Horseheads (village), New York

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Horseheads, New York
Chemung Railway Depot, Horseheads, NY
Chemung Railway Depot, Horseheads, NY
Motto: "If it's worth doing, It's worth doing right"
Horseheads, New York is located in New York
Horseheads, New York
Horseheads, New York
Location within the state of New York
Coordinates: 42°9′59″N 76°49′39″W / 42.16639°N 76.82750°W / 42.16639; -76.82750Coordinates: 42°9′59″N 76°49′39″W / 42.16639°N 76.82750°W / 42.16639; -76.82750
Country United States
State New York
County Chemung
 • Total 3.9 sq mi (10.0 km2)
 • Land 3.9 sq mi (10.0 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 896 ft (273 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 6,461
 • Density 1,700/sq mi (650/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 14844-14845
Area code(s) 607
FIPS code 36-35694
GNIS feature ID 0953232

Horseheads is a village in Chemung County, New York, United States. The population was 6,461 at the 2010 census. The name is derived from the number of bleached skulls of pack horses left behind by the Sullivan Expedition.

The Village of Horseheads is located within the Town of Horseheads. It is north of the City of Elmira. It is part of the 'Elmira, New York Metropolitan Statistical Area'.


The village was founded around 1830. The village was incorporated in 1837 as the "Village of Fairport," but changed its name back to Horseheads several years later only to be renamed "North Elmira." In 1886, the village resumed the original name, "Horseheads."

The village was once a port on the Chemung Canal.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 3.9 square miles (10.0 km²), all of it land.

Horseheads village is in the Southern Tier Region of New York.

Newtown Creek on the east side of the village is a tributary of the Chemung River.

New York State Route 17 and Interstate 86 pass through the village. New York State Route 14, a north-south highway, intersects NY-17 in the village, New York State Route 13 intersects NY-17 east of the village.

'The Valley of the Horses’ Heads'(NEEDS CITATION)
A twenty-eight square mile memorial, unparalled in American Military History, is the proud distinction that enshrines the Town and Village of Horseheads, New York. Nowhere on the American Continent has the writer, through considerable government and public research, been able to find a town or village that perpetuates the same patriotic drama laid at the doorsteps of Horseheads, N.Y. on September 24, 1779. This date hallmarks, the time and hallowed ground where lie, the relics and sun-bleached skulls (some estimates run as high as 300) of the American Military pack horses of Major-General John Sullivan. These peaceful servants of General Sullivan and his officers with about 5000 “ragged rebels” (as expressed by George III) brought forth gallantry, in the American Revolutionary War’s Western Campaign against the Six Nations of the Iroquois worthy of greatness to exalt these pack horses to any American Military “Valhalla.” Burdened down with heavy military equipment in their 450 mile journey through wooded wilderness from Easton, PA, over to Wyoming, and on up the Susquehanna River Trail to Elmira, NY, they continued north through Horseheads to the Finger Lakes region and west to Geneseo. Returning the same route to Horseheads, these military pack horses had reached the end of their endurance. Here, General Sullivan, through humanitary [sic] reasons was compelled to dispose of these partners in the cause of American freedom. A few years later, the skulls of the horses were arrayed along the trail by a few returning Indians. On this spot, the first settlers built their homes. This location, first known as “the Valley of the Horses’ Heads,” was later changed to Horseheads. Indeed, Horseheads takes pride to enshrine [itself] in monumental devotion to proclaim “Horseheads is the first and only town and village in the U.S. dedicated to the service of the American military horse.” Today, this twenty-eight square mile memorial to the American military horse has no single-town and village range, but stands to evoke in any American a deep feeling for the part played by the HORSE in all of America’s military expeditions. It is to this heritage, Horseheads, NY dedicates itself to their LAST HONOR.


Hanover Square is the village's commercial focal point, as well as Arnot Mall.
Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1890 1,716 —    
1900 1,901 +10.8%
1910 1,778 −6.5%
1930 2,430 +36.7%
1940 2,570 +5.8%
1950 3,606 +40.3%
1960 7,207 +99.9%
1970 7,989 +10.9%
1980 7,348 −8.0%
1990 6,802 −7.4%
2000 6,452 −5.1%
2010 6,461 +0.1%
2012 (est.) 6,640 +2.8%
1890-1990: Source from Chemung County, not Census Bureau. Document here.
Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. 

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 6,452 people, 2,862 households, and 1,800 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,666.4 people per square mile (643.7/km²). There were 3,007 housing units at an average density of 776.6 per square mile (300.0/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 95.57% White, 1.30% Black or African American, 0.12% Native American, 1.92% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.20% from other races, and 0.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.91% of the population.

There were 2,862 households out of which 26.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.9% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.1% were non-families. 32.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.82.

In the village the population was spread out with 22.6% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 26.3% from 25 to 44, 23.1% from 45 to 64, and 21.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 86.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.1 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $35,915, and the median income for a family was $44,971. Males had a median income of $36,774 versus $22,776 for females. The per capita income for the village was $20,779. About 4.6% of families and 8.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.9% of those under age 18 and 5.6% of those age 65 or over.


  1. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

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