Upstate New York

Upstate New York

The standard definition of Upstate New Yorklegend|lime|North Country and Adirondacks, often referred to as the "true" upstate by locals

Upstate New York is the region of New York State north of the core of the New York metropolitan area. It has a population of 7,121,911 out of New York State's total 18,976,457. Were it an independent state, it would be ranked 13th by population.


There is no clear or official boundary between Upstate New York and Downstate New York, but the term "Upstate" is sometimes used to refer to the whole of the state besides New York City and Long Island.

Another common perception of the Upstate/Downstate boundary locates it at the point at which New York's suburbs segue into its exurbs. This line would place most, but not all, of Westchester and Rockland counties south of the boundary, putting the northwestern edge of Rockland as well as the northernmost quarter of Westchester (such as Peekskill) in Upstate New York. This definition of Upstate New York corresponds to the orange, yellow, and green areas on the map above.

A more nuanced view would suggest the boundary lies further north. Because most New York City bedroom communities in Dutchess and Orange counties are situated in the southern part of those counties and the city's suburban public transportation system extends some distance north, the Upstate/Downstate boundary can be defined roughly by a border extended from Wassaic (where Metro-North's Harlem Line ends) across to Poughkeepsie, down to Newburgh and then across to Middletown and Port Jervis. This definition of Upstate New York corresponds to the yellow and green areas on the map above and roughly corresponds with the area north of Interstate 84. This imaginary line also demarcates the northernmost reach of high housing prices associated with the Downstate region in contrast to the relatively low housing costs found further Upstate.

One factor complicating this issue is the fact that many communities clearly beyond the New York City commuter orbit are part of the City's media market, which includes Dutchess, Ulster and Sullivan counties, and thus do not get local television (via cable) from Albany or Binghamton TV stations. [


For some, the term Upstate evokes sentiments of rural lifestyles and traditional values contrary to those of New York City. In the New York metropolitan area, usage of the term "Upstate New York" typically implies unfamiliarity with (and often condescension towards)Fact|date=July 2007 the area that the speaker is denoting as such. It denotes areas that are both somewhat north of and considerably more rural than the home location of the speaker. Usage of the term is often taken to be an insulting manifestation of the famous "New Yorker" magazine's view of the world.Fact|date=June 2007

New York City is dependent on upstate for a variety of services; it is the source of the city's water supply via the Delaware Aqueduct and the Catskill Aqueduct; much of the city's electric power supply comes from state owned hydroelectric plants at Niagara Falls and the St. Lawrence River such as the Robert Moses power station; and most of the state's prisons are upstate; hence the popular term "being sent up the river" (however, the term originally referred to Sing Sing, which is "up the Hudson River" from New York City, but being in Ossining in Westchester County is still in the "downstate" region). Conversely, the operation of state facilities providing these services is an important part of the upstate economy.


The region is culturally and economically distinct from the New York City area, though the Hudson Valley counties of Putnam, Orange, Dutchess, and Ulster are increasingly peripheral sections of the New York City metro area. The northern upstate area consists of a handful of small and medium-sized cities, with surrounding suburbs, amidst vast rural areas.

Western New York has many cultural and economic ties to the other Great Lakes states as well as Southern Ontario, while the Capital District, the Hudson Valley, the Mohawk Valley and the Plattsburgh area have ties to New England (In fact, cultural leanings in the extreme northeastern portion of the state also cross the border so-to-speak with the presence of prominent French and Anglo Canadian ties - cultural, economic, and familial. Plattsburgh, for example, is an historically French town with closer ties to its neighbors in the Montreal and Vermont areas than to the rest of the state.). Some literary and cinematic depictions of upstate present a sense of small town, Midwestern lifetyles, such as "It's a Wonderful Life", set in a small upstate town in the 1940s.

During the 1990s and the 2000s this area has suffered slow job growth [] and a rapid loss of young adults. [] It has been argued, however, that Upstate doesn't suffer from "brain drain" as much as it suffers from lack of "brain gain" (i.e. other areas of the country attract more educated persons than does Upstate.)Fact|date=September 2007

, while German ancestry is most common across western New York.Persons of Polish ancestry are predominant in Buffalo and its close suburbs. There is also a significant presence of indigenous Iroquois Native Americans in the area, who mostly congregate on several reservations: the Seneca nation and Tonawanda Band of Seneca Indians in Western New York, the Onondaga nation south of Syracuse, the Oneida nation of Oneida, and the Mohawk nation in St. Lawrence County.

The only two major league professional sports teams in Upstate New York are the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL) and the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League (NHL). As a result, the collegiate sports program at Syracuse University (Syracuse Orange) attracts significant regional attention, as do minor league baseball and hockey teams. Professional sports teams from New York City, northern New Jersey, and Boston all have followings in the majority of Upstate New York, while some Western New York sports fans follow teams from Toronto. In Rochester several minor league teams play.

Other Upstate New York minor league professional sports teams include the Syracuse Chiefs of the Triple-A baseball International League, the Albany Patroons of the Continental Basketball Association; and the Auburn Doubledays, Oneonta Tigers, the Jamestown Jammers, the Tri-City ValleyCats and the Batavia Muckdogs of the Class A baseball New York - Penn League.

In auto racing, Watkins Glen International Speedway is the only major race track in the area and hosts annual races in the Indy Racing League and NASCAR Sprint Cup. Holland Speedway in Holland hosts races in the Whelen All-American Series. In addition, numerous smaller speedways and dirt tracks exist in Little Valley, Freedom, Humphrey, Granby (serving the city of Fulton), Oswego, Lancaster, Ransomville and numerous other cities and towns.

Two of the most important rock festivals of the 20th century were held in Upstate New York. In 1969 the Woodstock Festival was held in Bethel, New York, while in 1973 another multiday festival was held at the Watkins Glen International Raceway.

Linguistically, from Western New York to as far east as Utica is part of the Inland North region of American English dialectology, a region which includes Midwestern cities as far west as Chicago and Milwaukee. The Hudson and lower Mohawk Valley has more in common dialectologically with western New England and New York City. [] The dialect of the St. Lawrence Valley has much in common with Canadian speech.

The boundary between the use of the words "pop" and "soda" to refer to soft drinks, however, falls further west than the edge of the Inland North, running just to the east of the city of Rochester: Buffalo and Rochester use "pop", like the rest of the Inland North to the west, whereas Syracuse uses "soda", like New England and New York City.

Foodways indigenous to regions of Upstate New York include Plattsburgh's "Michigan" hot dog, a variety of Coney Island hot dog; the white hot dog of central and western New York that is known variously as the "White Hot" or "Coney" (pronounced "cooney"); the "Spiedie" of the Binghamton area, Central New York's salt potatoes, Buffalo's kummelweck and perhaps most famously, Buffalo wings. Calvin Trillin chronicled the origin of Buffalo wings in the August 25, 1980 issue of "The New Yorker". Although the potato chip was invented in Saratoga Springs, it has achieved such universal popularity that it is no longer identified with the region.


