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Rome Fire Department
  • July 24, 2024

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  • Rome, NY - Wikipedia
    Updated On: Jun 21, 2017

    Rome is a city in Oneida County, New York, United States. It is considered[by whom?] a part of upstate New York. The population was 34,950 at the 2000 census. It is in New York's 24th congressional district. During the Revolutionary War and for years thereafter, the city was originally known as Fort Stanwix, due to the fort being the only existing building in the area. In 1796, the city was founded and named Lynchville. Some time later, the city's name was changed to Rome, assumingly after the Italian city of Rome. The exact time, the reason, and the idea for this name change remains a mystery. Rome is one of two principal cities in the Utica–Rome, New York Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city is in the south-central part of the county. In the heart of the Leatherstocking Region made famous by James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales, Rome is known as the City of American History.


    Early History: The Oneida Carrying Place

    For hundreds of years, the area occupied by the modern City of Rome, NY has enjoyed great strategic and commercial importance, sitting along an ancient east/west and northern trade route from the Great Lakes and Canada to the Hudson River and the sea. The city is built astride the Oneida Carrying Place, known to the Six Nations or Haudenosaunee people, as Deo-Wain-Sta, or The Great Carrying Place. These names refer to a portage road or path between the Mohawk River to east and Wood Creek to the west, leading to Lake Ontario. Located within the modern city limits, this short portage path was the only overland section of a trade route stretching over a thousand miles between Lake Ontario and the lower Hudson. Boats coming up the Mohawk River from the Hudson had to transfer their cargo and boats overland between 1.7 and six miles (depending on the season) to continue west to Lake Ontario.

    The region was the scene of bloody fighting during the French and Indian War. The British had erected several small forts to guard the Oneida Carrying Place and the lucrative fur trade against French incursions from Canada. However, a combined French, Canadian and Native American force overwhelmed and massacred a British force in the Battle of Fort Bull. Later in 1758, after several abortive attempts to fortify the area, the British sent a very large force to secure the Oneida Carry and build a stronger rampart complex named Fort Stanwix. The fort was abandoned at the conclusion of the war.

    American Revolution: "The Fort that Never Surrendered"

    At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, American Continental forces reoccupied, rebuilt and improved Fort Stanwix. The installation played a pivotal role in the Saratoga Campaign of 1777, becoming renowned as "the fort that never surrendered". Patriot militia, regulars, and their Oneida Nation allies under the command of Col. Peter Gansevoort, successfully repelled a prolonged siege in August 1777 by British, German, Loyalist, Canadian and Native American troops and warriors commanded British Gen. Barry St. Leger. The failed siege combined with the battle at nearby Oriskany as well as the battles of Bennington, and Saratoga thwarted a coordinated British effort to take the northern colonies, and led to American alliances with France and the Netherlands.

    After the British repulse at Fort Stanwix, bloody fighting erupted along the American northern frontier, resulting in terrible losses to American settlers but especially the people of the Six Nations. Fort Stanwix became the primary staging point for American attacks against British loyalist units and their Haudenosaunee allies, including the Sullivan Expedition of 1779, a ruthless scorched earth campaign against Iroqouis villages allied with the British. This campaign was ordered by George Washington in response to fierce frontier attacks and atrocities such as the Cherry Valley Massacre by loyalist irregulars led by Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant and John Butler. The fort continued to shield America's northwest frontier from British campaigns until finally abandoned in 1781.

    Commercial Growth: The Erie Canal

    The Oneida Carry and the critical east/west American trade route through the frontier was formalized by construction of the Erie Canal. On July 4, 1817 construction on the Erie Canal began in Rome;

    Manufacturing Legacy: The Copper City

    Revere Copper Products, Inc. is one of the oldest, if not the oldest manufacturing company in the United States.[1] Revere Copper Products Incorporated was formed in Rome, NY between 1928 and 1929 as a series of mergers between several companies of which one of them being Revere Copper Company located in Canton, Massachusetts. The first president of Revere Copper Products, Inc George H. Allen was formerly the president of Michigan Copper and Brass Company[2] also included in the merger. The early history of Revere Copper Products, Inc is detailed in the book Copper Heritage: The Story of Revere Copper and Brass, Inc. by Isaac F. Marcosson. At one time, 10 percent of all copper products used in the United States were manufactured in Rome.

    Jesse Williams founded America's first cheese factory at Rome in 1851.

    The City of Rome was incorporated in 1870.

    Cold War and Technology Role

    Between 1951 and 1991, the Rome Air Development Center (RADC) was located at Griffiss AFB. In 1991, the RADC was redesignated Rome Laboratory. It remained active as the Griffiss AFB was closed as part of the Base Realignment and Closure process in 1993. In 1997, Rome Laboratory was made part of the Air Force Research Laboratory and renamed the Rome Research Site. The RADC has been responsible for some of the United States Air Force's major technological accomplishments, especially in the area of radio communications.

    The Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) is also located in Rome, on the site of the former Griffiss Air Force Base.

    The nationally recognized rock festival, Woodstock 1999 was held in Rome, with the city once again making use of the former Griffiss Air Force Base site. The 3-day festival was held the weekend of July 23–25, and drew a crowd of about 200,000 people. Cable network MTV covered the concert extensively, and live coverage of the entire weekend was available on pay-per-view. The festival featured a diverse assortment of acts including Metallica, Kid Rock, DMX, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Wyclef Jean; early reviews for many of the acts were positive; critics particularly praised performances by George Clinton, Jamiroquai, James Brown, Sheryl Crow, and Rage Against the Machine. A full list of appearances can be found at Woodstock 1999.

