Located in Central New York, Syracuse originated from the lands of a Native American tribe called the Onondaga Nation, whose presence remains influential in Syracuse today. Officially established as a village by European settlers in 1825, Syracuse was named after the Greek city Syracuse, a city on the eastern coast of the Italian island of Sicily. Continued immigration from abroad introduced many ethnic groups to the city, particularly German, Irish, Italian, and Polish.
The city of Syracuse grew around what is now called Onondaga Lake, named after the original inhabitants of its land. Known for the salty springs at its southern end, Onondaga lake sourced a salt industry which has earned Syracuse its nickname as “The Salt City.” Industrial growth continued in Syracuse when World War II sparked significant expansion in Syracuse’s manufacturing and engineering industries. After the war, two of the “Big Three” automobile manufacturers (General Motors & Chrysler) had major operations in the area. Even as the industrial boom died down, Syracuse remained headquarters for Carrier Corporation and Crouse-Hinds traffic signal manufacturing, whilst General Electric had its main television manufacturing plant at Electronics Parkway.
Today, Syracuse is actively renovating former industrial areas into usable space to fit the city’s modern needs. Meanwhile, this area remains the economic hub of the Central New York region, which over a million people call home. Upcoming generations have allowed Syracuse to become home to several nationally recognized schools of higher education. Syracuse University, a major research university, has become renowned for its collegiate basketball, football, and lacrosse teams. In 1911, the New York State College of Forestry was re-established in close association with Syracuse University, and has since evolved into the SUNY-ESF. Founded in 1946, Le Moyne College’s nationally ranked liberal arts programs have facilitated growth within the Syracuse community, and the Geneva Medical College has developed into Upstate Medical University, the most prestigious medical college in the area.
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