Norwich, New York
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2007)|
|• 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)|
|• Density||3,600/sq mi (1,400/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0959025|
Norwich is a city in Chenango County, New York, United States. Surrounded on all sides by the Town of Norwich, the city is the county seat of Chenango County. The name is taken from Norwich, England. Its population was 7,190 at the 2010 census.
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 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. Unlike many upstate cities, there are few, if any, defined neighborhoods or districts. Although the city is divided into six wards for political purposes, neighborhoods are seldom referred to in this manner. Typically, locations are described or referred to by the particular street name, such as "Maydole Street" rather than a colloquial neighborhood name such as "Little Italy". There are some exceptions:
Downtown The main commercial district of Norwich. Consisting of North and South Broad Streets, East and West Main Streets, and lesser side streets, including American Avenue, Lackawanna Avenue, and parts of Mechanic, Fair, and Hayes Streets. The downtown district is bordered at the north by Cortland and Mitchell Streets, and to the south by Front Street and Eaton Avenue.
Newton Heights is an area beginning at the top of the Canasawacta Street Hill, bordered to the east by North Broad Street, the west by the escarpment that leads down to Plymouth Street and the Canasawacta Valley, and to the North by Ridgeland Road. It includes Ridgeland Road, Newton Avenue, Summit Street, Pellet Street and parts of Howard Street and Prospect Street.
Hillview also known as "the Ford Development" or "Cardboard Hill" (a friendly reference to the prefab nature of some of the houses)is the area behind Gibson School in the northwestern corner of the City. Bounded by Route 12, Thompson Road, and the Gibson School fields, this area is almost entirely residential, and also the location of a nursing facility, the local LDS Church, Cavalry church, and Valley Heights Christian Academy. Streets include Hillview Drive, Hillview Court, Eric Street, Sunset Drive, Wales Drive, and Cavalry Drive. Newer streets in this development include Chirlin Drive, Gerald Drive, and Cole Drive.
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 south, where one may find hiking and cross country skiing trails. The Whaupaunaucau State Forest located in the town of North Norwich is popular for year-round recreation.
Regionally, Norwich lies almost dead center of the 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 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, chain cuisine and recreational opportunities that are unavailable in Norwich. South Broad Street in Norwich is home to the locally owned first-run movie theater, the Colonia, which offers 3D films, comfortable seating and reasonable prices, but some locals do elect to spend an hours drive and gallons of gas to see movies in a strip mall in the Binghamton area. Norwich does have a burgeoning local restaurant scene. In addition to stalwarts like Nina's, the Ontario, Fred's Inn and Gus' Steakhouse, new additions such as The Bohemian Moon The Blarney Stone, and The Cafe Connection are bringing fresh local and diverse food, drink, and entertainment to the area, and Yaleville Inn is only a short drive away. 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.
Route 12 bisects the city on a north-south axis, becoming North and South Broad Street within city limits. A community of downtown businesses is found along it. On the north side of town lies the North Plaza, desolate since the departure of anchor tenant Jamesway, and a commercial strip of gas stations and fast food outlets. To the south are three plazas just outside city limits, featuring supermarkets, gas stations, fast food, a new Lowe's home center and a recently upgraded Super Walmart.
Norwich residents 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 goods and services unobtainable locally.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For nearly a century, the city hosted the corporate headquarters of the Norwich Pharmacal Company. (Yes Pharmacal is not a "word" but it was the name.) 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 Pharmaceutical 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 Railroad 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 Walmart Supercenter (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 over 150 classic 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
- Folk/Rock guitarist Ron Palmer, noted for playing in Harry Chapin's supporting band, is from Norwich.
- Classical song composer John Prindle Scott 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
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Acme Mapper 2.0. Norwich city (Map). http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=42.53118,-75.52351&z=13&t=T&marker0=42.53118%2C-75.52351%2CNorwich%5C%2C%20NY. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
- Wulf, Steve (1993-12-27) My Kind Of Town, Sports Illustrated
- Commerce Chenango
- Northeast Classic Car Museum
- Chenango County Historical Society
- Morrisville State College - Norwich Campus
- Colorscape Chenango Arts Festival
- Chenango Blues Festival
- City of Norwich, NY
- Norwich Emergency Management Office
- Norwich, NY information
- Early history of Norwich area
- Timeline of Norwich Pharmacal Company