Norwich (city), New York

Norwich (city), New York
—  City  —
Norwich is located in New York
Location within the state of New York
Coordinates: 42°31′55″N 75°31′18″W / 42.53194°N 75.52167°W / 42.53194; -75.52167Coordinates: 42°31′55″N 75°31′18″W / 42.53194°N 75.52167°W / 42.53194; -75.52167
Country United States
State New York
County Chenango
 – Type Mayor-Council
 – Mayor Joseph Maiurano (R)
 – Common Council
 – Total 2.0 sq mi (5.3 km2)
 – Land 2.0 sq mi (5.3 km2)
 – Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 1,014 ft (309 m)
Population (2000)[1]
 – Total 7,355
 – Density 3,609.0/sq mi (1,393.5/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 – Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 13815
Area code(s) 607
FIPS code 36-53979
GNIS feature ID 0959025

Norwich is a city in Chenango County, New York, United States. Surrounded on all sides by the Town of Norwich,[2] the city is the county seat of Chenango County. The name is taken from Norwich, Connecticut[citation needed]. Its population was 7,355 at the 2000 census.[1]

Lt. Warren Eaton Airport (OIC), serving the area, is located north of the city in the Town of North Norwich.



The first settlers arrived around 1788. The Town of Norwich was formed in 1793 from the Towns of Union (now in Broome County) and Bainbridge. Afterwards, Norwich, as a "mother town" of the county, lost substantial territory in the formation of new towns. In 1806, Norwich gave up territory to form the Towns of Pharsalia, Plymouth and Preston. More of Norwich was lost in 1807 to form part of the New Berlin and part of the Town of Columbus. In 1808 and 1820, Norwich exchanged territory with the Town of Preston.

The community of Norwich, set itself off from the town in 1816 by incorporating as a village, later becoming the City of Norwich in 1914.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.3 km²), all of it land.

Norwich is located in upstate New York, in the Chenango River Valley. The river winds south along the eastern edge of the city. Along the western border, the Canasawacta Creek flows south, until it unites with the Chenango River at the southern city limits. The streets are regularly laid out, many lined with shade trees. The city is bordered by hills to the east and west, where one may find hiking and cross country skiing trails. The Whaupaunaucau State Forest located in the village of North Norwich is popular for year-round recreation.

Relationship to other cities via highways

Regionally, Norwich lies almost dead center of the "upside down triangle" that can be drawn connecting the cities of Syracuse, Albany, and Binghamton, along Interstates 90, 88, and 81, respectively. The City is located in the center of this triangle, on the intersection between New York State Route 12 and New York State Route 23. State Highway 12 is often known simply as "Route 12", "State Route 12" (or SR12), or merely "12", and similar naming colloquial conventions with State Highway 23 are used.

Norwich is positioned on Route 12 roughly between the larger cities of Utica and access to Interstate 90 to the North, and Binghamton, NY (and the Triple Cities) and access to Interstate 81 and Future Interstate 86 (currently New York State Route 17, known as the Southern Tier Expressway) to the south. State Highway 23, which cuts laterally through the northern side of the city, leads eastward to the "college town" city of Oneonta and access to Interstate 88 and westward on 23 heads in the direction of Cortland and Interstate 81.

Being slightly closer to Binghamton, Norwich residents and locals tend to have a stronger relationship with the Greater Binghamton Area than with the Utica area. The Greater Binghamton Area of the nicknamed "Triple Cities" of Binghamton, Johnson City, and Endicott, as well as the Town of Vestal, known in the area for having a substantial commercial strip along the Vestal Parkway, offers most of the services, goods, cuisine and recreational opportunities that are unavailable in Norwich. The college town of Cortland is occasionally a destination due to the lack of medical specialists in the area, and to gain access to Interstate 81. Syracuse and Albany are also occasional, but common, destinations as both of these larger New York cities have large universities, extensive hospital services and the malls and recreational facilities that far surpass those of any of the nearer locations.

Economy of the region

Typically, Route 12 is more important to the city and its citizens than 23, as it bisects the city on a north-south axis and becomes North and South Broad Street in the city limits — a location for the small community of downtown businesses. On the northside of town lies the North Plaza and a commercial strip of gas stations and fast food, but has since become desolate after the departure of Jamesway and the lack of any equivalent store to come into the plaza. The south side of town has three plazas just outside city limits, featuring supermarkets, gas stations, fast food, a new Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse and a recently upgraded Super Walmart.

As Norwich maintains a very small-town atmosphere, inhabitants usually travel to the larger nearby cities of Oneonta, Binghamton, Utica, sometimes Cortland, and occasionally the much larger metropolitan areas of Syracuse and Albany for any goods and services that cannot be attained at the local department store, McLaughlins, downtown shops, Walmart or the local supermarkets. Oneonta, being approximately twice the size of Norwich (and having a small mini mall and many more options in the way of food, stores, and college nightlife) is a major destination for citizens who don't wish to drive the slightly longer distance to Binghamton. The Utica and Binghamton Areas are the major destinations for residents doing serious shopping or looking for great variety in food, with the Binghamton area being the common preference.


