Central New York Region Facts

Each Friday a new fact about a region of New York State is posted to the Exploring Upstate Facebook Page. In case you haven’t been following along there, here’s what you missed!




– In 2008, MLB announced that the final ever Hall of Fame Game would be played that year on July 16, forever ending the annual tradition that began in 1940, because of ‘the inherent challenges’ of scheduling two teams to play. The game ended up being cancelled because of rain.

– After Prohibition was repealed, the very first brewery in the nation to receive a license to sell beer was in Upstate New York! Utica Club became the first legal brewery in the nation on April 7, 1933.

– The Great New York State Fair began in Syracuse In 1841 and is the oldest state fair in the country. [source]

– In 1992, Jean Armour Polly, a librarian from Syracuse, wanted words that included both the experience of a fun activity and one that required skill to describe the experience of using the internet to others. She looked down at her Apple mouse pad featuring a surfer on a wave and became inspired to use the analogy–which caught on quick. “Surfing the web” has been used ever since. [source]

– A surgeon from Norwich, New York named Tony Cicoria was standing near a telephone booth in 1994 when he was struck by a bolt of lightning. Though his heart stopped, a bystander resuscitated him. Right away, the non-musician found himself with obsessive thoughts of wanting to play the piano.  Within weeks he became a self-taught pianist and composer who has gone on to celebrate a level of success that many pianists never achieve. [source]

– Sherrill is the smallest city in New York State and has a population of only 3,100.

– The very first ‘Ransomware’ computer virus was distributed via floppy disk to attendees of the 1989 World Health Organization’s AIDS conference. The creator was a biologist named Joseph Popp who was arrested, but never convicted on account of insanity. He now owns and runs a butterfly conservatory in Oneonta, New York. [source]

On March 30, 1992 the Syracuse City Council voted unanimously to outlaw snow in the city until Christmas Eve of that same year. They declared, “Be it resolved, on behalf of the snow-weary citizens of the city of Syracuse, any further snowfall is expressly outlawed in the city of Syracuse until December 24, 1992.” It snowed two days later. No arrests were made. [source]

– The City of Utica has resettled nearly 400 refugees per year since the late 1970’s. Foreign-born citizens speaking English as a second language now make up over 20% of the city’s total population of about 63,000. [source]

– The Oneida silverware that you use today was first created by what many believe to be the best example of a Utopian society to ever exist. The Oneida Community was a religious communal society founded in 1848 near Syracuse that operated until their dissolution in 1881. They practiced complex marriage, male sexual continence, mutual criticism, and communalism. They had many businesses to support their lifestyle, but the Oneida Limited silverware company is the only one still in operation. [source]

– Cooperstown was founded by William Cooper, who the town is named for. His son, James Fenimore Cooper was born and raised there, and later wrote a series of novels. One of those novels was “Last of the Mohicans”

– The two-sided wooden pallet popular with DIY craft projects was patented in 1937 by George Raymond of Lyon Iron Corp. in Greene, New York. Today, Raymond Corporation is owned by Toyota Heavy Industries, and is a $2 Billion/yr business. [patent]