York City, via the canal system and railroads. The city was the southern terminus of the Chemung Canal (completed in 1833); later, the Junction Canal was constructed to connect Elmira with Corning, facilitating transport of coal from the Pennsylvania mines via the Northern branch of the Susquehanna Canal system. In 1849, the New York and Erie Railroad was built through Elmira, giving the area a New York City to Buffalo route. In 1850, the Elmira and Jefferson Railroad gave the area a route north and the Elmira and Williamsport Railroad a route south in 1854. This made the city a prime location for an Army training and muster point early in the Civil War. In 1872 the Utica, Ithaca and Elmira Railroad was begun, eventually creating a route to Cortland and Syracuse via Horseheads, Breesport and VanEtten. The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad was completed in 1884, which competed with the Erie's New York City to Buffalo line.
A great deal of the 30-acre (120,000 m2) Union installation, known as Camp Rathbun, fell into disuse as the Civil War progressed, and the camp's "Barracks #3" were converted into a Civil War prisoner of war camp in the summer of 1864. The camp, in use from June 6, 1864 until autumn 1865, was dubbed "Hellmira" by its inmates. Towner's history of 1892 and maps from the period indicate the camp occupied a somewhat irregular parallelogram, running about 1,000 feet (300 m) west and approximately the same distance south of a location several hundred feet west of Hoffman Street (Foster Avenue) and Winsor Avenue, bordered on the south by Foster's Pond, on the north bank of the Chemung River.
In the months the site was used as a camp, 12,123 Confederate soldiers were incarcerated; of these, 2,963 died during their stay from a combination of malnutrition, prolonged exposure to brutal winter weather and disease directly attributable to the dismal sanitary conditions on Foster's Pond and lack of medical care. The camp's dead were prepared for burial and laid to rest by the sexton at Woodlawn National Cemetery, ex-slave John W. Jones. At the end of the war, each prisoner was given a loyalty oath and given a train ticket back home; the last prisoner left the camp on September 27, 1865. The camp was closed, demolished and converted to farmland. Woodlawn Cemetery, about 2 miles (3 km) north of the original prison camp site (bounded by West Hill, Bancroft, Davis and Mary Streets), was designated a "National Cemetery" in 1877. The prison camp site is today a residential area.
In 1950, the Elmira's population peaked at about 50,000, which represented 57 percent of Chemung County’s total population at the time. Today, the city has approximately 30,000 residents, which represents 34 percent of Chemung County’s population. This population decline is due to the national decline in railroads and manufacturing as well as a population shift to the outer suburbs around Elmira. The Elmira Metro area has nearly 100,000 people.
The population decline began during the recession of the early 1970s during which several large employers (Ann Page, American Bridge, General Electric, American LaFrance, Westinghouse and Remington Rand) either closed their factories or moved to other states. The decline was exacerbated by the flood of 1972, during which many of the downtown businesses and single-family homes were destroyed or replaced by subsequent Urban Renewal projects in the Chemung River flood plain.
Today, the primary manufacturing employers are:
Anchor Glass Container Corporation, headquartered in Tampa, Florida, is in the old Thatcher Glass facility in Elmira Heights. Anchor Glass produces a diverse line of flint, amber, green and other colored glass containers of various types and designs for the beer, food, beverage and liquor markets in North America. Anchor Glass is now wholly owned by the Ardagh Group S.A..
CAF-USA Inc has its main U.S. plant in Elmira Heights on the site of the former American Bridge Company. CAF USA is a subsidiary company of Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, a Spanish manufacturer of passenger rail products (including trains, high-speed trains, locomotives, light rail vehicles and other rail equipment). CAF-USA Inc trains are typically designed for North America's market, based on Spanish design and technologies.
Elmira Heat Treating, established in 1962 in Elmira, offers a wide variety of heat treatment technologies to both domestic and international customers such as Hilliard Corp., Ford Motors, General Signal and others.
