Hamburg, New York

Coordinates: 42°44′40″N 78°51′30″W / 42.74444°N 78.85833°W / 42.74444; -78.85833
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Town of Hamburg

The Town That Friendship Built
Location of Hamburg in Erie County and New York
Location of Hamburg in Erie County and New York
Hamburg is located in the United States
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 42°44′40″N 78°51′30″W / 42.74444°N 78.85833°W / 42.74444; -78.85833
CountryUnited States
StateNew York
Incorporated1812; 212 years ago (1812)
Named forHamburg, Germany
 • TypeTown board
 • BodyHamburg Town Board
 • Town SupervisorRandall Hoak (D)
 • Total41.35 sq mi (107.10 km2)
 • Land41.32 sq mi (107.03 km2)
 • Water0.03 sq mi (0.07 km2)
732 ft (223 m)
 • Total60,085 Increase
 • Density1,405.92/sq mi (542.83/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code716
FIPS code36-029-31654
GNIS feature ID0952086

Hamburg (/ˈhæmbɜːrɡ/ HAM-berg) is a town in Erie County, New York, United States. As of the 2020 census, the town had a population of 60,085.[2] It is named after the city of Hamburg, Germany.[3] The town is on the western border of the county and is south of Buffalo. Hamburg is one of the Southtowns in Erie County. The villages of Hamburg and Blasdell are in the town. The town of Hamburg was founded in 1812 in Armor.


Vintage illustration of Woodlawn Beach in 1896

Historical evidence shows the area was settled originally by the Erie people.[4] Around 1805 the settlement was known as "Barkerville", named after Zenas Barker, the postmaster.[citation needed] The earliest settlers were Nathaniel Titus and Dr. Ruth Belden in 1804, and the first landowner in the area was John Cummings, who built the first grist mill in 1806.[5]

The town of Hamburg was formed by government decree on March 20, 1812, from the (now defunct) town of Willink.[5] The first town meeting took place on April 7, 1812, at Jacob Wright's tavern at Wright's Corners, which was renamed Abbott's Corners, and now Armor. One of the early noted activities of the town board that year was to place a $5 bounty on wolf hides, due to the complaints of the local settlers who were being bothered by them.

In 1815, mail routes were established. The earliest settlers in the area were from New England. Germans started arriving in the 1830s and set up many successful farms. On November 29, 1824, a meeting was held in Abbott's Corners at the home of early settler Seth Abbott. At a vote of those present, agreement was reached to form a library with the sum of $102.[6]

By 1850, the town was reduced by the formation of the towns of East Hamburgh and West Seneca.[5] Around 1852, the Erie Railroad was built through the area. In 1868 the Erie County Fair came to the town and has been there since that time. In 1875, the weekly publication of the Erie County Independent began. This is now known as The Sun. Telephone service in the area started in 1886.

The village of Hamburg set itself off from the town in 1874 by incorporating as a village.

Starting in 1890 and to support the growing regional steel industry, Polish and Italians began to arrive in the area.[7]

In 1897, a group of women known as the Nineteenth Century Club started a permanent free public library, known as the Hamburg Free Library. Until 1901 it was in various rented buildings. The Hamburg Free Library was moved into a Carnegie library on Center Street on November 8, 1915, where it remained until 1966 when the current library at 102 Buffalo Street opened.

In 1898, the community of Blasdell set itself apart from the town by incorporating as a village.

A trolley car system was established in the early 1900s.

The Kleis Site, containing the remnants of a 17th-century Iroquoian village and burial ground, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.[8]

In July 2012, Main Street in the village of Hamburg from Lake Street to Buffalo Street was granted state approval for nomination as a national historic district.[9]


Eighteen Mile Creek in Hamburg

According to the United States Census Bureau, 41.4 square miles (107.1 km2), of which 41.3 square miles (107.0 km2) is land and 0.03 square miles (0.07 km2), or 0.07%, is water.[2]

Lake Erie forms the western border of the town, and Eighteen Mile Creek forms the southern boundary.[10]


Hamburg experiences a continental climate (Köppen Dfb), heavily influenced by lake-effect snow from Lake Erie. It experienced a record 81.2 inches of snow November 16–18, 2022.


