Waterloo, New York (village)

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Waterloo is located in New York
Location within the state of New York
Coordinates: 42°54′13″N 76°51′34″W / 42.90361°N 76.85944°W / 42.90361; -76.85944Coordinates: 42°54′13″N 76°51′34″W / 42.90361°N 76.85944°W / 42.90361; -76.85944
CountryUnited States
StateNew York
Town(s)Waterloo and Fayette
IncorporatedApril 9, 1824[1]
 • TypeBoard of Trustees
 • MayorJack O'Connor[2]
 • ClerkDon Northrup
 • CourtJustice Conrad A. Struzik
 • Total2.2 sq mi (5.6 km2)
 • Land2.1 sq mi (5.4 km2)
 • Water0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
453 ft (138 m)
 • Total5,171
 • Estimate 
 • Density2,400/sq mi (920/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)315 and 680
FIPS code36-78553[4]
GNIS feature ID0968900[5]

Waterloo is a village in Seneca County, New York, United States.[6] The population was 5,171 at the 2010 census and is now the most populated village in Seneca County. The village is named after the Waterloo in Belgium, where Napoleon was defeated.[citation needed] It is the primary county seat of Seneca County, with the other being Ovid as part of a two-shire system established in 1822.[7][8] Most of the county administrative offices are located in the village.[9] Therefore, many political sources only list Waterloo as the county seat.

The Village of Waterloo is mostly in the Town of Waterloo, but the part south of the Cayuga-Seneca Canal of the village is in the Town of Fayette and a small area in the southeast of the village is in Town of Seneca Falls. Waterloo is east of Geneva and is located in between the two main Finger Lakes, Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake.


The area was within the realm of the Cayuga nation, one of several bands to form the Iroquois League. The current site of the village was the location of the former Cayuga village "Skoiyase" (or Skoi-Yase), meaning "flowing water", which was established around 1500.[10] They were visited by Jesuit missionaries in the 17th Century. After the Sullivan Expedition of 1779 destroyed Skoiyase, many natives left the area. The land then became part of the Central New York Military Tract, reserved for veterans.

The first new settler, Jabez Gorham, arrived on the site of the village around 1795. The early village was known as "New Hudson". It was also known as "Scoys", based on the name of the former Indian village.[11]

Because the original county seat in Ovid was deemed too close to the south county line after land was lost from Seneca County, Waterloo became the county seat in 1819. A similar fate befell Waterloo, when much of the north of Seneca County was lost, leaving the village close to the northern county line. The outcome was that both villages were made joint county seats, even though some of the lost towns were later returned to the county. Seneca County remains a two-shire county, although nearly all government activity now occurs in Waterloo.[6] In honor of the two-shire history, the County Board of Supervisors will at least once a year hold a meeting in Ovid at the buildings locally called the "Three Bears".

Planning for the Women's Rights Convention in 1848 in Seneca Falls took place in Waterloo.[citation needed]

The Village of Waterloo was incorporated in 1824 and again in 1866, the same year it celebrated the first Memorial Day. Waterloo was officially designated as the birthplace of Memorial Day in 1966 by President Lyndon B. Johnson.[12] The Memorial Day Museum is in the village. However, in 2014, Bellware and Gardiner challenged this designation in The Genesis of the Memorial Day Holiday in America. They uncovered evidence that the origin story is a hoax including information ignored by the Centennial Committee backing the proclamation. This includes a report in a New York newspaper that predates by several years any of the sources used by the committee. It describes, in detail, Waterloo's first Memorial Day and places it in 1868. They also note other inconsistencies between the historical record and the story compiled by the Centennial Committee and the lack of discussion or debate in Congress prior to the resolution recognizing Waterloo as the birthplace of the holiday.[13]


Waterloo is located at 42°54′13″N 76°51′34″W / 42.90361°N 76.85944°W / 42.90361; -76.85944 (42.903697, -76.859517).[14]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 2.2 square miles (5.6 km²), of which, 2.1 square miles (5.4 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (3.24%) is water.

The Seneca River/Cayuga-Seneca Canal pass through the village, linking the area to the Erie Canal system.

US Route 20, conjoined with New York State Route 5, intersects New York State Route 96 in the village.

The largest active landfill in New York State, Seneca Meadows, is northeast of Waterloo in the town of Seneca Falls.

