Oneonta, New York

Oneonta, New York
—  City  —
Nickname(s): "City of the Hills"
Oneonta is located in New York
Location of Oneonta in New York
Coordinates: 42°27′21″N 75°3′44″W / 42.45583°N 75.06222°W / 42.45583; -75.06222Coordinates: 42°27′21″N 75°3′44″W / 42.45583°N 75.06222°W / 42.45583; -75.06222
Country United States
State New York
County Otsego
Incorporated (village) 1842
Incorporated (city) 1908
 - Type Mayor-Council
 - Mayor Richard P. Miller, Jr. (I)
 - Common Council
Population (2010)
 - Total 13,901
ZIP codes 13820
Area code(s) 607
FIPS code 36-54881

Oneonta is a city in southern Otsego County, New York, USA. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, had a population of 13,901.[1] Its nickname is "City of the Hills." While the word "oneonta" is of undetermined origin, it is popularly believed to mean "place of open rocks" in the Iroquois language. This refers to a prominent geological formation known as "Tablerocks" at the western end of the city.

The city is surrounded by the town of Oneonta, a separate municipal and political jurisdiction. Oneonta is home to the State University Of New York at Oneonta and Hartwick College.

Oneonta Municipal Airport (N66) is north of the city.



Main Street, about 1909

Prehistorically, Algonquin and Iroquois Indians inhabited the land around what is today the city of Oneonta. The Iroquois gained exclusive control during the early historic period.

The area's early pioneers arrived around 1775 and consisted mainly of Palatine Germans and Dutch settlers moving out of the Hudson Valley. The army led by General James Clinton passed through the area in order to join the Sullivan Expedition in 1779.

The first hamlet appeared around 1800 and was later known as "Milfordville." In 1830, the town of Oneonta was formed from parts of two other towns in the county. Milfordville changed its name to Oneonta in 1832, and, in 1848, incorporated as a village within the town.

When the Delaware and Hudson Railroad reached Oneonta, the village began a growth spurt due to its role as a railroad center and its growing industries. Oneonta was once home to the largest locomotive roundhouse in the world.[2]

The village incorporated as a city in 1908.

Market Street, January 15, 2010


Oneonta is located at 42°27′21″N 75°3′44″W / 42.45583°N 75.06222°W / 42.45583; -75.06222 (42.456003, -75.062302)[3]. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.4 square miles (11.3 km²). None of the area is covered with water.

The city is in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains, lying between Binghamton and Albany.

The Susquehanna River flows westward past the south part of the city.

Interstate 88 follows the course of the Susquehanna River past Oneonta. New York State Route 7 and New York State Route 23 pass through the city, and New York State Route 28 and New York State Route 205 join south of the city.


The architecture of Oneonta is mostly plain townhouses, and low-rise commercial buildings. Oneonta has very few industrial complexes. Because of its location, Oneonta does not serve as a prime industrial city.

There are several historic buildings that were originally homes of prominent people. The Fairchild Mansion was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and was formerly the home of George Winthrop Fairchild, one of the original partners with Thomas Watson. Fairchild and Watson were the founders of what eventually became IBM.[4] Also, George I. Wilber House is a historic home located in the City. It was built in two phases, 1875 and about 1890. It is a three story wood frame structure on a stone foundation in the Late Victorian style. It features a three story, round corner tower, cross gabled roof, and a large, very decorative wrap-around porch with a porte-cochere. In 1997 it became home to the Upper Catskill Community Council of the Arts. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.[5]

The tallest building in Oneonta is Nader Towers. Standing 14-stories high, the building is owned by the City of Oneonta Housing Authority and is operated as a senior citizen's housing dwelling.


Oneonta, New York, as depicted on an 1884 panoramic map.

As of the census of 2000, there were 13,292 people, 4,253 households, and 1,913 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,032.6 people per square mile (1,171.7/km²). There were 4,574 housing units at an average density of 403.2 persons/km² (1,043.6 persons/sq mi). The racial makeup of the city was 89.81% White, 4.87% African American, 0.21% Native American, 1.68% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 0.95% from other races, and 1.69% from two or more races. 3.87% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 4,253 households out of which 22.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.4% were married couples living together, 10.5% have a woman whose husband does not live with her, and 55.0% were non-families. 36.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the city the population was spread out with 13.6% under the age of 18, 43.1% from 18 to 24, 17.6% from 25 to 44, 13.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 23 years. For every 100 females there were 82.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $24,671, and the median income for a family was $40,833. Males had a median income of $31,250 versus $25,338 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,640. 30.3% of the population and 13.5% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 20.8% are under the age of 18 and 12.6% are 65 or older.

City Government

The City is overseen by Mayor Dick Miller, and a Common Council; Aldermen are Maureen Hennessy, Paul Robinson, Erik Miller, Michael Lynch, Jr., Rodger Moran, Veronica Diver, Lizabeth Shannon and Kevin Hodne. [1] The City's website[6] includes a broad range of information about the City and City government, including a calendar of all governmental meetings, copies of all Common Council minutes and the complete text of the City Code.


Oneonta is home to the State University of New York at Oneonta (often abbreviated to SUNY Oneonta and SUCO) and Hartwick College. SUNY Oneonta began in Oneonta as a normal school and a teacher's college in 1889, and Hartwick College moved into the city in 1928. The approximately 5,800 students from SUNY Oneonta and the approximately 1,500 students at Hartwick make up a significant percentage of the population of Oneonta.

Oneonta has only one high school, Oneonta High School, which has about 650 students, and one middle school, Oneonta Middle School, which has about 300 students.

The city also has four elementary schools; Valleyview, Riverside, Greater Plains, and Center St. Each has about 200 students.

Parks and recreation

The city of Oneonta operates two major municipal parks, Neahwa Park and Wilber Park. Information regarding recreational opportunities within the city's parks can be obtained from the Department of Recreation.


In 2008 the city of Oneonta celebrated its Centennial with monthly events throughout the year beginning with the New Year's Eve parade. For other events see [2]

Notable residents

  • Henry E. Huntington, railroad magnate, was born in Oneonta.
  • George Winthrop Fairchild, businessman and IBM chairman, was born in Oneonta.
  • Carleton E. Watkins, 19th Century California nature photographer, was born in Oneonta.
  • Jerry Jeff Walker, country music singer, was born in Oneonta.
  • Sherman Mills Fairchild, inventor, was born in Oneonta.
  • Mark May, professional football player and sportscaster, was born in Oneonta.
  • Jim Metzler, actor, was born in Oneonta.
  • Lev Gorn, actor, was born in Oneonta.
  • Dylan Avery and Korey Rowe, creators of the Loose Change 9/11 conspiracy films, grew up together in Oneonta.
  • Actor Paul Reubens spent a significant amount of his childhood in Oneonta.
  • Cartoonist Scott Adams attended Hartwick College in Oneonta.
  • Baseball pitcher Jim Konstanty was the athletic director at Hartwick College and died in Oneonta.[7]
  • The rock band Red Goodbye was formed at SUNY Oneonta.

The Arts in Oneonta

  • Upper Catskill Community Center of the Arts, or UCCCA, the Arts Council [3]
  • Martin-Mullen and Project Space Art Galleries, the Fine Arts Galleries at SUNY College at Oneonta [4]
  • The Yager Museum of Art and Culture [5]
  • Foothills Performing Art Center [6]
  • Catskill Choral Society [7]
  • Catskill Symphony Orchestra [8]
  • The Oneonta Theatre (
  • The Oneonta Theatre Stage Players


External links

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