Evening view of Buffalo from Bayview Road in Hamburg. Steel Winds Urban Wind Farm can be seen in the distance.
Historical population
Historical Population Figures[11][12]

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 56,259 people, 21,999 households, and 15,157 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,362.7 inhabitants per square mile (526.1/km2). There were 22,833 housing units at an average density of 553.1 per square mile (213.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.93% White, 0.49% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.39% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.38% from other races, and 0.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.56% of the population.

There were 21,999 households, out of which 32.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.7% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.1% were non-families. 26.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 24.8% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $47,888, and the median income for a family was $56,974. Males had a median income of $41,440 versus $27,602 for females. The per capita income for the town was $21,943. About 3.2% of families and 4.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.2% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over.


The economy in the town is supported by a wide variety of sectors, including logistics, manufacturing, healthcare, commerce and education. In Blasdell, the Ford Motor Company operates a stamping plant with over one thousand employees.[14] Also along the waterfront is the Lake Erie Industrial Park, formed by the town's industrial development agency. This site includes the primary FedEx Ground warehouse for the Buffalo metropolitan area, employing 300 people,[15] with an Amazon, Inc. distribution center under construction.[16]

Arts and culture[edit]

The Erie County Fair has operated in Hamburg since 1868. Currently, the fair takes place at the Hamburg Fairgrounds. The Fair is situated on a 275-acre (111 ha) plot of land near the village of Hamburg. The fair is produced by the Erie County Agricultural Society, and runs for twelve days in August. Since 1924, Strates Shows has operated the midway at the Fair. The Erie County fair is the third-largest county fair in the United States.[17]

It is claimed that the 1885 Erie County Fair, or "Hamburg Fair" is the place at which the hamburger sandwich was invented. According to the legend, Frank and Charles Menches were food vendors at the 1885 Erie County Fair, and created a sandwich of use of ground beef, coffee, brown sugar and other ingredients, and sold with ketchup and sliced onions. They named the successful sandwich after the fair they invented it at.[18] To this end, the annual Hamburg BurgerFest is held in Hamburg during the summer.[citation needed]


Sports teams in the town include the Frontier Falcons, representing Frontier Central High School, and the Hamburg Bulldogs, who represent Hamburg High School. The Red Raiders represent the St. Francis High School, a private, Franciscan/Catholic boys school.

Parks and recreation[edit]

The Seaway Trail, a National Scenic Byway, travels through Hamburg on New York Route 5, along the Lake Erie shoreline.

Woodlawn Beach State Park, on the shore of Lake Erie, was opened as a state park in 1996,[19] and has been operated since 2011 by the town of Hamburg under a ten-year agreement with New York State.[20]


Hamburg is governed by a four-member town board. The town supervisor is Randy Hoak. The town was founded in 1812[21]


Frontier Central High School

Early childhood education[edit]

As of 2021, there were 10 preschools within the town, including 2 in the village of Blasdell.[22]

Primary and secondary schools[edit]

The town of Hamburg is home to the Frontier Central School District, which is its primary public school district. The district serves students living outside of the village of Hamburg along the lake shore of the town, and is an independent public entity. Frontier was created in the 1950s, combining the Amsdell, Athol Springs, Big Tree, Blasdell, Lake View (Pinehurst), Shaleton, Wanakah (Cloverbank), and Woodlawn school districts dating to the 19th century. The district's offices are located at the Frontier Educational Center in Wanakah. The district serves over 4,500 students with its Big Tree, Blasdell, Cloverbank, and Pinehurst elementary schools, Frontier Middle School, and Frontier High School. In 2009, Big Tree Elementary School was recognized as a Blue Ribbon School. In 2020, Buffalo Business First ranked Frontier as the fifteenth-best performing school district in the Western New York region.[23] Other districts serve Hamburg along the town's boundaries, including the Hamburg (village), West Seneca and Orchard Park central school districts.

