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New York Counties

There are sixty-two counties in the State of New York. The first twelve counties in New York were created immediately after the British annexation of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, although two of these counties have since been abolished. The most recent county formation in New York was in 1912, when Bronx County was created from the portions of New York City that had been annexed from Westchester County.

Chemung County, New York

Chemung County Education, Geography, and HistoryChemung County, New York Courthouse

Chemung County is a county located in the state of New York. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 88,830. Its county seat is Elmira. Its name is derived from the name of a Delaware Indian village (meaning "big horn").

Chemung County comprises the Elmira, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Elmira-Corning, NY Combined Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Chemung County Name

Derived from the name of the Delaware Indian village signifying "big horn"


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Chemung County History

Chemung County is part of New York's southern tier. It borders Pennsylvania on the south, Steuben county on the west, and Schuyler County on the north. On the east is its mother county, Tioga, from which it was separated in 1836. The first towns were Chemung which name remains as the county, a town and a village, and Newtown, which became Elmira in 1808. Both of these were towns in the mother Tioga County, and became the source of the towns that exist now in Chemung.

In 1789, Montgomery County was reduced in size by the splitting off of Ontario County. The actual area split off from Montgomery County was much larger than the present county, also including the present Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Steuben, Wyoming, Yates, and part of Schuyler and Wayne Counties.

Tioga County was one of three counties split off from Montgomery County (the others being Herkimer and Otsego Counties) in 1791. Tioga County was at this time much larger than the present county, also including the present Broome and Chemung Counties and parts of Chenango and Schuyler Counties.

Tioga County was reduced in size in 1798 by the splitting off of Chemung County (which also included part of the present Schuyler County and by the combination of a portion with a portion of Herkimer County to create Chenango County. In 1806 it was further reduced by the splitting off of Broome County.

The area comprising Chemung County was located along the Forbidden Trail connecting all the major Native American villages from the Susquehanna River through the Chemung Valley and westward to Ohio. Guarded by the Senecas, the trail was forbidden to whites and enemy tribes. The first European to successfully navigate this path was a Moravian missionary who traveled through the area in 1767.

Geography: Land and Water

Chemung County is in the southwestern part of New York State, along the Pennsylvania border, in a part of New York called the Southern Tier and is also part of the Finger Lakes Region.

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 411 square miles (1,064 km2), of which, 408 square miles (1,057 km2) of it is land and 3 square miles (7 km2) of it (0.64%) is water.

The Southern Tier Expressway runs through the County east-west near the Pennsylvania border, between Waverly, New York and Corning, New York via Elmira, New York.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Schuyler County, New York - north
  • Tompkins County, New York - northeast
  • Tioga County, New York - east
  • Bradford County, Pennsylvania - south
  • Tioga County, Pennsylvania - southwest
  • Steuben County, New York - west


Education in Chemung County is provided by various private and public institutions. High school students and adults have access to GST BOCES. BOCES provides vocation-style training in a wide range of fields as well as adult education.

Public school districts

Horseheads Central School District
Elmira City School District
Elmira Heights Central School District

Private schools

Chemung Valley Montessori School
Elmira Christian Academy
Holy Family Middle School
Saint Mary Our Mother School
Notre Dame High School
Twin Tiers Christian Academy

Higher education

Arnot Ogden School of Nursing
Corning Community College[ (off-campus sites)
Elmira College
Elmira Business Institute

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