Often attributed to the region's semi-rural character, there is more conservatism in culture and politics than found in the more urban downstate area, and is the power base of the state's Republican Party, especially now that Long Island, a former Republican stronghold, has developed strong Democratic leans.

There are several exceptions to this rule, including Erie County (Buffalo), Monroe County (Rochester), Onondaga County (Syracuse), Tompkins County (Ithaca), Albany County (Albany), Niagara County (Niagara Falls), Broome County (Binghamton), Clinton (Plattsburgh), Franklin, St. Lawrence counties (influence of Canada), and Ulster County (City of Kingston, Villages of Woodstock and New Paltz).

As a whole, Upstate New York is roughly equally divided in Federal elections between Democrats and Republicans. In 2004, John Kerry defeated George W. Bush by less than 1,500 votes (1,553,246 votes to 1,551,971) in the Upstate Region.

The conservatism of the upstate region more closely resembles the libertarian, socially liberal "Live and let live" conservatism of Vermont, New Hampshire and many of the western states instead of the social conservatism of the southern states and the Religious Right. Some of the Religious Right's harshest critics within the Republican Party, in fact, have been upstate New York Republicans such as Amo Houghton and Jack Quinn. The misunderstanding of the regional differences in upstate's conservative nature has led to significant political difficulties by both major political parties in the area. Since 2001, the Republican Party's efforts to reach out to the area using the religious rhetoric that had been so successful in the South has been met with rejection and ridicule, and was one of the leading causes of the Party's considerable loss of support in upstate since that time.Dubious|date=March 2008

The influence of public service labor unions is also a factor in Democratic Party dominance. Hospitals and public schools are among the area's largest employers, and these agencies have unionized workers. Unionized workers as a whole make up 1 in 4 New York workers, the most in the nation. [Bureau of Labor Statistics data via [ Information Please] ] These unions, most notably the Service Employees International Union and New York State United Teachers, make large purchases of television air time on local television and radio stations during budget negotiations and prior to school budget votes to air commercials featuring scare tactics threatening the closure of hospitals or emergency rooms, larger class sizes, and reduced care if they don't receive more money. [ [ A Better Choice For NY] - A typical example of a union-backed organization that pushes for a more progressive tax scheme for funding health care and education spending.] Organized rebuttals have been few and far between, although more frequent in recent years; Eliot Spitzer's use of his personal campaign funds to push through his 2007 reforms was the first, more recent movements include Rochester businessman Tom Golisano's [ Responsible New York] campaign, and Buffalo developer Carl Paladino's calls for a constitutional convention directly to address union-friendly laws such as the "Wicks Law" and the Taylor Law.

Upstate politicians have, in fact, sometimes taken the leading role in the moves that give the state its liberal reputation. It was George Michael, an assemblyman from the Finger Lakes, who in 1970 stunned not only the state but the nation by asking that his vote of "no" on the bill to legalize abortion in New York be changed to "yes," causing the bill to pass by one vote. (He lost his seat at the next primary election, as he had anticipated, but never regretted changing his vote). Nearly three decades later, voters in Plattsburgh elected Dan Stewart, the state's first openly gay mayor - a Republican, to boot. Another upstate mayor, Jason West of New Paltz, drew national attention in early 2004 when he officiated at the state's first gay weddings. However, such "liberal oases," which include New Paltz and Ithaca, tend to be the state's (and the country's) most liberal regions and unrepresentative of the region's politics as a whole.

It should also be noted that the Democratic Party in upstate cities, particularly in Buffalo, also has traditionally leaned further to the right than downstate Democrats. Jack Quinn, a Republican, was elected from a district that was 57 percent Democratic. Similarly, leading Democrats in the area, including Dennis Gorski, Anthony Masiello and James Griffin, were noted for their fiscal and social conservatism and were often cross-endorsed by the Conservative Party of New York.

Proponents of the 2008 presidential run by Sen. Hillary Clinton have pointed to her relative success upstate (she lost the region by less than 10 percent of the vote in 2000) as an argument that she could succeed as a candidate in red states. Skeptics of such a bid have responded that upstate is, in fact, not as conservative as widely believed, at least not conservative in the manner of what is now the leadership of the Republican Party. [] .

Most of New York State's most successful Republican politicians, however, such as Rockefeller, George Pataki, Thomas Dewey, Fiorello La Guardia, Jacob Javits and Alfonse D'Amato, came from the downstate region, (although some definitions of the boundary would have Pataki being from upstate). Most upstate Republicans are politically unacceptable to even downstate Republican voters, and the party's financial backers are mostly based downstate (the corollary, of course, being that incumbent New York City politicians rarely win statewide elections, either). Democratic politicians upstate often tend to be (or at least run) more moderate than their downstate compatriots, and sometimes seek the endorsement of the state's Conservative Party to inoculate them against perceptions of extreme liberalism.

Nevertheless, Republican attempts upstate to court votes by openly appealing to suspicion of the city have often backfired. In 1998 incumbent Republican Senator Al D'Amato's Senate campaign ran television ads in some upstate markets attempting to link his opponent, Charles Schumer, to a flock of hungry sharks released from the city to fleece upstate. Schumer went on to win the election and did surprisingly well upstate for a Democrat with deep roots in the city. In turn, he has probably lobbied for "upstate" interests both in and out of government more than any past "downstate" Democratic senator (for example, he lobbied for JetBlue to provide flights to Buffalo and Syracuse, producing more competition and lower fares at those airports).

Downstate candidates seeking statewide office have often sealed their fate by displaying profound ignorance of upstate geography. One candidate at a forum in Buffalo once referred to "your airport in Albany" ... a city more than 200 miles (320 km) away. In the 2000 Senate race, Rudolph Giuliani confused the Orange County village of Monroe with Monroe County, and the ultimate Republican nominee, Rick Lazio, later released an itinerary confusing Owego and Oswego, two communities a considerable distance from each other. Hillary Clinton won the race, doing much better upstate than expected. Like Charles Schumer, she too has "given back" and lobbied for "upstate" interests more than most past "downstate" Democratic senators (for example, unsuccessfully lobbying for larger Homeland Security funding for the Buffalo area than its size would normally warrant on the basis of it being on the Canadian border, the finding of a putative sleeper cell in the nearby city of Lackawanna in 2002, and the presence of the Eastern United States' most vital electrical power generation facilities, the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant and the Lewiston Pump Generating Plant).

But while politicians based upstate rarely win elections for governor or U.S. Senator, some have been elected to other lesser statewide offices, such as lieutenant governor (Stan Lundine, Maryanne Krupsak and Mary Donohue, for instance), comptroller (Edward Regan) and attorney general (Dennis Vacco). The late Daniel Patrick Moynihan officially lived on a farm in Delaware County while serving in the Senate, but he grew up in New York City and spent much of his career there, making him a familiar face to downstate voters.