As of the census of 2000, there were 7,355 people, 3,131 households, and 1,671 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,609.0 people per square mile (1,392.0/km²). There were 3,500 housing units at an average density of 1,717.4 per square mile (662.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.48% White, 1.39% Black or African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.69% Asian, 0.19% from other races, and 0.98% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.68% of the population.[1]

There were 3,131 households out of which 28.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.6% were married couples living together, 13.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.6% were non-families. 40.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.95.[1]

In the city the population was spread out with 24.6% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 21.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 78.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.0 males.[1]

The median income for a household in the city was $28,485, and the median income for a family was $39,808. Males had a median income of $33,537 versus $24,430 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,339. About 14.7% of families and 18.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.5% of those under age 18 and 9.2% of those age 65 or over.[1]


For nearly a century, the city hosted the corporate headquarters of the Norwich Pharmaceutical Company. Formed in 1887 as a partnership between Reverend Lafayette Moore and Oscar G. Bell, a drug store employee, the company grew to become a major developer and manufacturer of medicines and veterinary products. Known affectionately as "The Pharmacy" among city residents, Norwich Pharmacal became world famous for its Unguentine antiseptic dressing (introduced in 1893) and Pepto-Bismol, an upset-stomach and anti-diarrhea medication (introduced in 1901 under a different name). The company merged with Morton International, Inc. in 1969 and later became a subsidiary of Procter & Gamble in 1982.

From 1845 until 1961, Norwich was also the home of the Maydole Hammer Factory. The founder, David Maydole, was an enterprising blacksmith who set out to create a hammer with a safely attached head. His hammers proved so successful, that Maydole became the largest hammer manufacturer in the United States by the time of its founder's death in 1892.

The Chenango Canal, the New York, Ontario & Western Railway, and the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad (later Erie-Lackawanna) once served most of the city's transportation needs. Indeed, Norwich was the NYO&W's Northern Division point until operations ceased on March 29, 1957. Until June 2006, the community was served by the New York, Susquehanna and Western, which operated trains on the old DL&W line between Binghamton and Utica. That service ended as a result of flood damage to the portion of the line between Sangerfield and Chenango Forks.

Norwich is a hub for commercial activity in the surrounding area. The Village of Oxford, as well as other places like Sherburne and Preston, rely on Norwich for low-intensity shopping, eating, movie-going, and for employment opportunities. Due to the lack of development in the surrounding areas, Norwich has a place of prominence as the most populous location in Chenango county, and the only City on route 12 between Binghamton and Utica. Its strategic location and the presence of many pharmacies, more than three large grocery stores, an assortment of fast food restaurants, and a Super Walmart (all of which are practically unavailable on the length of route 12 in a 40-mile radius), make Norwich the first stop for people in surrounding hamlets that don't wish to go to the larger and more-distant areas of Oneonta, Utica or Binghamton. Norwich also has several 24-hour businesses, including a 24-hour supermarket (Price Chopper), three 24-hour gas station/mini-marts, and a 24-hour Super Wal-mart. This is relevant due to the virtual nonexistence of 24-hour businesses elsewhere along route 12, particularly in the nearby communities of Oxford, Sherburne, and Preston.

A new 8 million dollar campus was recently constructed for the City's small community college, an extension branch of Morrisville State College. This larger Student Community may help increase local commerce, and will even, perhaps, lead to growth or the emergence of a "College Town" atmosphere if current trends continue.


Numerous festivals and events mark the Norwich calendar, with residents looking forward to several annual cultural traditions. Most notable is the Colorscape Chenango Arts Festival, a two-day event in early September that features regional musicians and artists. The festival drew an estimated 15,000 people in 2005. Since 1993, the Chenango Blues Festival, held at the Chenango County Fairgrounds each August, has attracted thousands and featured nationally renowned artists such as Koko Taylor, the late Luther Allison, and The Fabulous Thunderbirds. Since the early 1990s, the nationally known Gus Macker organization has hosted a 3-on-3 basketball tournament in early July with hundreds of teams participating each year. Museums include the Chenango County Historical Society and the Northeast Classic Car Museum, which houses approximately 125 cars, including the world's largest collection of Franklin luxury cars.


  • Inventor and Dairy Pioneer Gail Borden was born in Norwich
  • Actress Calista Flockhart spent part of her childhood in Norwich
  • Former New York Mets pitcher Jon Matlack currently resides in Norwich
  • Pioneering psychiatrist Harry Stack Sullivan was born in Norwich
  • ESPN the Magazine's Senior Editor Steve Wulf used to live in Norwich and wrote about coming back in a 1993 Issue of Sports Illustrated[3]
  • Merritt "Red" Mayhood lived and raised his family for many years in Norwich. He started a simple bait and tackle shop in Norwich which has grown into Mayhood's Sporting Goods. There is an annual ice-fishing tournament held on nearby Chenango Lake in his honor that brings in anglers from all over America.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ Acme Mapper 2.0. Norwich city (Map).,-75.52351&z=13&t=T&marker0=42.53118%2C-75.52351%2CNorwich%5C%2C%20NY. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  3. ^ Wulf, Steve (1993-12-27) My Kind Of Town, Sports Illustrated

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