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City of Rome
—  City  —
Motto: Center of It All
City of Rome is located in New York
City of Rome
Location within the state of New York
Coordinates: 43°13′10″N 75°27′48″W / 43.21944°N 75.46333°W / 43.21944; -75.46333Coordinates: 43°13′10″N 75°27′48″W / 43.21944°N 75.46333°W / 43.21944; -75.46333
Country United States
State New York
County Oneida
Incorporated 1870
 - Mayor James F. Brown (R)
 - Total 75.7 sq mi (196.0 km2)
 - Land 74.9 sq mi (194.1 km2)
 - Water 0.8 sq mi (1.9 km2)  0.99%
Elevation 456 ft (139 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 34,950
 Density 466.4/sq mi (180.1/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 315
FIPS code 36-63418
GNIS feature ID 0962840

Rome is a city in Oneida County, New York, United States. The population was 34,950 at the 2000 census. It is in New York's 24th congressional district. During the Revolutionary War and for years thereafter, the city was originally known as Fort Stanwix, due to the fort being the only existing building in the area. In 1796, the city was founded and named Lynchville. Some time later, the city's name was changed to Rome, assumingly after the Italian city of Rome. The exact time, the reason, and the idea for this name change remains a mystery. Rome is one of two principal cities in the Utica–Rome, New York Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city is in the south-central part of the county. In the heart of the Leatherstocking Region made famous by James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales, Rome is known as the City of American History.



Early History: The Oneida Carrying Place

For hundreds of years, the area occupied by the modern City of Rome, NY has enjoyed great strategic and commercial importance, sitting along an ancient east/west and northern trade route from the Great Lakes and Canada to the Hudson River and the sea. The city is built astride the Oneida Carrying Place, known to the Six Nations or Haudenosaunee people, as Deo-Wain-Sta, or The Great Carrying Place. These names refer to a portage road or path between the Mohawk River to east and Wood Creek to the west, leading to Lake Ontario. Located within the modern city limits, this short portage path was the only overland section of a trade route stretching over a thousand miles between Lake Ontario and the lower Hudson. Boats coming up the Mohawk River from the Hudson had to transfer their cargo and boats overland between 1.7 and six miles (depending on the season) to continue west to Lake Ontario.

The region was the scene of bloody fighting during the French and Indian War. The British had erected several small forts to guard the Oneida Carrying Place and the lucrative fur trade against French incursions from Canada. However, a combined French, Canadian and Native American force overwhelmed and massacred a British force in the Battle of Fort Bull. Later in 1758, after several abortive attempts to fortify the area, the British sent a very large force to secure the Oneida Carry and build a stronger rampart complex named Fort Stanwix. The fort was abandoned at the conclusion of the war.

American Revolution: "The Fort that Never Surrendered"

At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, American Continental forces reoccupied, rebuilt and improved Fort Stanwix. The installation played a pivotal role in the Saratoga Campaign of 1777, becoming renowned as "the fort that never surrendered". Patriot militia, regulars, and their Oneida Nation allies under the command of Col. Peter Gansevoort, successfully repelled a prolonged siege in August 1777 by British, German, Loyalist, Canadian and Native American troops and warriors commanded British Gen. Barry St. Leger. The failed siege combined with the battle at nearby Oriskany as well as the battles of Bennington, and Saratoga thwarted a coordinated British effort to take the northern colonies, and led to American alliances with France and the Netherlands.

After the British repulse at Fort Stanwix, bloody fighting erupted along the American northern frontier, resulting in terrible losses to American settlers but especially the people of the Six Nations. Fort Stanwix became the primary staging point for American attacks against British loyalist units and their Haudenosaunee allies, including the Sullivan Expedition of 1779, a ruthless scorched earth campaign against Iroqouis villages allied with the British. This campaign was ordered by George Washington in response to fierce frontier attacks and atrocities such as the Cherry Valley Massacre by loyalist irregulars led by Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant and John Butler. The fort continued to shield America's northwest frontier from British campaigns until finally abandoned in 1781.

Commercial Growth: The Erie Canal

The Oneida Carry and the critical east/west American trade route through the frontier was formalized by construction of the Erie Canal. On July 4, 1817 construction on the Erie Canal began in Rome;

Manufacturing Legacy: The Copper City

In 1801, Paul Revere founded a brass and copper works at Rome. Descendant businesses of the Revere Copper Company still operate today: Revere Copper Products, Inc. is one of the oldest, if not the oldest manufacturing company in the United States.[1] At one time, 10 percent of all copper products used in the United States were manufactured in Rome. The company continues to thrive as copper is prized for use in certified green buildings, high-end architecture and other surfaces.