The sharp differences in ideology have historically fueled many political struggles by upstate conservatives with largely downstate-based Democrats in the New York Legislature; however the feuds quite often tend to be more on regional lines than on party lines. The most recent major examples were the failed attempt by Syracuse-area assemblyman Michael Bragman, the majority leader of that body to seize control of the downstate-dominated state Democratic party in 2000, which was immediately followed by a strong retaliatory backlash against all upstate politicians in state government and the attempt by both Republicans and Democrats to cater to upstate voters by promising to disband the New York State Thruway, whose toll portions are entirely upstate. Both candidates in the 2006 gubernatorial election (Democrat Eliot Spitzer and Republican John Faso) pledged to eliminate the tolls however at the present time only an eight mile stretch of I-190 in downtown Buffalo, which had been collecting tolls to be used to keep I-84 downstate a free highway, has been made toll-free, and in fact the thruway authority has steadily increased tolls annually since 2006. Critics upstate feel that it is unlikely that either party would genuinely be willing to give up such a significant source of revenue, despite promises to the contrary, particularly one that does not draw its funding from the population core downstate.

While Republicans have traditionally controlled the State Senate by virtue of holding most seats upstate, the leadership has often been split between upstate senators such as Joseph Bruno and Long Islanders such as the current leader, Dean Skelos.

In the midterm elections of 2006, many upstate Congressional seats historically held by Republicans came under serious challenge by Democratic contenders, and some (such as the 20th and 24th districts) were lost to Democrats. Slow population growth in the 1990s led legislators to eliminate two upstate House districts in the 2002 reapportionment and leave all downstate districts alone, hence, the influence of upstate in Congress has faded from the days in which Jack Kemp; Barber Conable, and Sam Stratton were prominent House leaders.


The headwaters of the Delaware, Susquehanna, Hudson, and Allegheny rivers are located in the region. The region is characterized by the major mountain ranges, large lakes, and extensive forests.

The Allegheny Plateau extends into west and central New York from the south. The Catskill Mountains lie in the southeastern part of the state, closer to New York City. The Catskills and the Allegheny Plateau are both part of the Appalachian Mountains. The northernmost part of the state contains the Adirondack Mountains, which are sometimes considered part of the Appalachians but are geologically separate, a southern extension of the Canadian Shield.

In the more mountainous eastern part of Upstate New York, the valleys of the Hudson River and the Mohawk River were historically important travel corridors and remain so today. Western New York in the vicinity of Buffalo is very flat, as it was once the bottom of a glacial lake. The only "hills" in Niagara County are the Niagara Escarpment, which formed the Falls.

Upstate has a long shared border with Canadian province of Ontario divided by water; including the Lake Erie, Niagara River, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. It shares a land border with the province of Quebec in the northernmost part of the state.

The sizes of upstate counties and towns are generally larger in area and smaller in population, compared with the downstate region, although there are exceptions. The state's smallest county in population (Hamilton County) and largest county in area (St. Lawrence County on the state's northern border) are both in upstate New York, while the largest in population (Kings County) and smallest in area (New York County) are both part of New York City.

Upstate New York is well known for its cold and snowy winters, particularly in comparison to the more temperate climate of downstate New York. The snowy reputation is especially true for the cities of Buffalo, Rochester, Oswego and Syracuse, and is largely due to lake-effect snow from Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. The village of Old Forge in the Adirondacks often vies on winter nights with places like International Falls, Minnesota and Fargo, North Dakota for the coldest spot in the nation.

Many of the features of the upstate landscape, such as the Finger Lakes and the drumlins that dot the region, are the result of glaciers during the Ice Age.


Before the arrival of European settlement, the area was inhabited by a mixture of Iroquois-speaking people (mainly west of the Hudson) and Algonquian-speaking people (mainly east of the Hudson). The conflict between the two peoples was an important historical force in the days of the early European colonization. The Haudenosaunee or Iroquois confederacy of the Five (later Six) Nations was a powerful force in its home territory. Their territory extended from the Mohawk River Valley to the western part of the state. From this home base they also controlled at various times large swaths of additional territory throughout what is now the northeastern United States. The Guswhenta (Two Row Wampum Treaty), made with the Dutch government in 1613, codified relations between the Haudenosaunee and European colonizers, and formed the basis of subsequent treaties.

The region was important beginning in the very early days of both the French Colonization and Dutch colonization. Much of the fur trade of the New Netherland colony was located in the upper Hudson Valley. In the seventeenth century, the French established trading posts as far south as the shores of Onondaga Lake, although Samuel de Champlain had alienated the Haudenosaunee during military forays from Quebec. The area was the scene of much of the fighting in the French and Indian War, events which were depicted in the work of James Fenimore Cooper.

The region was strategically important in the American Revolution, and was the scene of several important battles, including the Battle of Saratoga, which is considered to have been a significant turning point in the war. While New York City remained in the hands of the British during most of the war, the upstate region was eventually dominated by the Colonial forces. In 1779, the Sullivan Expedition, a campaign ordered by Gen. George Washington, drove thousands of the Haudenosaunee from their villages, farms and lands in the region.

Following the American Revolution, the United States signed a federal treaty, the Treaty of Canandaigua, with the Haudenosaunee, affirming their land rights in what later became Central and Western New York. Nevertheless, State officials and private land agents continued to work to extinguish Indian title to these lands via non-Federally-sanctioned treaties, such as the Treaty of Big Tree [] , through the early 19th century.

Many of the settlers of Central and Western New York came from the New England States. The Central New York Military Tract, where many of the townships were given the names of classical military and literary figures by Robert Harpur, was established to grant land to Revolutionary War veterans.

Battles with British were fought during the war of 1812 (1812-1815), on land, including the Battle of Plattsburgh, and in the Great Lakes (Ontario and Erie) and St. Lawrence shorelines, including the Battle of Sackets Harbor.

Both before and after the Revolution, boundary disputes with Massachusetts, Vermont and Great Britain, and subsequent surveying errors, complicated American settlement. The Province of New York granted lands to settlers in what is now Vermont at the same time that New Hampshire made grants of the same lands. When Vermont declared independence in 1777, the new Republic of Vermont recognized the New Hampshire grants over those of New York. New Yorkers who lost land in Vermont came to be known as the "Vermont Sufferers" and were granted new lands in 1788 in the Town of Bainbridge, New York.

The dispute with Massachusetts over lands to the west of Massachusetts was settled in the 1786 Treaty of Hartford by dividing the rights to the land. The treaty granted sovereignty to the State of New York, but granted to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts the "pre-emptive" right to seek title to the land from the Haudenosaunee. The eastern boundary of the Massachusetts lands was thus known as the Preemption Line. This line runs from the Pennsylvania line due north to Lake Ontario, passing through Seneca Lake. The line was surveyed a second time due to initial errors.

