Owego (village), New York

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Owego, New York
Lake Street in downtown Owego
Lake Street in downtown Owego
Owego is located in New York
Location within the state of New York
Owego is located in the United States
Owego (the United States)
Coordinates: 42°6′16″N 76°15′48″W / 42.10444°N 76.26333°W / 42.10444; -76.26333Coordinates: 42°6′16″N 76°15′48″W / 42.10444°N 76.26333°W / 42.10444; -76.26333
CountryUnited States
StateNew York
Settled1785 (1785)
IncorporatedApril 4, 1827 (1827-04-04)
Named forUnami language word meaning "where the valley widens"
 • Total2.78 sq mi (7.20 km2)
 • Land2.55 sq mi (6.60 km2)
 • Water0.23 sq mi (0.60 km2)
814 ft (248 m)
 • Total3,654
 • Density1,434.07/sq mi (553.68/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code607
FIPS code36-55882
GNIS feature ID0959672

Owego is a village in and the county seat of Tioga County, New York, United States. The population was 3,896 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Binghamton Metropolitan Statistical Area. The name is derived from the Iroquois word Ahwaga, meaning where the valley widens.

The Village of Owego is by the west town line of the Town of Owego and is west of Binghamton, New York.

Owego is one of only twelve villages in New York still incorporated under a charter; all other New York villages have incorporated or re-incorporated under the provisions of Village Law.[2]


The village of Owego was established in 1787. When the "Town of Tioga" was created from the Town of Union, Owego village was in Tioga. In 1813, Tioga and Owego switched names, putting the village in the same-named town. The current Town of Tioga is now just west of the village. The village is in the Owego-Apalachin Central School District. Three district buildings are within the village's limits: The District Office Building, the Owego Elementary School, and the combined Owego-Apalachin Middle School and Owego Free Academy building, all on Sheldon Guile Boulevard.

On September 27, 1849, a large conflagration now known as "The Great Fire of Owego" began in the Temperance Hall of the Ely building. 104 buildings within the business district were completely burned to the ground.[3]

The Evergreen Cemetery, St. Paul's Church, Owego Central Historic District, Tioga County Courthouse, and United States Post Office are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[4] The James C. Beecher House was listed in 2012.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2), of which, 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.6 km2) of it (8.12%) is water.

The Susquehanna River in Owego

Owego is on the Susquehanna River where the Owego Creek flows into the Susquehanna from the north.

A bridge connects the village to the Southern Tier Expressway (New York State Route 17), which is on the south side of the river. Owego is located on NY-17C, south of the junction of NY-96 and NY-38.


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[5]

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 3,911 people, 1,664 households, and 978 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,566.7 people per square mile (604.0/km2). There were 1,913 housing units at an average density of 766.3 per square mile (295.4/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 95.42% White, 1.15% Black or African American, 0.46% Native American, 1.02% Asian, 0.33% from other races, and 1.61% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.82% of the population.

There were 1,664 households, out of which 27.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.5% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.2% were non-families. 35.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the village, the population was spread out, with 23.3% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 17.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.9 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $31,742, and the median income for a family was $43,139. Males had a median income of $27,299 versus $20,268 for females. The per capita income for the village was $17,068. About 10.3% of families and 13.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.0% of those under age 18 and 4.8% of those aged 65 or over.

Local government[edit]

Owego's historic Central Fire Station

The Village of Owego is governed by a Board of Trustees, which is composed of the Mayor and six Trustees.[7] Each member serves staggered two-year terms in a part-time capacity.[7]

The Owego Fire Department was founded in August 1828.[3] The all-volunteer organization is made up of five companies in four stations.[3]


Mural welcoming visitors to Owego

Owego was named by Budget Travel magazine's readers as The Coolest Small Town in the United States in a poll. Results were announced on The Early Show, April 15, 2009 with Budget Travel's editor in chief, Nina Willdorf with Harry Smith.

Strawberry Festival[edit]

The Village of Owego is home to a popular annual strawberry festival which has occurred every year in June since 1980 (excepting 2020 and 2021). 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. 2020 would mark the 40th anniversary of the festival, however, the COVID-19 pandemic forced its cancellation. The 40th anniversary observance is scheduled to take place in 2022.[8]

Notable people[edit]

Village of Owego
Village of Owego


  1. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  2. ^ "Local Government Handbook – Village Government: Historical Development" (PDF) (5th ed.). New York State Department of State. 2008. pp. PDF page 72. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-26. Retrieved 2009-06-26.
  3. ^ a b c "Our History". Owego Fire Department. Owego Fire Department. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  4. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  5. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  6. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  7. ^ a b "Board of Trustees". Village of Owego. Village of Owego. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  8. ^ "Strawberry Festival". Historic Owego Marketplace. Historic Owego Marketplace. Retrieved 9 January 2021. The 40th Anniversary of the Strawberry Festival will be postponed until June of 2021!

External links[edit]