Jesse Williams founded America's first cheese factory at Rome in 1851.

The City of Rome was incorporated in 1870.

Cold War and Technology Role

Between 1951 and 1991, the Rome Air Development Center (RADC) was located at Griffiss AFB. In 1991, the RADC was redesignated Rome Laboratory. It remained active as the Griffiss AFB was closed as part of the Base Realignment and Closure process in 1993. In 1997, Rome Laboratory was made part of the Air Force Research Laboratory and renamed the Rome Research Site. The RADC has been responsible for some of the United States Air Force's major technological accomplishments, especially in the area of radio communications.

The Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) is also located in Rome, on the site of the former Griffiss Air Force Base.

The nationally recognized rock festival, Woodstock 1999 was held in Rome, with the city once again making use of the former Griffiss Air Force Base site. The 3-day festival was held the weekend of July 23rd-25th, and drew a crowd of about 200,000 people. Cable network MTV covered the concert extensively, and live coverage of the entire weekend was available on pay-per-view. The festival featured a diverse assortment of acts including Metallica, Kid Rock, DMX, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Wyclef Jean; early reviews for many of the acts were positive; critics particularly praised performances by George Clinton, Jamiroquai, James Brown, Sheryl Crow, and Rage Against the Machine. A full list of appearances can be found at Woodstock 1999.

In July 2005, New York City developers, Park Drive Estates, purchased the former Woodhaven Housing- formerly the base housing for Griffiss Air Force officers and enlisted military members, and are in the process of re-developing that land into a resort-style active adult community.


Rome is located at 43°13′10″N 75°27′48″W / 43.21944°N 75.46333°W / 43.21944; -75.46333 (43.219469, -75.463330).[2]

Rome is one of the largest cities by area in New York State. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 75.7 square miles (196.0 km²), of which, 74.9 square miles (194.1 km²) of it is land and 0.8 square miles (1.9 km²) of it (0.99%) is water.

A Unique Environment: The Rome Sand Plains

Located within the city is a rare environmental area: the Rome Sand Plains. The Rome Sand Plains is a 15,000-acre inland pine barrens that consists of a diverse mosaic of high sand dunes and low peat bogs, mixed northern hardwood forests, meadows and wetlands. The Rome Sand Plains harbor rare and unusual species, including carnivorous plants like the pitcher plant and sundew, and animals like the red-shouldered hawk and fisher. It is one of only a handful of inland pine barrens remaining in the United States. Several civic groups including the Nature Conservancy in conjunction with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation have successfully preserved portions of the Sand Plains and visitors are able to walk and bike this unique environment.


As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 34,950 people, 13,653 households, and 8,328 families residing in the city. The population density was 466.4 people per square mile (180.1/km²). There were 16,272 housing units at an average density of 217.2/sq mi (83.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.85% White, 7.58% African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.88% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.35% from other races, and 2.05% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.72% of the population. Like other cities in the region, Rome has a large Italian-American presence, which is especially prevalent in the Little Italy in the vicinity of East Dominick Street.

There were 13,653 households out of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples living together, 13.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.0% were non-families. 33.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.1% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 105.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,643, and the median income for a family was $42,928. Males had a median income of $31,635 versus $23,899 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,604. About 12.0% of families and 15.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.4% of those under age 18 and 7.6% of those age 65 or over.

Rome averages over 120 inches of snowfall each winter, mostly due to its proximity to Lake Ontario and the lake-effect snow that it produces. The West Rome Riders, Inc. snowmobile club[4] calls Rome its home base, maintaining 41 miles of trails in and around Rome.


The city government consists of a mayor and a common council. The mayor is elected at large. The common council consists of 8 members who are elected from one of 8 wards. Each ward elects one member.

Notable residents


See also


External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ROME, a city of Oneida (disambiguation)|Oneida county, New York, U.S.A., on the Mohawk river and Wood Creek, and the Erie and the Black river canals, 14 m. W.N.W. of Utica. Pop. (1890) 14,991; (1900) 15,343, of whom 2527 were foreign-born; (1910, census) 20,497. Rome is served by the New York Central & Hudson River, the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg (controlled by the New York Central), the New York, Ontario & Western, and the Utica & Mohawk Valley (electric) railways. It is about 450 ft. above sea-level. The city is the seat of the Academy of the Holy Names (opened in 1865 as St Peter's Academy), of the State Custodial Asylum for unteachable idiots, of the Central New York Institution for Deaf Mutes (1875), and of the Oneida County Home. The Jervis Public Library (1895), founded by John Bloomfield Jervis (1795-1885), a famous railway engineer, had in 1909 about 15,000 volumes. The surrounding country is devoted largely to farming, especially vegetable gardening, and to dairying. Among the manufactures are brass and copper work, wire for electrical uses, foundry and machine-shop products, locomotives, knit goods, tin cans and canned goods (especially vegetables). In 1905 the value of the factory products was $ 8, 6 3 1 ,4 2 7 (55.6% more than in 1900) .

