History of Binghamton, New York

Binghamton is situated on the Susquehanna River at the mouth of the Chenango, near the Pennsylvania border. The center of rich agricultural land, Binghamton is the county seat of Broome County.

Before there was any white settlement, an Iroquois village known as Ochenang was located on this site. Control of the region was wrested from the savages when James Clinton and John Sullivan won a decisive victory at Newtown, nowElmira, New York. The land now occupied by Binghamton was mostly included in a large tract owned by William Bingham, a Philadelphia merchant. The first settlers arrived in 1787 and named their community Chenango Point, the name it kept until 1820. The village was laid out in 1800 and became incorporated in 1834. A city charter was obtained in 1867.

Improvement in transportation aided the growth of Binghamton. A weekly stage service was established in 1816, connecting Binghamton with Newburgh and Owego. The Chenango canal reached Binghamton in 1837 and the first passenger train from Erie pulled into the station in 1848. Many fine old buildings are preserved in the 330 acres of the Court Street Historic District, including the Broome County Courthouse and the Binghamton City Hall.

Binghamton University, known previously as the State University of New York at Binghamton, was established in 1946. The University has a fine art museum. The history of Binghamton is preserved at the Broome County Historical Society Museum on Front Street, and advances in science and technology are on display at the Roberson Museum and Science Center. Six Binghamton carousels, built between 1919 and 1934 and donated by George F. Johnson, are still operational in local parks.

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