Hardinge, Inc. (formerly Hardinge Brothers), established in 1890 and now headquartered in Elmira, manufactures precise turning machines for the domestic and international market. Starting in 1995, Hardinge began expanding their product line and over the years has acquired L. Kellenberger & Co. AG, Hauser-Tripet-Tschudin AG, Jones & Shipman, and Usach Technologies, Inc. In 2004 they also acquired Bridgeport, world-famous for its milling machines and machining centers.
Hilliard Corporation, established in 1905, has two locations in Elmira and serves the international market in filters, brakes, clutches and starters for a variety of industrial and commercial uses as well as consumer equipment from Polaris and MTD.
Kennedy Valve, located in Elmira since 1905, is one of the world's largest manufacturers of products for waterworks distribution, potable and wastewater treatment, and fire protection system projects. They are most famous for their fire hydrants which can be found around the world. Kennedy Valve was acquired by McWane in 1988.
Trayer Products, established in 1929, manufactures parts mostly for the heavy truck industry; primarily truck chassis parts such as king pins and shackles.
On July 26, 2012, an EF1 tornado touched down near Cottage Drive off of Route 352 and traveled through Golden Glow and the rest of the city. Moderate damage was seen after the storm passed and hundreds of trees and power lines were blown down. No one was injured. The tornado was 0.5 miles (0.80 km) wide and took the city by surprise as this area has not been prone to tornadic activity.
Elmira is at (42.089874, −76.809559).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 7.6 sq mi (19.6 km2), of which, 7.3 sq mi (19.0 km2) of it is land and 0.27 sq mi (0.7 km2) of it (3.56%) is water.
The Chemung River flows eastward through the city. Elmira is built almost entirely in the flood plain of the Chemung River and has suffered many floods, the worst from Hurricane Agnes in 1972. Newtown Creek, flowing from the north, joins the Chemung River at the city's southeast corner.
Interstate 86/New York State Route 17, The Southern Tier Expressway, connects with the city at Exit 56. New York State Route 14 passes through Elmira between Watkins Glen and Pennsylvania. New York State Route 13 begins near Lake Ontario and travels through Cortland and Ithaca before ending in Elmira. New York State Route 352 begins in Elmira at Exit 56 of the Southern Tier Expressway and continues West into Corning.
|Climate data for Elmira, New York (1981–2010 normals)|
|Record high °F (°C)||72
|Average high °F (°C)||32.9
|Average low °F (°C)||15.1
|Record low °F (°C)||−24
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||1.95
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||10.9
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||11.6||9.6||10.9||12.5||13.0||12.8||11.7||11.0||10.7||11.4||11.5||11.2||137.9|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||6.3||5.2||3.6||.7||0||0||0||0||0||.1||1.4||4.1||21.4|
|Source: NOAA (extremes 1894–present)|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 30,940 people, 11,475 households, and 6,701 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,229.5 people per square mile (1,632.0/km²). There were 12,895 housing units at an average density of 1,762.7 per square mile (680.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 82.03% White, 13.05% Black or African American, 0.39% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.37% from other races, and 2.64% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.14% of the population.
There were 11,475 households out of which 31.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.3% were married couples living together, 18.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.6% were non-families. 34.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 3.05.
In the city, the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 13.0% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 18.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,292, and the median income for a family was $33,592. Males had a median income of $31,775 versus $22,350 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,495. About 17.9% of families and 23.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.6% of those under age 18 and 12.1% of those age 65 or over.
The Elmira Metropolitan Statistical Area (or Elmira MSA) is frequently used for statistical information such as labor rates and includes all of Chemung County with a population in 2000 of 90,070.