National Register of Historic Places listings in Waterloo[edit]

Landmark name Image Date listed Location Summary
William H. Burton House Burton House Waterloo Aug 09.jpg June 14, 1996 35 E. Main St.
42°54′16″N 76°51′41″W / 42.90444°N 76.86139°W / 42.90444; -76.86139 (Burton, William H., House)
First Presbyterian Church First Presbyterian Church Waterloo Aug 09.jpg November 29, 1996 E. Main St., E of jct. with NY 96
42°54′14″N 76°51′39″W / 42.90389°N 76.86083°W / 42.90389; -76.86083 (First Presbyterian Church)
Hunt House Jane Hunt House August 29, 1980 401 E. Main St.
42°54′22″N 76°50′40″W / 42.90611°N 76.84444°W / 42.90611; -76.84444 (Hunt House)
Historic home, c. 1830.
M'Clintock House Richard Hunt House August 29, 1980 14 E. Williams
42°54′19″N 76°51′42″W / 42.90528°N 76.86167°W / 42.90528; -76.86167 (M'Clintock House)
Historic home, important to the first Women's Rights Convention.
Saint Paul's Church St Pauls Church Waterloo Aug 09.jpg March 9, 1997 101 E. Williams St.
42°54′20″N 76°51′35″W / 42.90556°N 76.85972°W / 42.90556; -76.85972 (Saint Paul's Church)
United Methodist Church United Methodist Church Waterloo Aug 09.jpg September 24, 2004 21 E. Williams St.
42°54′28″N 76°51′40″W / 42.90778°N 76.86111°W / 42.90778; -76.86111 (United Methodist Church)
U.S. Post Office May 11, 1989 2 E. Main St.
42°54′15″N 76°51′46″W / 42.90417°N 76.86278°W / 42.90417; -76.86278 (US Post Office--Waterloo)
Waterloo Library Waterloo Library Aug 09.jpg June 14, 1996 31 E. Williams St.
42°54′20″N 76°51′40″W / 42.90556°N 76.86111°W / 42.90556; -76.86111 (Waterloo Library)
James Russell Webster House December 11, 2007 115 E. Main St.
42°54′23″N 76°51′33″W / 42.90639°N 76.85917°W / 42.90639; -76.85917 (James Russell Webster House)
Historic home, c. 1850-1855.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20165,019[3]−2.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[15]

As of the census[4] of 2010, there were 5,171 people, 2,039 households, and 1,323 families residing in the village. The population density was 2,462.4 people per square mile (957.6/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 96.6% White, 1.1% Black or African American, 0.0% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.2% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.2% of the population.

There were 2,039 households out of which 28.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.8% were married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.1% were non-families. 29.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the village, the population was spread out with 24.5% under the age of 20, 6.1% from 20 to 24, 22.8% from 25 to 44, 26.3% from 45 to 64, and 20.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.3 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.2 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $48,214, and the median income for a family was $65,709. Males had a median income of $43,393 versus $27,328 for females. The per capita income for the village was $23,777. About 5.5% of families and 10.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.3% of those under age 18 and 5.9% of those age 65 or over.


There were 2,164 housing units at an average density of 1,030.5 per square mile (400.7/km²). 5.8% of housing units were vacant.

There were 2,039 occupied housing units in the village. 1,424 were owner-occupied units (69.8%), while 615 were renter-occupied (30.2%). The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.4% of total units. The rental unit vacancy rate was 7.5%.[4]

Notable natives[edit]


  1. ^ Laws of the State of New York, E Croswell, 1835, W.M. & A. Gould & Co. Albany, page 46, Retrieved Jun. 2, 2015.
  2. ^ Village of Waterloo, Village Government, Retrieved May 25, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-05-30.
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ a b "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  7. ^ Seneca County, New York - The County Seat Story, Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  8. ^ Office of the Seneca County Historian, Written History of Seneca County, New York -- Unit Three: Establishment of Seneca County & Townships, Chapter 3: History of the Towns of Seneca County, Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  9. ^ Seneca County, New York Departments, Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  10. ^ "History of Waterloo". Waterloo, New York: Birthplace of Memorial Day.
  11. ^ Turner O. Pioneer History of the Holland Purchase of Western New York. p. 362.
  12. ^ "Lyndon B. Johnson: "Proclamation 3727 - Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 1966," May 26, 1966. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project". The American Presidency Project.
  13. ^ Bellware, Daniel and Richard Gardiner, PhD. (2014). The Genesis of the Memorial Day Holiday in America. Columbus State University. pp. 134–143. ISBN 978-0-692-29225-9.
  14. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  15. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  16. ^ "Tom Coughlin Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks". Pro-Football-Reference.com. 1946-08-31. Retrieved 2014-02-10.
  17. ^ Roth, Lee (14 January 2013). "Kevin Sylvester ready to go after lockout". Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Gannett. Retrieved 22 January 2013.

External links[edit]