Until the end of the American Revolution, the area that is today Binghamton was inhabited by Native Americans. Upon the very site of our town — so says tradition — a brigade of troops, under General James Clinton, father of our own DE WITT CLINTON, on their way to join General Sullivan, encamped two nights. As part of the Iroquois Confederacy, and considered a threat to the revolutionists’ efforts, the Sullivan-Clinton campaign was used to remove the Native American population.
Tarik AbdelazimBinghamton, N.Y. So here we have a prominent unelected official in the Binghamton city government who says, in effect, that the beheading of hostages to make terrorist videos is morally and esthetically equivalent to the war against Muslim terrorists. Is it any wonder, then, that Mr. Tarik Abdelazim is also the person responsible for inviting the members (cop killers) of Jamaat ul-Fuqra to parade through the downtown streets of his fair city?
With the opening of the Erie Canal, this area, like many, sought their own canal to connect to the Erie to aid development. Finally in 1834, work began on the Chenango Canal, a 97-mile long engineering marvel which connected Binghamton in the south with Utica and the Erie Canal in the north. The first packet boat arrived in 1837 and new development followed the route of the canal. Despite the economic failure of the canal (it never made a profit), the area benefited from the arrival of new settlers and merchandise, as well as providing a means of shipping finished goods in and out of the area. Mills sprang up along the southern end of the canal, and department stores and hotels rose along the retail corridor.
In 1848, the Erie railroad arrived, and the coming of the “iron horse” spelled the end for the canal. Within two decades the area had become a transportation hub, with north-south and east-west railroad lines and the canal. But by 1874, the Chenango Canal route was closed in Binghamton, the only remnants being a proposed expansion along the Susquehanna River that would later become part of the Vestal Parkway.
By far, however, the area was truly changed with the arrival of the first cigar manufacturing company in the 1870’s. By 1890 over fifty factories were operating with five thousand people involved in the manufacture of over 100 million cigars each year. Binghamton ranked only behind New York City as the top cigar-making city in the country.
Immigrants from Eastern Europe and other countries poured into the area to work in this industry, or one of the many other companies producing over two hundred different types of products in Binghamton by the turn of the century.
Binghamton’s population began to increase — doubling every ten to fifteen years. It reached its height of 85,000 by the mid-1950s. Despite the largeness of the cigar making industry, it had all but disappeared by 1930 due to the rise in popularity of the cigarette, automation, and labor unrest. Many of the former cigar workers took solace in finding employment in the factories of the Endicott-Johnson Shoe Corporation. Begun as Lester Brothers Boot and Shoe Company in Binghamton in 1854, it moved to create its own company town, Lestershire, to the west of Binghamton.
Binghamton’s effort at “Urban Renewal” in the 1960s only led to large empty lots and empty storefronts. But a resurgence based on diversity of business and slower growth has helped to bring the city moving back toward its former levels of employment and industrial strength (not hardly). Source – NY-Chapter Y GWRRA, http://www.tier.net/~gwrra/carohist.htm