Town of Owego
2345 Route 434,
Apalachin, New York 13732
Phone: (607) 687-2194
Fax: (607) 687-2507
Town Meetings: 1st Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. & 3rd Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.
The Village of Owego is located within the Town and consists of a 2.5 square mile area. The Village is the County Seat of Tioga County and has a population of 3,911 according to the 2000 Census. The Village's major employers are the Tioga County Government and the Owego-Apalachin School District. The Village's central business district is showcased with a new bridge across the Susquehanna River (see above photo) leading to the 1879 Tioga County Courthouse and quaint shops along Riverow and Lake Street that offer unique gifts, arts and crafts, as well as moderately priced restaurants.
Village of Owego
178 Main St.
Owego, NY 13827
Phone: (607) 687-3555
Fax: (607) 687-1787
Village Meetings: 1st & 3rd Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m.
of Owego History
Emma M. Sedore
Town of Owego Historian
of Owego is located in the southeast corner of Tioga County, much like
a large,well designed patch in a handmade quilt. As it compliments her
sister towns of Newark Valley to the north and Tioga, Nichols and Candor
to the west, it graciously threads its boundary lines to neighboring Broome
county on the east and then south into the Pennsylvania border. The Susquehanna
River, flowing from east to west, makes a bold and creative design as it
curves gently through the center, separating to enfold a one hundred twelve
acre piece of land, known affectionately as Hiawatha Island. The town was
formed on March 14, 1800.
Before white settlers came to the Town of Owego it was occupied by the Onondaga and Cayuga Indians. They were part of the league of the Iroquois, which consisted at first of five nations from central and western New York: the Onondagas, Oneidas, Mohawks, Cayugas and Senacas. The six nations were established later by uniting with the Tuscaroras.
Today, its area is 110 square miles, with about 266 miles of roads. The hamlets within the Town of Owego are Apalachin, Campville, Gaskill Corners, South Owego, Gibson Corners, Waits and Flemingville. The meaning of their names are as follows:
Apalachin: Derived from the township name of Apalacon, Pa., in Susquehanna County, where the Apalachin creek originates. The name is Indian in Origin and signifies, "from whence the messenger returned." Although Isaac Harris, the first settler, came there in 1786 from Rhode Island, Apalachin wasn't established until 1836. The main businesses were farms and saw mills. Farms and sawmills are still there today, but it also has schools, churches, industry and a main shopping center. The new "Millennium" bridge was opened in June 2001 between Apalachin and Campville. (6.5 miles west is the Hiawatha Bridge, built in 1968.) One of its most notable settlers was Benjamin F. Tracy. As secretary of the navy in the cabinet of President Benjamin Harrison, in 1889, his decision to approve a new iron clad fleet earned him the title of "Father of the modern navy."
Campville: Across the river, to the north of Apalachin, is another community known as Campville. It was first known as East Owego, but Congressman Stephen B. Leonard was instrumental in changing the name in honor of Colonel Asa Camp, the first settler from Columbia County, in 1800. As a sergeant in the Revolutionary War, he was witness to Major John Andre's execution and assisted in digging the grave. Camp owned and operated a tavern in Campville for many years, was active in politics and among several offices held, he was Supervisor of the Town of Owego in 1817 and 1818.
Gaskill Corners: Named for one of its earliest settlers, Joseph Gaskill, from New Hampshire, who came in 1822.
South Owego: Located near the Pennsylvania line, the name Owego is a derivative of "Ahwaga," what the Iroquois called Owego in the beginning. It means, "where the valley widens."
Gibson Corners: Named for Eli Gibson, from Massachusetts, who settled there in 1835.
Waits: Named for Henry Wait, who moved there in 1819 from Saratoga County, N. Y.
Flemingville: Named for Captain David Fleming, from New Jersey, who moved there in 1808. He served in the war of 1812 as captain, and fought in the battles of Sackett's Harbor, Lake George, Erie, and more. When his son was twelve years old, he accompanied his father with the Federal army, as his waiter, and was a witness of the battles in which his father fought. Other areas in the town are South Apalachin, Oakley Corners (at Oakley State Forest,) Foster, Hullsville and Whittamore Hill. Though small, they take their share of credit for giving subsistence to the town. Also scattered throughout the town are about 30 cemeteries, the largest being Apalachin Riverside on Marshland Road. Besides several smaller parks, The Hickories, on route 17C is by far the largest, with camping and recreational facilities. Every summer a band concert is given on Wednesday evenings for several weeks featuring a variety of music and entertainment.
The early schools were located throughout the town. Up until the centralization
of the Owego-Apalachin Central School District in the 1950s, there were
30 one-room schoolhouses in use. Fire departments are located at Apalachin,
Campville and South Side (Waits.) The New York State Police are located
at the town hall on route 434. Elected officials of the town government
today consist of a Supervisor, four Councilmen, Town Clerk-Tax Receiver,two
Town Justices and a Superintendent of Highways.
The most dramatic growth in the Town of Owego occurred in the 1950s when International Business Machines (IBM) built a military facility on route 17C and employed about five thousand people. Everything was needed (in a hurry) to accommodate these families, including new and larger schools, homes, apartments, hotels/motels, banks, shopping facilities, new roads, sewage treatment, emergency services, and more. The population in the town went from 4,591 in 1950 to 9,293 by 1960. Today, the plant is owned by Lockheed Martin. The town population from the 2000 census is 16,454.
The Town of Owego has more to offer than can be put onto a couple of pages, but the welcome mat is always out. If you do stop by, you will find that like a beautiful patchwork quilt, your visit will be warm and pleasant.
OFA Class of 1968