The Hamburg Central School District mainly serves students living within the village of Hamburg, but also serves students living in areas adjacent to it. Both Frontier and Hamburg Central are members of the Erie 1 Board of Cooperative Educational Services system. The Hamburg, West Seneca and Orchard Park central school districts serve the village and small portions of the town.

Higher education[edit]

Hilbert College is in Hamburg, north of the village of Hamburg.


The town's weekly newspaper is the Hamburg Sun.


The New York State Thruway (Interstate 90), U.S. Route 62, US 20, and NY Route 5 pass through the town. NY 75 runs through the village of Hamburg, temporarily concurrent with Route 62. U.S. 20A diverges from US 20 north of the village of Hamburg as both routes proceed east.

Five bus lines operated by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA)[24] serve the town. A park and ride facility is between NY 5 and NY 75 near Athol Springs.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on August 24, 2017. Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Hamburg town, Erie County, New York". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved March 1, 2016.[dead link]
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 147. Archived from the original on May 25, 2017. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
  4. ^ "Town of Hamburg - History". Archived from the original on May 3, 2004.
  5. ^ a b c French, John Homer (1860). Gazetteer of the State of New York: Embracing a Comprehensive View of the Geography, Geology, and General History of the State, and a Complete History and Description of Every County, City, Town, Village and Locality: With Full Table of Statistics. R. Pearsall Smith. p. 291.
  6. ^ "A History of the Hamburg Public Library". Archived from the original on February 6, 2012.
  7. ^ "History of Hamburg, NY". Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  8. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  9. ^ Colmerauer, Catherine (July 19, 2012). "Hamburg's Main Street nominated to become national historic district". The Sun. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  10. ^ "Western New York Outdoors". Archived from the original on May 27, 2006. Retrieved May 14, 2006.
  11. ^ " Fourteenth census of the United States, 1920, 1910, 1900" Department of Commerce and Labor. (1921), page 532. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
  12. ^ " Census of Population: Number of inhabitants, 1950, 1940, 1930" Department of Commerce and Labor. (1952), page 32-13. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on December 27, 1996. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  14. ^ Hamburg Industrial Development Agency (December 20, 2016). "Hamburg IDA Minutes, 12-20-16". pp. 4–5. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
  15. ^ Fink, James (February 15, 2019). "FedEx delivers nearly 300 workers to Hamburg center". Buffalo Business First. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
  16. ^ McNeil, Harold (February 16, 2021). "Hamburg IDA approves $6.85M in tax incentives for proposed Amazon facility". The Buffalo News. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
  17. ^ "Erie County Fair :: About the Fair". Erie County Fair. Archived from the original on May 18, 2015. Retrieved May 15, 2015.
  18. ^ "Erie County Fair :: Birth of the Hamburger". Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  19. ^ "Governor Pataki Announces State Purchase of Woodlawn Beach". May 8, 1996. Archived from the original on December 18, 2004. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  20. ^ O'Brien, Barbara (May 28, 2012). "Sun, sand and 'success'". The Buffalo News. Archived from the original on May 30, 2012. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  21. ^ "Town Board". Town of Hamburg. Retrieved August 4, 2022.
  22. ^ "Search for Child Care | Division of Child Care Services | OCFS". Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  23. ^ Thomas, G. Scott (June 8, 2020). "2020 academic rankings of Western New York school districts". Buffalo Business First. American City Business Journals. Archived from the original on January 27, 2021. Retrieved May 14, 2021.
  24. ^ "NFTA Metro, Erie County: Hamburg" (PDF). Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 16, 2015. Retrieved May 15, 2015.
  25. ^ "1920 United States Federal Census, Entry for Brendan A. Burns Family". Lehi, UT: LLC. January 3, 1920. Retrieved November 4, 2023.
  26. ^ "State's Armed Forces Stage Review in Honor of Retiring Commander of New York National Guard". Buffalo Evening News Magazine. Buffalo, NY. February 16, 1957. p. 12 – via
  27. ^ Barone, Michael; Ujifusa, Grant (1987). The Almanac of American Politics 1988. p. 895.
  28. ^ "10 minutes with: Tommy Z - Gusto". Retrieved February 25, 2016.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]