The portage at this place between the Mohawk river and Wood Creek, which are about 1 m. apart, gave the site its Indian name, De-o-wain-sta, "place where canoes are carried from one stream to another," and its earliest English name, "The Great (or Oneida) Carrying-Place," and gave it strategic value as a key between the Mohawk Valley and Lake Ontario. About 1725 there were built, to protect the carrying-place here, Fort Bull, on Wood Creek, which was surprised and taken by French and Indians in March 1756, and Fort Williams, on the Mohawk, which, like Fort Craven, also on the Mohawk, was destroyed by Colonel Daniel Webb after the reduction of Oswego by the French in August 1756. General John Stanwix built Fort Stanwix here at an expense of 60,000, and the first permanent settlement dates from about this time. In October-November 1768, Sir William Johnson and representatives of Virginia and Pennsylvania met 3200 Indians of the Six Nations here and made a treaty with them, under which, for 10,460 in money and provisions, they surrendered to the crown their claims to what is now Kentucky and West Virginia and the western part of Pennsylvania. Of this cession the part which lay in Pennsylvania was secured by purchase from the Indians for the proprietors Richard and Thomas Penn (see Pittsburg). The fort was dismantled immediately afterward. After 1776, when it was partly repaired by Colonel Elias Dayton, it was called by the continentals Fort Schuyler, in honour of General Philip Schuyler, and so is sometimes confused with (old) Fort Schuyler at Utica. The third regiment of the New York line under Colonel Peter Gansevoort occupied the fort in April 1777 and completed the repairs begun in 1776; on the 3rd of August in the same year (one month before the official announcement by Congress of the design of the flag) the first flag of the United States, made according to the enactment of the 14th of June and used in battle, was raised here: it was made from various pieces of cloth. On the 2nd of August an advance party of Colonel Barry St Leger's forces coming from the west arrived before the fort, and the main body (altogether about 650 whites, including loyalists - the Royal Greens - under Sir John Johnson, and more than Boo Indians, some led by Joseph Brant) arrived soon afterwards. The fort then contained about 750 men under Colonel Gansevoort, with Lieut.-Colonel Marinus Willett as second in command. The danger to the fort roused General Nicholas Herkimer to gather a force of between 700 and moo men (including some Oneida Indians), who during their advance on the 6th of August were ambuscaded in a ravine near Oriskany, about 8 m. E. of the fort; after heavy losses to both sides, about 250 men from the fort under Willett attacked the camp of the Indians who were supporting St Leger, thus relieved Herkimer through the falling back of the British and Indians to save their supplies, captured five ensigns of the Royal Greens, and seized large quantities of stores from the enemy's camp. The siege now lost force, the Indians straggled away after the loss of their camp supplies, and on the 23rd of August, St Leger, hearing exaggerated reports of the immediate approach of large reinforcements under General Benedict Arnold, withdrew, abandoning his camp and stores. The successful resistance here to St Leger contributed greatly to the American success at Saratoga. Fort Stanwix was the headquarters of Colonel Gozen Van Schaick (1736-1789) in 1779 when he destroyed the Onondaga villages. At the fort, on the 22nd of October 1784, a treaty was made by Oliver Wolcott, Richard Butler and Arthur Lee, commissioners for the United States, with the chiefs of the Six Nations. In 1796 a canal was built across the old portage between Wood Creek and the Mohawk river. In 1796 the township of Rome was formed, receiving its name, says Schoolcraft, "from the heroic defence of the republic made here." The village of Rome, in the centre of the township, was incorporated in 1819; and Rome was chartered as a city in 1870.

See Pomroy Jones, Annals and Recollections of Oneida County (Rome, 1851); W. M. Willett, A Narrative of the Military Actions of Col. Marinus Willett (New York, 1831); and Orderly Book of Sir John Johnson during the Oriskany Campaign (Albany, 1882), with notes by W. L. Stone and J. W. de Peyster.

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