Owego, New York
Town of Owego, New York
|• Town Supervisor||Donald Castellucci, Jr.|
|• Total||105.74 sq mi (273.87 km2)|
|• Land||104.22 sq mi (269.93 km2)|
|• Water||1.52 sq mi (3.94 km2) 1.51%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||181.79/sq mi (70.19/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
The town was first settled around 1786. The "Original Town of Owego" was created at the time Tioga County was formed in 1791. This original town was reduced by formation of later towns in the county. The town's name is a derivative of the Iroquois word "Ahwaga", which means "where the valley widens". This name came from the vast floods that run into the valley when the winter snows melt, which caused several deaths a year.
Confusion over the location of the Village of Owego caused the legislature to have the Town of Owego and the Town of Tioga to switch names in 1813 so that Owego village was in the same-named town.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 105.8 square miles (273.9 km2), of which, 104.2 square miles (269.8 km2) of it is land and 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2) of it (1.51%) is water.
The Susquehanna River flows across the town, dividing it into two parts. Owego Creek flows into the Susquehanna at Owego village and marks the west town line.
The Southern Tier Expressway (New York State Route 17) crosses the town on the river's south bank. New York State Route 17C follows the river along the north bank. New York State Route 38 and New York State Route 96 converge north of Owego village.
Until the 1960s, the Erie Lackawanna Railroad operated passenger trains through Owego, for trips from Buffalo to Hoboken, New Jersey, the Phoebe Snow ending in 1966 and the overnight New York Mail/ Owl ending in 1968.
Adjacent towns and areas
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 20,365 people, 7,733 households, and 5,761 families residing in the town. The population density was 195.5 people per square mile (75.5/km2). There were 8,226 housing units at an average density of 79.0 per square mile (30.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.78% White, 0.70% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 1.01% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.26% from other races, and 1.02% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.11% of the population.
There were 7,733 households, out of which 34.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.0% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.5% were non-families. 21.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.03.
In the town, the population was spread out, with 26.5% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 28.4% from 25 to 44, 25.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.4 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $46,987, and the median income for a family was $53,735. Males had a median income of $40,677 versus $25,425 for females. The per capita income for the town was $21,996. About 5.0% of families and 6.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.5% of those under age 18 and 3.9% of those age 65 or over.
Communities and locations in the Town of Owego
- Apalachin – The hamlet of Apalachin is south of the Susquehanna River by the Expressway.
- Campville – A hamlet on the north side of the river on NY-17C. It was originally called East Owego until renamed after soldier and settler Asa Camp.
- Crestview Heights – A hamlet near the east town line, north of the river.
- Flemingville – A hamlet north of Owego village on NY Route 38. It was named after soldier and settler David Fleming.
- Foster – A location near the east town line, named after early settlers named Foster.
- Gaskill Corners (or Gaskill) – A hamlet north of the river on County Road 39. It is named after early settler Joseph Gaskill.
- Gibsons Corners – A hamlet south of the river near the west town line. It is named after Eli Gibson, an early settler.
- Hiawatha Island – An island in the Susquehanna River east of Owego village and west of Apalachin.
- Hullsville – A location north of Gaskill on County Road 39.
- Oakley Corners – A location in the northeast part of the town, near Hullsville.
- Owego – The Village of Owego is located on the north bank of the Susquehanna River by Owego Creek and the west town line.
- Owego Creek – A stream that flows southward through the west side of the town and is joined by the Catatonk Creek before it enters the Susquehanna River.
- South Apalachin – A location in the southeast part of the town on County Road 41.
- South Owego – A hamlet near the south town line on County Road 27.
- Waits – A hamlet in the southwest corner of the town, named after early settler Henry Waits.
- Whittemore – A location by the east town line, named after early settlers named Foster. A descendant, Reverend Whittemore, preached at the Whittemore Hill church until sometime around the 1980s.
Annual Strawberry Festival
The Village of Owego is home to a popular annual strawberry festival which has occurred every year in June since 1980. The festival regularly draws 20,000 visitors and includes a parade, community 5k run, live music and vendors of fresh produce and prepared strawberry based dishes. 
Flood of 2011
On September 8, 2011, the town of Owego was badly damaged by flood waters. Remnants of Tropical Storm Lee dumped massive amounts of rain over the region, causing the Susquehanna River to rapidly overflow its banks.
- "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 5, 2017.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
- Erie Lackawanna timetable, December 6, 1964, Table 1
- Official Guide of the Railways, October 1967, Table 1
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.