The three largest ethnic groups in Elmira are Irish, German and Italian.
|Mayors of Elmira|
|Daniel J. Mandell||R||2016–present|
|Susan J. Skidmore||D||2012–2015|
|John S. Tonello||D||2006–2011|
|J. William O'Brien||D||3/2005-2006|
|Stephen M. Hughes||D||1998-2/2005|
|Howard F. Townsend||R||1994–1997|
|James E. Hare||D||1988–1993|
|Stephen J. Fesh Jr.||R||1984–1987|
|Mary P. Ciccariello||D||1982–1983|
|Robert G. Densberger||R||1980–1981|
|John M. Kennedy||D||1976–1979|
|Richard C. Loll||R||1972–1975|
|Edward T. Lagonegro||D||1968–1971|
|Howard H. Kimball||R||1966–1967|
|Edward T. Lagonegro||D||1962–1965|
|Edward A. Mooers||R||1956–1961|
|J. Maxwell Beers||R||1936–1939|
|Henry W. Honan||D||1934–1935|
|W. Glenn Sweet||R||1932–1933|
|Frank P. Robinson||D||1930–1931|
|David N. Heller||D||1926–1929|
|J. Norton Wood||R||1922–1925|
|George W. Peck||D||1920–1921|
|Harry N. Hoffman||-||1914–1919|
|Z. Reed Brockway||-||1906–1907|
|William T. Coleman||R||1904–1905|
|Frank H. Flood||-||1900–1901|
|David C. Robinson||D||1892–1894|
|Charles S. Davison||D||1888–1892|
|John B. Stanchfield||D||1886–1888|
|Stephen T. Arnot||D||1883–1884|
|David B. Hill||D||1882–1883|
|Granville D. Parsons||-||1878–1880|
|Robert T. Turner||-||1876–1878|
|Howard M. Smith||-||1875–1876|
|Patrick H. Flood||-||1872–1873|
|John Arnot, Jr.||D||1870–1871|
|Eaton N. Frisbie||-||1867–1868|
|John I. Nicks||R||1865–1867|
|John Arnot, Jr.||D||1864–1865|
|* Source: City Clerk of the City of Elmira |
The city government is a Council-Manager form of government in which the City Manager is the primary administrator of the City. There is one mayor elected at large and six council members elected from each of six council districts. The term of office of the mayor and council members was 2 years until a 2003 referendum extended the terms to 4 years (4 year terms began after the 2007 election). The mayor and council members are all part-time employees. The City Manager, City Clerk, City Chamberlain, City Assessor, and Corporation Counsel are all appointed by the City Council. All remaining department heads serve at the request of the City Manager.
The city has 125 miles (201 km) of road, 210 miles (340 km) of water lines, and 175 miles (282 km) of sewer lines. There are four ZIP codes in the City of Elmira: 14901 (northside), 14902 (downtown), 14904 (southside), and 14905 (West Elmira).
The City Slogan is "Honoring the Past, Building the Future". It is featured on an Entrance sign erected in 2003 into the City from Exit 56 of the Southern Tier Expressway along with other honored Elmirans including (L to R) Brian Williams, Hal Roach, Ernie Davis, Mark Twain, Eileen Collins, John Jones, and Tommy Hilfiger. The slogan was designated by Mayor Stephen Hughes following the conclusion of a slogan contest in which Marlin Stewart, Alan and Barbara Hutchinson, and James Lloyd were recognized for their contributions to the winning slogan.
On at least two hilltops near the city (mostly on Harris Hill to the northwest) pioneer pilots established the sport of gliding in America. Harris Hill is the site of the National Soaring Museum. These sites are now recognized as National Landmarks of Soaring.
The John Brand Jr. House, John Brand Sr. House, Buildings at 104-116 West Water St., Chemung Canal Bank Building, Chemung County Courthouse Complex, Clinton–Columbia Historic District, Elmira Civic Historic District, Elmira Coca-Cola Bottling Company Works, Elmira College Old Campus, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Erste Deutsche Evangelische Kirche, Alexander Eustace House, Fire Station No. 4, William S. Gerity House, F. M. Howell and Company, John W. Jones House, Maple Avenue Historic District, Near Westside Historic District, Newtown Battlefield State Park, Park Church, Pentecostal Holy Temple Church of Jesus Christ, Pratt House, Quarry Farm, St. Patrick's Parochial Residence-Convent and School, Trinity Church, and Woodlawn Cemetery and Woodlawn National Cemetery are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Chemung County Transit System operates regularly scheduled fixed route service within the City of Elmira and Village of Horseheads. Another route links Elmira with Corning Community College, also linking passengers with the Steuben County Transit System (SCT) and Corning Erwin Area Transit System (CEATS).