    In July 2005, New York City developers, Park Drive Estates, purchased the former Woodhaven Housing- formerly the base housing for Griffiss Air Force officers and enlisted military members, and are in the process of re-developing that land into a resort-style active adult community.


    Rome is located at 43°13′10″N 75°27′48″W? / ?43.21944°N 75.46333°W? / 43.21944; -75.46333 (43.219469, -75.463330).[3]

    Rome is one of the largest cities by area in New York State. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 75.7 square miles (196.0 km²), of which, 74.9 square miles (194.1 km²) of it is land and 0.8 square miles (1.9 km²) of it (0.99%) is water.

    A Unique Environment: The Rome Sand Plains

    Located within the city is a rare environmental area: the Rome Sand Plains. The Rome Sand Plains is a 15,000-acre inland pine barrens that consists of a diverse mosaic of high sand dunes and low peat bogs, mixed northern hardwood forests, meadows and wetlands. The Rome Sand Plains harbor rare and unusual species, including carnivorous plants like the pitcher plant and sundew, and animals like the red-shouldered hawk and fisher. It is one of only a handful of inland pine barrens remaining in the United States. Several civic groups including the Nature Conservancy in conjunction with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation have successfully preserved portions of the Sand Plains and visitors are able to walk and bike this unique environment.


    As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 34,950 people, 13,653 households, and 8,328 families residing in the city. The population density was 466.4 people per square mile (180.1/km²). There were 16,272 housing units at an average density of 217.2/sq mi (83.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.85% White, 7.58% African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.88% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.35% from other races, and 2.05% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.72% of the population. Like other cities in the region, Rome has a large Italian-American presence, which is especially prevalent in the Little Italy in the vicinity of East Dominick Street.

    There were 13,653 households out of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples living together, 13.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.0% were non-families. 33.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.93.

    In the city the population was spread out with 22.1% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 105.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.0 males.

    The median income for a household in the city was $33,643, and the median income for a family was $42,928. Males had a median income of $31,635 versus $23,899 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,604. About 12.0% of families and 15.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.4% of those under age 18 and 7.6% of those age 65 or over.

    Rome averages over 120 inches of snowfall each winter, mostly due to its proximity to Lake Ontario and the lake-effect snow that it produces. The West Rome Riders, Inc. snowmobile club[5] calls Rome its home base, maintaining 41 miles of trails in and around Rome.


    The city of Rome will soon be home to a professional sports franchise, when the Rome Frenzy of the Federal Hockey League begin play in November 2010. The team will play its home games in the recently renovated John F. Kennedy Civic Arena.


    The city government consists of a mayor and a common council. The mayor is elected at large. The common council consists of 8 members who are elected from one of 8 wards. Each ward elects one member.

    Notable residents

    • Francis Bellamy, author of the Pledge of Allegiance
    • Walter R. Brooks, author of the Freddy the Pig children's book series
    • Mark Chadbourne, composer and recording artist
    • Archi Cianfrocco, Major League Baseball player
    • Jerry Cook, NASCAR driver, six-time NASCAR Modified Champion, one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers, currently NASCAR Competition Administrator
    • Richie Evans, NASCAR driver, nine-time NASCAR Modified Champion, one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers
    • Henry A. Foster, U.S. Representative and Senator from New York, Judge of the New York Supreme Court
    • Alex Haley, author of Roots: The Saga of an American Family[6]
    • John B. Jervis, leading U.S. civil engineer of the early 19th century, designer of the Croton Aqueduct, the High Bridge of New York City and the 4-2-0 railroad locomotive
    • Charles H. Larrabee, U.S. Representative from Wisconsin
    • Robert D. Manfred, Jr., Executive Vice President for Labor Relations & Human Resources, Major League Baseball
    • Sheila McInerney, WTA tennis tour player; Head Coach, Women's Tennis, Arizona State University
    • Thomas J. McInerney, Chairman and CEO, ING Americas; member, Executive Board, ING Group
    • Tom Myslinski, NFL player
    • Frank Page, cartoonist, Bob the Squirrel comic strip [7]
    • Pat Riley, former NBA head coach; President, Miami Heat
    • Tim Russ, actor, Star Trek: Voyager
    • Tim Sestito, minor league hockey player
    • Tom Sestito, minor league hockey player
    • Richard D. Simons, Associate Justice, New York State Court of Appeals, 1983–1997
    • Anthony Washington, Discus World Champion (1999), four-time Discus National Champion, three-time Olympian: 1992, 1996, 2000
    • Benjamin Wright, Chief Engineer of the Erie Canal
    • Joseph H. Boardman, CEO of Amtrak 2008–Present


    • Rome Railroad Station

    See also

    • Capitol Theatre (Rome, NY)


    1. ^ Revere Copper
    2. ^ "Business & Finance: Mergers: Oct. 22, 1928". Time. 1928-10-22. Click here. 
    3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Click here. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
    4. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Click here. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
    5. ^ West Rome Riders
    6. ^ John, Syliva (1982-01-20). "Obituary: Rome Woman Was Friend of Alex Haley". Utica (NY) Observer Dispatch. Click here. Retrieved 2008-06-20. 
    7. ^ Meet Frank Page

    External links

    • Jervis Library Local History Links
    • Rome, NY Military Museum
    • Rome, NY official webpage
    • Rome Daily Sentinel (newspaper)
    • History of Rome, NY
    • Rome Historical Society
    • Erie Canal Village
    • Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg Railroad
    • Rome Frenzy Professional Hockey Club

  • IAFF Local 694

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