The Treaty of Paris that ended the American Revolution established the 45th Parallel as the border with Quebec. This line was surveyed and after the War of 1812, the US Government began to construct Fort Montgomery just south of the border at Rouses Point on Lake Champlain. Subsequently it was discovered that at that point, the actual 45th parallel was three-quarters of a mile south of the surveyed line, putting the Fort, which became known as "Fort Blunder," in Canada. This was not resolved until 1842 with the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, in which Great Britain and the United States decided to leave the border on the meandering line as surveyed. Slavery existed in New Netherland and the Province of New York. New York was in the 1690s the largest importer of slaves among the American colonies. Slavery did not end with the American Revolution, although John Jay introduced an emancipation bill in to the State Assembly as early as 1777. Sojourner Truth was held as a slave in the Hudson Valley from the time she was born in 1797 until she escaped in 1826. Through efforts of the New York Manumission Society and others, New York began to adopt a policy of gradual emancipation in 1799. The law passed in 1817 that would finally emancipate slaves did not take effect for ten years, giving slaveowners an entire decade to sell their slaves away to other states. When the law finally took effect, the last 2,800 slaves in New York State were emancipated on July 4, 1827.

By 1825, the Erie Canal opened, allowing the area to become an important component of the 19th century industrial expansion in the United States. The canal also promoted trade with British North America and settlement of newer states in western territories. Later in the century the New York Central Railroad followed the "water-level route" from New York City to the Great Lakes, contributing to the industrialization of cities along its route.

Several times in the nineteenth century, Upstate New York served as a staging area and refuge for Canadian rebels against Great Britain, as well as Irish-American invaders of Canada, straining British-American relations. In 1837 and 1838, in the aftermath of the Lower Canada Rebellion, some Quebecois rebels escaped south to the North Country, while on the Niagara Frontier, events of the Upper Canada Rebellion, also known as the Patriot War, took place. In the late 1860s, some of the Fenian Raids were launched across the Niagara Frontier; Fenians also assembled in Malone.

Although now largely discredited, the report of the 1905-1907 Mills Commission, charged with investigating the origins of baseball, named Cooperstown as the place where baseball was invented in the 1830s or 1840s by Abner Doubleday. Cooperstown is the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

In the pre-Civil War era, Upstate New York became a major center of radical abolitionist activity and was an important nexus of the Underground Railroad. Resistance to the Fugitive Slave Act was particularly heated in the region, as evidenced by such events as the Jerry Rescue. The American women's rights movement was also born in Upstate New York at this time; the first women's rights convention was held at Seneca Falls in 1848.

Through the nineteenth century, Upstate New York was a hotbed of religious revivalism. A number of sects, such as the Shakers and the Oneida Community, established themselves in Upstate New York during that time. This led evangelist Charles Grandison Finney to coin the term the "Burned-Over District" for the region. Because of the comparative isolation of the region, many of the sects were non-conformist, and because of their non-traditional tenets they had numerous difficulties with government and other local people. The region is considered to be the cradle of Mormonism, as well as the Women's Suffrage movement. The Mormons, Seventh-day Adventists and Spiritualists are the only 21st century survivors of the hundreds of sects created during this time.

In the 19th century, extractive industries changed the landscape. Potash was manufactured as the land was cleared for farming. Iron was mined in the Adirondacks and the North Country. By the 1870s, business leaders, concerned about the effect of deforestation on the water supply necessary to the Erie Canal, advocated for the creation of forest preserves in the Adirondacks and the Catskills. The Adirondack Park and Catskill Park were created and strengthened by a series of legislation between 1885 and 1894, when the "Forever Wild" provision of the New York State Constitution was added.

During the era immediately following World War II Upstate reached what was probably its peak influence in the national economy. Major local corporations such as IBM, General Electric, Kodak, Xerox and Carrier produced cutting edge products for business, government and consumers. The opening of the New York State Thruway in the mid 1950s gave the region superior access to other eastern markets. This regional advantage faded as many local firms relocated operations to other states, or downsized in the face of foreign competition, similar to other areas in the American Rust Belt.

In recent decades, with the decline of manufacturing, the area has generally suffered a net population loss. In contrast, many Amish and Mennonite families are recent arrivals to the area. Beginning in 1974, many Mennonite families moved to the Penn Yan area of Yates County from Lancaster County, PA, seeking cheaper farmland. Recently-established Amish communities are in St. Lawrence, Montgomery, Chautaugua and Cattaraugus couties.

Five of the six Iroquois nations have filed land claims against New York State (or have sought settlement of pending claims), based on late 18th-century treaties with the State of New York and the United States.

ocial, political and religious movements

*Anti-Masonic Party
*Ararat, City of Refuge
*The Chautauqua Institution
*The Inspirationalists
*Kanatsiohareke []
*Ganienkeh Territory []
*Lily Dale
*The Millerites
*Modern Spiritualism
*The Oneida Community
*the Second Great Awakening
*The Shakers
*Women's Suffrage

Religious and spiritual figures

*Jehudi Ashmun, religious leader and social reformer born in Champlain, New York. He was an agent of the American Colonization Society which promoted the settlement of blacks at Monrovia, Liberia and was effectively governor of the colony from 1824 to 1828.
*Avery Robert Cardinal Dulles, S.J., born in Auburn
*Charles Grandison Finney
*George Washington Gale
*Handsome Lake
*Mother Ann Lee
*Oren Lyons
*William Miller (preacher)
*Mordecai Manuel Noah
*John Humphrey Noyes
*Joseph Smith
*Kateri Tekakwitha