The Elmira Corning Regional Airport (IATA code ELM, ICAO code KELM) is a medium-size regional airport, and the only area airport that offers scheduled airline service. Located 7 miles (11 km) northwest of downtown, the airport has non-stop flights to Detroit on Delta Air Lines, a flight to Newark served by United Airlines, and two routes to Florida on Allegiant Air.
Robert Joseph DeLaney (born 1924 in Elmira, New York, died November 25, 2008 in Queens, New York) was an American sportscaster.
A 1942 graduate of Elmira Free Academy, DeLaney served in the United States Army in the Pacific theater during World War II. After returning to the States, he attended Syracuse University and worked with radio station WFBL in Syracuse. When the Boston Red Sox and Boston Braves decided to separate their radio coverage in 1951, Curt Gowdy, Tom Hussey and DeLaney were hired to call Red Sox games on WHDH. At the end of the 1954 season, DeLaney was hired to replace Ernie Harwell on New York Giants broadcasts. When the Giants moved to San Francisco in 1958, DeLaney was replaced by local announcer Lon Simmons.
After his stint with the Giants, DeLaney was hired as the announcer for live commercials for Atlantic Refining Company during New York Yankees games, a job he held for ten seasons. In April 1959, DeLaney became the announcer for John F. Kennedy's presidential campaign.
After the election, DeLaney worked as a television sports host in New York City from 1962–1968 and called the Ivy League Football Game of the Week on radio from 1964–1968. During the 1970s he served as narrator for the NFL Films Game of the Week, a disc jockey at WFAS in White Plains, New York, and a freelance commercial voiceover artist.
He died on November 25, 2008 from complications of a stroke at St. John's Queens Hospital.Elmira Enforcers
The Elmira Enforcers are a minor professional ice hockey team located in Elmira, New York, and play in the Federal Hockey League. Their home games are played at First Arena.Ernie Davis
Ernest Davis (December 14, 1939 – May 18, 1963) was an American football player, a halfback who won the Heisman Trophy in 1961 and was its first African-American recipient.Davis played college football for Syracuse University and was the first pick in the 1962 NFL Draft. Selected by the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL) in December 1961, he was then almost immediately traded to the Cleveland Browns and issued number 45.
Davis was diagnosed with leukemia in the summer of 1962, and died less than a year later at age 23, without ever playing in a professional game. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1979, and was the subject of the 2008 Universal Pictures film The Express, based on the non-fiction book Ernie Davis: The Elmira Express, by Robert C. Gallagher.George White (Ohio politician)
George White (August 21, 1872 – December 15, 1953) was the 52nd Governor of Ohio.Hal Roach
Harold Eugene Roach Sr. (January 14, 1892 – November 2, 1992) was an American film and television producer, director, and actor who was active from the 1910s to the 1990s. He is best known today for producing the Laurel and Hardy and Our Gang film comedy series.Jacob Sloat Fassett
Jacob Sloat Fassett (November 13, 1853 – April 21, 1924) was a businessman, lawyer, and member of the United States House of Representatives from New York.Jeremiah McGuire
Jeremiah McGuire (1823 in Isle of Man – October 25, 1889 in Elmira, Chemung County, New York) was an American lawyer and politician.
He came to the United States in 1830. He worked for some time on a farm in Hector, Schuyler County, New York before he started to study the law with H. B. Jackson in Havana, Schuyler County, New York.
As a Democrat, he was a member of the New York State Assembly in 1873 (Schuyler Co.); and in 1875 (Chemung Co.); and was elected Speaker in 1875. He ran for Congress in 1886, but was beaten by T. S. Flood.John Arnot Jr.
