Binghamton (population 45,000) is located in the Susquehanna River valley, an area that was once part of the Iroquois Nation. After the fall of the Iroquois, 10,000 acres were granted to William Bingham, Esq. of Philadelphia. A new village was established in 1798, though Binghamton was not incorporated until 1834.

The construction of the Chenango Canal, which connected to the Erie Canal, in 1837, as well as the arrival of the Erie Railroad in 1848, helped the town to prosper. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw Binghamton become a manufacturing center, producing cigars, clothing, furniture, and shoes. These manufacturing jobs attracted large numbers of immigrants, who came primarily from Italy, Germany, and Eastern Europe. The wealth created by the factories helped the area to become the artistic and cultural center for the region, filled with opera houses, theaters, and libraries. Binghamton soon became known as “The Parlor City” for its grand Victorian homes.

The city experienced a second boom during the Cold War, as local companies such as Link Aviation and IBM in nearby Endicott brought in government contracts. Recently, Binghamton has sought to reinvent itself both as a college town, with SUNY-Binghamton establishing a campus Downtown, and as an arts and recreation community.

 

Photo
House in the Abel Bennett Location neighborhood.

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