The arts

Literary figures and places

*Diana Abu-Jaber, memoirist of her Central New York childhood who has set two of her novels there.
*Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian writer, is a resident of Annandale-on-Hudson and has taught at Bard College since 1990.
*John Ashbery, poet laureate of New York state from 2001 to 2003. Born on a farm near Lake Ontario, he is a resident of Hudson
*Russell Banks, several of whose novels are set in Northern New York, who has served as New York State Author
*L. Frank Baum, author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; resident of Chittenango
*T. Coraghessan Boyle, who grew up in the Hudson Valley and who attended college in the North Country, which he describes as the "frozen skullcap of New York State"
*Frederick Busch, who taught at Colgate University and whose characters are often Downstate New Yorkers transplanted upstate
*Hayden Carruth, poet, who taught at Syracuse University and lived in Munnsville
*Raymond Carver, who taught at Syracuse University
*Lucille Clifton, poet, born in Depew. Though African-American, she grew up speaking Polish as well as English in the neighborhood.
*James Fenimore Cooper, who wrote The Last of the Mohicans in Warrensburg, and who spent the last years of his life in Cooperstown
* [ Robert White Creeley] , professor of poetry at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and New York State Poet from 1989 to 1991
*Frederick Exley, from the Watertown area
*Tess Gallagher, who taught at Syracuse University
*John Gardner, Batavia native and SUNY Binghamton professor
*Tim Green, who grew up in Liverpool and who was a student at Syracuse University of Raymond Carver and Tobias Wolff
*Washington Irving, resident of Tarrytown, who is buried in Sleepy Hollow
*Mary Jemison, the "White Woman of the Genesee," whose story was told in J. E. Seaver's classic captivity narrative "Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison" (1824; latest ed. 1967)
*William J. Kennedy, the Bard of Albany
*James Howard Kunstler, resident of Saratoga Springs
*Alison Lurie, resident of Ithaca
*Bill McKibben, longtime resident of the Keene Valley in the Adirondacks
*Herman Melville, resident of Albany and graduate of the Lansingburgh Academy, who began writing his first novels in Lansingburgh
*Lorrie Moore, whose novel "Who Will Run The Frog Hospital?" is set in the Lake George area
*Howard Frank Mosher, usually associated with the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, but who grew up in Cato and who has written about the North Country []
*William Henry Harrison Murray, known as "Adirondack Murray"
*Vladimir Nabokov, resident of Ithaca
*Joyce Carol Oates, born in Lockport
*Camille Anna Paglia, born in Endicott
*David Pietrusza of Amsterdam
*Daniel Pinkwater, resident of the Hudson Valley
*Richard Russo, from Johnstown and Gloversville, many of whose novels are set in the Mohawk Valley
*Edna St. Vincent Millay, resident of Austerlitz
*Millay Colony for the Arts, residency program for writers, composers and visual artists
*George Saunders, who teaches at Syracuse University
*Delmore Schwartz, poet, Syracuse University professor and mentor to Lou Reed
*Julia Spencer-Fleming, native of Plattsburgh and resident of Argyle and Liverpool, whose books are set in the Adirondacks
*Trevanian, born in Granville
*Mark Twain, resident of Elmira and Buffalo
*Kurt Vonnegut, who began his literary career in Schenectady while working for General Electric in the early 1950s, and who set some of his novels in "Ilium," a fictionalized Schenectady
*Edmund Wilson, summer resident of Talcottville and author of "Upstate: Records and Recollections of Northern New York." New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1971; reprint, Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1990 and "Apologies to the Iroquois." New York: Farrar, Straus & Cudahy, 1960; reprint, paper, Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1992
*Tobias Wolff, who taught at Syracuse University
*Yaddo, an artists' community in Saratoga Springs.

Music scene

*Harold Arlen, native of Buffalo, composer of popular song including "Over the Rainbow"
*Blotto, a New Wave band from Albany
*Joe Bonamassa, born in Utica
*Brand New Sin, a hard rock band from Syracuse
*The Burns Sisters of Ithaca
*Cannibal Corpse, a death metal band originally from Buffalo
*Elizabeth Cotten, resident of Syracuse
*Chuck Cuminale of Rochester, aka Colorblind James of The Colorblind James Experience
*Ani DiFranco of Buffalo
*Ronnie James Dio, raised in Cortland
*Donna The Buffalo of Trumansburg
*Ray Evans, songwriter and native of Salamanca
*Every Time I Die from Buffalo
*Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance
*Renée Fleming, soprano, who grew up in Rochester, studied at the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam, the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music and Juilliard.
*The Great Blue Heron Music Festival of Sherman
*Gym Class Heroes from Geneva
*Goo Goo Dolls, from Buffalo
*The Horse Flies of Trumansburg
*Son House, resident of Rochester
*Rick James, born in Buffalo
*Caffe Lena of Saratoga Springs, the oldest continuously-operating coffee house in North America [] , founded by Lena Spencer
*the song "Low Bridge, Everybody Down", also known as "Fifteen Years on the Erie Canal" or "Fifteen Miles on the Erie Canal", by Thomas S. Allen
*Teo Macero, producer of the Miles Davis album, "Kind of Blue", from Glens Falls
*Chuck Mangione of Rochester
*Gap Mangione of Rochester
*Manowar from Auburn
*Natalie Merchant of Jamestown
*Mitch Miller, born in Rochester, a graduate of the Eastman School of Music
*moe. from Buffalo
*Chancellor Olcott, songwriter of "My Wild Irish Rose" and "When Irish Eyes are Smiling"
*Old Crow Medicine Show, originally formed around Trumansburg and Ithaca
*Sigurd Raschèr of Shushan, one of the most important figures in the development of the 20th century repertoire for the concert saxophone.
*Pete Seeger, protest singer and environmental activist. Longtime resident of Fishkill, he co-founded the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater organization
*Colleen Sexton, from Syracuse
*Martin Sexton, from Syracuse
*Joanne Shenandoah of the Oneida Nation
*Kim Simmonds of the British blues band Savoy Brown, now a resident of Oswego
*Spyro Gyra of Buffalo
*Summer Jam at Watkins Glen, 1973
*10,000 Maniacs of Jamestown
*Alice Tully, opera singer and philanthropist, born in Corning []
*Jimmy Van Heusen, songwriter, native of Syracuse, 1944 winner of an Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Swinging on a Star"
*Jerry Jeff Walker, born in Oneonta
*Alec Wilder, native of Rochester, composer
*Thomasina Winslow, born New Baltimore, resident of the Albany area
*Tom Winslow of New Baltimore
*Woodstock Music Festival
*See also the musicians of the Woodstock area

Artists and artistic movements

*Milton Avery, born in Altmar, buried in Woodstock
*Byrdcliffe Colony
*Frederic Church
*Thomas Cole
*Sanford Robinson Gifford
*The Hudson River School
*Diane Janowski, Elmira artist and filmmaker []
*Rockwell Kent
*Robert Mangold
*Grandma Moses
*Georgia O'Keeffe, resident of Lake George
*Albert Paley of Rochester, modernist metal sculptor
*Frederick Remington
*Alfred Stieglitz, resident of Lake George
*William James Stillman
*Seneca Ray Stoddard


*Brad Anderson of Marmaduke, lives in Chautauqua County
*Johnny Hart (of B.C. and The Wizard of Id), from Endicott
*Margaret Shulock of Six Chix, resides in Franklinville
*Tom Toles, Washington Post editorial cartoonist, from Buffalo
*Garry Trudeau of Doonesbury, raised in Saranac Lake

Architects and architecture

*Adirondack Architecture, the Great Camp style
*Claude Bragdon, main architectural practice was in Rochester
*Daniel Burnham, Chicago architect born in Henderson
*Cobblestone Masonry [] []
*William L. Coulter, Adirondack architect
*Andrew Jackson Downing
*William West Durant
*Harvey Ellis []
*Irving Gill, San Diego architect born in Tully
*Philip Hooker
*Octagon houses, a mid-nineteenth-century fad. Extant examples can be seen in Syracuse, Camillus, and Canandaigua
*James Renwick, Jr., born in Bloomingdale in Essex County
*Joseph Lyman Silsbee, Syracuse architect who upon relocating to Chicago gave Frank Lloyd Wright his first drafting job
*Ward Wellington Ward