John Arnot Jr. (March 11, 1831 – November 20, 1886) was an American politician and a U.S. Representative from New York.Lucius Robinson
Lucius Robinson (November 4, 1810 – March 23, 1891) was an American lawyer and politician. He was the 26th Governor of New York from 1877 to 1879.Notre Dame High School (Elmira, New York)
Notre Dame High School is a private co-educational 7-12 school in Chemung County, Elmira, New York, United States. It was established in 1955 and is located within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester.Olivia Coffey
Olivia Coffey (born January 29, 1989) is an American rower. She won the gold medal in the quad sculls at the 2015 World Rowing Championships. Coffey was on the winning team of The Boat Race 2018.Olivia Langdon Clemens
Olivia Langdon Clemens (November 27, 1845 – June 5, 1904) was the wife of the American author Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain.Paul Frase
Paul Frase (born May 5, 1965 in Elmira, New York) is a former American football player who played professionally in the National Football League for 11 seasons, from 1988 to 1998. He grew up in Barrington, New Hampshire and studied psychology at Syracuse University. Frase played with the New York Jets (1988–1994, where his teammates honored him with the Ed Block Courage Award), the Jacksonville Jaguars (1995–1996), Green Bay Packers (1997), and the Baltimore Ravens (1998).
During the 1995 season, Frase received the Ed Block Courage Award for an unprecedented second time in the award's 18-year history. He was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 1995 NFL Expansion Draft.
Paul Frase and his wife Alison Rockett-Frase founded and continue to run a charity called "The Joshua Frase Foundation", named after their son Joshua. The foundation raises funds for medical research of myotubular myopathy, and other related congenital myopathies. Frase now lives Jacksonville, Florida.Rutherford Decker
Rutherford Losey Decker (May 17, 1904 – September 1972) was a United States politician, a longtime member and a Presidential nominee of Prohibition Party in 1960, and the President of the National Association of Evangelicals from 1946 to 1948.Decker was born in Elmira, New York. He was a missionary at the American Baptist Home Mission Society, and preached in Fort Morgan, Colorado and in Denver, Colorado. He also preached at the Temple Baptist Church in Kansas City, Missouri, until he retired in the 1960s.A lifelong resident of Missouri, he was nominated for President with party chairman Earle Harold Munn as his running-mate.
Decker and Munn finished fifth with 46,203 (0.07%) votes (and not one electoral vote). Munn succeeded Decker as a presidential nominee in 1964. They appeared on ballots in 11 states: Alabama, Delaware, Michigan, California, Massachusetts, Texas, Tennessee, New Mexico, Kansas, Indiana and Montana. Decker and Munn did not receive over 1% of the vote in any of these states.Seymour Lowman
Seymour Lowman (October 7, 1868 – March 13, 1940) was an American lawyer and politician from the state of New York. He was also Lieutenant Governor of New York from 1925 to 1926.Star-Gazette
The Star-Gazette is the major newspaper for Elmira, New York. Based in Elmira, the publication is owned by the Gannett Corporation.Tom McMillen
Charles Thomas McMillen (born May 26, 1952) is a retired professional basketball player, Rhodes Scholar, and Democratic U.S. Congressman, who represented the 4th congressional district of Maryland from January 3, 1987 to January 3, 1993.
On March 22, 2011, he was appointed as Chairman of the inaugural Board of Directors of the President's Foundation on Sports, Physical Fitness, and Nutrition. He is also the author of Out of Bounds, a critical look at the unhealthy influence of sports on ethics, and he served on the Knight Foundation's Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics investigating abuses within college sports.WETM-TV
WETM-TV is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Elmira, New York, United States, serving the Western Twin Tiers of Southern Upstate New York and Northern Pennsylvania. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on virtual and UHF channel 18 from a transmitter on Hawley Hill in Big Flats. The station can also be seen on Charter Spectrum channel 3 and in high definition on digital channel 1203. Owned by Nexstar Media Group, WETM has studios on East Water Street in downtown Elmira.William H. Reynolds
William Henry Reynolds (June 14, 1910 – July 16, 1997) was an American film editor whose career spanned six decades. His credits include such notable films as The Sound of Music, The Godfather, The Sting, and The Turning Point. He also was associated with two of the most infamous projects in film history, Ishtar and Heaven's Gate, which he executive produced.