*Benjamin A. Muncil, Adirondack master builder


*the Adirondack Chair
*the Adirondack guideboat
*the American Arts and Crafts or American Craftsman Movement
*Elbert Hubbard, founder of the Roycroft Community
*Adelaide Alsop Robineau, potter and editor of the ceramics publication Keramic Studio []
*Shaker Furniture
*Steuben Glass Works
*Gustav Stickley, Arts and Crafts furniture designer, architect and editor of The Craftsman magazine
*Leopold and John George Stickley, furniture designers and manufacturers []

how biz

*George Abbott, born in Forestville, theater producer and director, playwright, screenwriter, and film director and producer whose career spanned more than seven decades
*Lucille Ball, from Jamestown
*Tom Cruise, born in Syracuse
*William Devane, born in Albany
*Kirk Douglas, from Amsterdam
*Annette Funicello, born in Utica
*Richard Gere, graduate of North Syracuse High School
*George 'Gabby' Hayes, born in Wellsville
*Mary-Margaret Humes, born in Watertown
*Grace Jones, graduate of Central High School in Syracuse, who studied theater at Syracuse University
*Sam Patch, known as "The Yankee Leaper," the first famous U.S. daredevil.
*David Hyde Pierce, born in Saratoga Springs
*Rachael Ray of Lake Luzerne
*John Sayles, from Schenectady
*Rod Serling, from Interlaken
*the Shubert Brothers, from Syracuse
*Maureen Stapleton, born in Troy
*Fran Striker of Buffalo, a writer for radio and comics who was best known for creating The Lone Ranger and The Green Hornet.

Major museums

*Adirondack Museum, Blue Mountain Lake
*Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo
*Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany
*Antique Boat Museum, Clayton
*Corning Museum of Glass, Corning
*Chapman Historical Museum, Glens Falls
* [ Cuba Cheese Museum] , Cuba
*George Eastman House, Rochester
*Erie Canal Museum, Syracuse
* [ Erie Canal Village] , Rome
*Everson Museum, Syracuse
*Farmers' Museum, Cooperstown
*Genesee Country Village and Museum, Wheatland
*International Boxing Hall of Fame, Canastota
*Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca
*Hyde Collection, Glens Falls
*Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester
*Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Utica
*Museum at Bethel Woods, Bethel, exhibiting the history and culture of the 1969 Woodstock Festival
*National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Cooperstown
*National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, Saratoga Springs
*National Museum of Dance, Saratoga Springs
*National Soaring Museum, Elmira
*National Soccer Hall of Fame, Oneonta
*National Women's Hall of Fame, Seneca Falls
* [ New York State Military Museum] , Saratoga Springs
*New York State Museum, Albany
* [ New York State Museum of Cheese] , Rome
*Frederic Remington Art Museum, Ogdensburg
*Salt Museum, Liverpool
*Strong - National Museum of Play, Rochester

See also List of museums in New York

Educators and librarians

*Melvil Dewey, born in Adams Center. Inventor of the Dewey Decimal System, founder of the New York State Library School, director of the New York State Library, secretary of the University of the State of New York.
*Andrew Dickson White, best known as the co-founder of Cornell University
*Emma Willard, founder of the Troy Female Seminary, later renamed the Emma Willard School

Inventors and business leaders

*Linus Yale, Inventor of the Yale Lock
*Willard Bundy, the inventor of the time clock for recording employee working hours
*Willis Carrier, the inventor of air conditioning
*Ezra Cornell
*Erastus Corning
*George Crum, the head chef of Moon's Lake House, a resort in Saratoga Springs, and the inventor of the potato chip.
*Glenn Curtiss
*Abner Doubleday
*Charles F. Dowd of Saratoga Springs, who first proposed standard time zones for American railroads
*Frederick W. Eames of Watertown, inventor of a vacuum brake for railroad cars. His company was reorganized as the New York Air Brake company, which continues to operate. [] []
*George Eastman
*Dr. Konstantin Frank, viticulturalist
*Carl Frink of Clayton, an innovator in the snow plow manufacturing industry [] []
*Robert Fulton, whose steamboat the Clermont (steamboat) served the Hudson River between New York City and Albany
*Stephen Gordon, Plattsburgh native and founder of Restoration Hardware
*William Henry Gunlocke, [] [] furniture manufacturer
*Wilson Greatbatch, who advanced the development of the pacemaker
*Seth Green, pioneer in fish farming, inventor of the fish hatchery
*Herman Hollerith, born in Buffalo, a statistician who developed a mechanical tabulator based on punched cards. His company was eventually merged into others to form IBM.
*Birdsill Holly
*the Houghton family of the Corning Glass Works
*John B. Jervis
*John D. Larkin of the Larkin Soap Company, who commissioned the Larkin Administration Building from Frank Lloyd Wright
*Edwin Albert Link
*David Maydole, blacksmith and inventor of adz-eye hammer construction method. He founded the Maydole Hammer Factory, once the largest hammer factory in the nation, in Norwich.
*William Henry Miner, railroad equipment manufacturer, philanthropist, founder of the Miner Institute at Heart's Delight Farm in Chazy
*Robert Moog, who invented the music synthesizer while a graduate student at Cornell University. He founded his company Moog Music in Trumansburg.
*Edward John Noble, born in Gouverneur, founder of the Life Savers Candy Company and the American Broadcasting Corporation
*Robert C. Pruyn
*Eliphalet Remington, firearms and typewriter manufacturer. The Remington typewriter, later manufactured by Remington Rand, was the first typewriter to use the QWERTY keyboard layout
*Ben Serotta, builder of custom racing bicycle
*Isaac Singer, founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company
*L. C. Smith, typewriter innovator and founder of the company that became Smith-Corona
*Charles Proteus Steinmetz
*Walter S. Taylor, founder of Bully Hill Vineyards
*Spencer Trask, Saratoga Springs venture capitalist and philanthropist, who backed Thomas Edison, rescued the New York Times and founded the artists' colony Yaddo
*Webster Wagner, an inventor of the railroad sleeping car and the parlor car. Born in Palatine Bridge, he founded the Webster Palace Car Company in Buffalo [] .
*Henry Wells, founder of American Express, Wells Fargo, and Wells College
*George West
*Samuel Wilson, namesake of Uncle Sam
*Frank Winfield Woolworth
*Benjamin Wright

Upstate New York companies that have moved manufacturing away

*Yale Locks
*Bigelow-Sanford Carpets [,9171,861260,00.html]
*Carrier Corporation
*R. E. Dietz Company
*Endicott Johnson Corporation
*Fisher-Price Toys
*Marsellus Casket []
*Mohawk Mills Carpets []
*Porter-Cable; see [ "Porter-Cable History." Delta | Porter-Cable. 8 January 2008]
*Smith Corona
*White Mop Wringer [] []


*the Adirondack chair
*the Brannock Device
*the detachable collar
*the Dewey Decimal System
*the fish hatchery
*the flight simulator
*Little Trees, the pine-tree-shaped air freshener for cars []
*the square-bottomed paper bag
*the potato chip
*the punch card and the key punch
*the roll of film
*Standard time zones for American railroads
*the time recording clock and the time card
*the Yale Lock


*Adirondack baseball bats, made in Dolgeville
*the Grumman aluminum canoe [] [,0,5473146.story?coll=ny-lihistory-navigation] , built in Marathon, an innovative use of the material and an example of post-World War II conversion of aircraft-industry resources to peacetime use
*Carousels, built in North Tonawanda by the Allan Herschell Company and others in the same city []
*Locomotives, built in Schenectady by the American Locomotive Company
*the Penn Yan boat []
*Sailplanes, made by Schweizer Aircraft in Horseheads
*the Wurlitzer organ and jukebox, made in North Tonawanda

cientists and physicians

*William Martin Beauchamp, ethnologist and clergyman. Born in Orange County, he served an Episcopal parish in Baldwinsville for 35 years while also performing archæological research, particularly concerning the Haudenosaunee, and publishing his findings in eight books between 1892 and 1908.
*Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, abolitionist, women's rights activist, and the first female doctor in the United States, studied medicine at Geneva College.
*Dr. George Franklin Grant. Born in Oswego, he was the first African American professor at Harvard. He was also a Boston dentist, and the inventor of the golf tee.
*Prof. Joseph Henry, scientist who advanced the understanding of electricity, and who served as the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.
*Lewis Henry Morgan of Aurora and Rochester, ethnologist, anthropologist, writer and attorney. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels relied on his accounts of the evolution of indigenous peoples to fill in their own account of the development of capitalist society.
*Roger Tory Peterson, naturalist, ornithologist, writer and educator, born in Jamestown.
*Prof. Carl Sagan
*Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, geographer, geologist, and ethnologist, born in Guilderland.
*Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau, who established the Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium at Saranac Lake for treatment of tuberculosis.
*Charles Doolittle Walcott, paleontologist
*Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, feminist, abolitionist, prohibitionist, alleged spy, prisoner of war, surgeon, and the only woman to receive the Medal of Honor.

Legends and hoaxes

*The Cardiff Giant
*Champ (legend), the Loch Ness Monster of Lake Champlain
*The Fox sisters


uperfund sites

(for a comprehensive list see [] )
*the Hudson River, contaminated with PCBs at Hudson Falls and Fort Edward
*Love Canal, a neighborhood in Niagara Falls, New York which became the subject of national attention and controversy following the discovery of toxic waste buried beneath the neighborhood
*Onondaga Lake, one of the most polluted bodies of water in the world [ [ "State proposes clean up contamination that creates one of world's most polluted lakes."] "U.S. Water News Online" (August 2000)]


*the Labrador Duck

Invasive species

*The Lamprey
*The zebra mussel

Political figures

*Susan B. Anthony
*Joseph Brant
*Molly Brant
*John Brown (abolitionist), Adirondack farmer
*Grover Cleveland
*Verplanck Colvin, advocate for the establishment of the Adirondack Forest Preserve
*Roscoe Conkling
*Frederick Douglass
*James Duane, a lawyer, jurist, and Revolutionary leader from New York. He served as a delegate to the Continental Congress, a U.S. District Judge, New York state senator, and as Mayor of New York. Duanesburg is named for him.
*Calvin Fairbank, an abolitionist minister who spent more than 17 years in prison for his anti-slavery activities.
*Millard Fillmore
*Barry Freed, aka Abbie Hoffman, of the Save the River environmental campaign to preserve the St. Lawrence River
*Matilda Electa Joslyn Gage of Fayetteville, suffragist, Native American activist, abolitionist, freethinker, prolific author, who was "born with a hatred of oppression" and who was the mother-in-law of L.Frank Baum.
*Henry Highland Garnet, abolitionist and orator
*B. Thomas Golisano
*John Hall, member of Congress representing the Catskills and the Hudson Valley, former member of the band Orleans
*Charles Evans Hughes
*Mary Jemison
*Guy Johnson
*Laurence A. Johnson, anti-communist
*Sir William Johnson
*Rev. Samuel Kirkland
*Robert Lansing
*Roger Allen LaPorte, Vietnam War protester
*Robert Livingston (1746-1813)
*Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood, attorney, politician, author, and feminist, the first female lawyer to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
*Gouverneur Morris, St. Lawrence County landowner
*Lucretia Mott
* General Ely S. Parker
*Red Jacket
*John G. Roberts
*William P. Rogers, born in Norfolk and raised in Canton, was U.S. Attorney General in the Eisenhower administration and Secretary of State in the Nixon Administration
*Eleanor Roosevelt
*Franklin Roosevelt
*Elihu Root
*Margaret Sanger, birth control activist, native of Corning
*William Seward
*Horatio Seymour, Governor of New York from 1853 to 1854 and from 1863 to 1864. He was the Democratic Party nominee for president of the United States in the presidential election of 1868, but lost the election to Republican Ulysses S. Grant.
*James Schoolcraft Sherman
*Gerrit Smith
*Elizabeth Cady Stanton
*Henry Stanton
*Sojourner Truth
*Harriet Tubman, resident of Auburn
*Martin Van Buren
*Martha Coffin Wright

Downstate political figures with a profound influence on Upstate New York

*Governor DeWitt Clinton, largely responsible for the construction of the Erie Canal.
*Robert Moses, chairman of the New York State Power Commission, responsible for building hydro-electric dams on the Niagara River and St. Lawrence River.


*Samuel Hopkins Adams, muckraker, born in Dunkirk
*Amy Dickinson, Chicago Tribune advice columnist, who grew up on a dairy farm in Freeville
*Verlyn Klinkenborg, member of the New York Times editorial board; writer and farmer
*Tim Russert, host of NBC's Meet the Press, born and raised in Buffalo
*Dorothy Thompson, born in Lancaster
*John Zogby of Utica, pollster and blogger


*Adirondack Mountains
*Capital District (Albany and the surrounding area)
*Catskill Mountains
*Central-Leatherstocking Region (includes Cooperstown)
*Central New York (Syracuse and the surrounding area)
*Finger Lakes (between Rochester and Syracuse)
*The Holland Purchase
*Hudson Valley (except Rockland County and Westchester County, though in general increasingly part of the New York metro area culturally)
*Mohawk Valley (includes Utica and Schenectady)
*North Country (extreme Northern frontier of New York, north of the Adirondacks, often refers to itself as the "true" upstate)
*Shawangunk Ridge
*Ski country (the northern boundary of the Southern Tier, includes Cortland, Clymer and Ellicottville
*Southern Tier (just north of Pennsylvania, excluding the Catskills; includes Binghamton, Corning and Elmira)
*Western New York (the westernmost tip; includes Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Jamestown, and sometimes Rochester)

Major highways

*The New York State Thruway
*The Adirondack Northway
*The Taconic State Parkway
*Interstate 81
*Interstate 84
*Interstate 86, incorporating the Southern Tier Expressway and the Quickway
*Interstate 87
*Interstate 88
*Interstate 90

Major cities

*Albany (the state capital)
*Buffalo (the most populous city in Upstate New York)
*Glens Falls
*Niagara Falls
*Rochester (The second most populous city in Upstate New York)
*Saratoga Springs

Major universities and colleges

**State University of New York (SUNY)
***SUNY Alfred
***SUNY Albany
***SUNY Binghamton
***SUNY Brockport
***SUNY Buffalo
***SUNY Cobleskill
***SUNY Cortland
***Empire State College
***SUNY Fredonia
***SUNY Geneseo
***SUNY Institute of Technology in Utica/Rome
***SUNY Maritime
***SUNY New Paltz
***SUNY Oneonta
***SUNY Oswego
***SUNY Plattsburgh
***SUNY Potsdam
**United States Military Academy at West Point
**Alfred University
**Bard College
**Canisius College
**Clarkson University
**The College of Saint Rose
**Colgate University
**Cornell University
**Elmira College
**Hamilton College
**Hartwick College
**Hobart and William Smith Colleges
**Houghton College
**Ithaca College
**Keuka College
**Le Moyne College
**Marist College
**Mount Saint Mary College
**Nazareth College
**Niagara University
**Paul Smith's College
**Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
**Roberts Wesleyan College
**University of Rochester
**Rochester Institute of Technology
**Russell Sage College
**St. Bonaventure University
**St John Fisher College
**St. Lawrence University
**Skidmore College
**Siena College
**Syracuse University
**Union College
**Utica College
**Vassar College
**Wells College

Major tourist attractions and destinations

*Adirondack Mountains
*Ausable Chasm
*Baseball Hall of Fame (in Cooperstown)
*Black River (in Watertown)
*Catskill Mountains
*Corning Museum of Glass
*Darien Lake
*Erie Canal
*Farmers' Museum (in Cooperstown)
*Finger Lakes
*Fort Niagara
*Fort Ontario
*Fort Ticonderoga
*Fort Stanwix
*The Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom
*Howe Caverns
* Mid to Upper Hudson Valley
*International Boxing Hall of Fame (in Canastota)
*Lake Champlain
*Lake George
*Lake Placid, NY
*Letchworth State Park
*Niagara Falls
*Saratoga Race Course
*Seabreeze Amusement Park
*Soccer Hall of Fame (in Oneonta)
*Sylvan Beach
*Thousand Islands
*Turning Stone Resort & Casino (in Verona)

Historic events

*Hurricane Agnes
*the first execution via the electric chair, in Auburn Prison in 1890
*the Jerry Rescue
*the 1901 assassination of President William McKinley, prompting his Vice-President Teddy Roosevelt's return from an Adirondack hunting trip to be sworn in as McKinley's successor. Anarchist Leon Czolgosz, McKinley's assassin, was subsequently electrocuted in Auburn Prison.
*the Northeast Blackout of 1965
*the Northeast Blackout of 2003
*The 1848 Seneca Falls Convention, the first women's rights convention held in the United States
*The Battle of Saratoga, turning point of the revolution.


*George T. Anthony, Governor of Kansas, born in Mayfield, New York
*Charles Reed Bishop, born in Glens Falls, husband of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop Paki of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Confidant of Hawaiian Royalty. [ [ Kamehameha Schools - Charles Reed Bishop ] ]
*Aaron T. Bliss, Governor of Michigan, born in Peterboro
*Gail Borden, the inventor of condensed milk. He was born in Norwich and emigrated to Mexican Texas, where he became a newspaper editor and later the Republic of Texas Customs inspector for Galveston. He returned to Upstate New York to establish the first milk condensing plant in Wassaic.
*Josiah Failing, the fourth mayor of Portland, Oregon, born in Canajoharie
*Bret Harte, born in Albany
*Charles "Pa" Ingalls, born in Cuba, Dakota Territory homesteader and father of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who had for his entire life a strong case of wanderlust. He is quoted by Laura in her "Little House" series of books as saying: "My wandering foot gets to itching".
*Grove L. Johnson, U.S. Representative from California, born in Syracuse
*Edward Livingston, a prominent American jurist and statesman, born in Clermont, Columbia County, New York. He was an influential figure in the drafting of the Louisiana Civil Code of 1825, a civil code based largely on the Napoleonic Code. He represented both New York, and later Louisiana in Congress and he served as the U.S. Secretary of State from 1831 to 1833.
*Algernon Sidney Paddock, Secretary of Nebraska Territory and Governor of Nebraska; United States Senator.
*Dr. Marcus Whitman, physician and missionary in the Oregon Country, born in what is now Rushville
*Narcissa Whitman, missionary in the Oregon Country, born in Prattsburgh
*Almanzo Wilder, born in Malone, Dakota Territory homesteader and husband of Laura Ingalls Wilder

Athletes and athletic events

*Billy Backus, boxer from Canastota
*Carmen Basilio, boxer from Canastota
*Funny Cide, the first New York-bred horse to win the Kentucky Derby
*Tim Green
*The "Miracle on Ice"
*The 1932 Winter Olympics and the 1980 Winter Olympics, both held at Lake Placid


*the Angola Horror train wreck, 1867 []
*the B-47 crash in the Adirondacks, 1962 []
*the Cherry Valley massacre, 1778
*The collapse of the New York State Thruway Bridge over Schoharie Creek, 1987 []
*the disappearance of eight-year-old Douglas Legg from the Santanoni Preserve, his family's camp in the Adirondacks [] , 1971
*the Elmira Prison Camp, 1861-1865
*the Split Rock Explosion, 1918
*the Sullivan Campaign, 1779

Crimes and criminals

*Attica Prison riots
*The Auburn System penal method
*Robert Garrow
*Chester Gillette
*Timothy McVeigh
*Ralph "Bucky" Phillips


*HMS Ontario (1780), which had been constructed at Carleton Island
*Land Tortoise

ee also

*New York City secession


*Eisenstadt, Peter (Ed.) The Encyclopedia of New York State. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-8156-0808-X
* [ Beauchamp, William M. "Indian Names in New York". Fayetteville, NY: Recorder Office, 1893.]

External links

* [ A York State of Mind] An essay by an Upstate site discussing the many conflicting definitions of the region.
* [ Jefferson County History with pictures and links] Much info on the upstate NY Jefferson County and surrounding area.
* [ Old Abandoned Buildings of Northern NY] The urban decay of upstate NY, in pictures from the area.
* [ THE12534] Blog about Hudson, NY 12534 and Columbia County, NY with many local links.
* [ Online Travel Guide to Upstate New York]
* [ New York History Net]

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