Our History

Historic Rome, NY, incorporated in 1870, is a city of 72 square miles conveniently located in the geographical center of NYS at the foothills of the Adirondacks. Due to its strategic location, it was considered one of the most important transportation points for people and goods along the Great Passage during the settling and founding of our nation in the 1700s and 1800s.

In 1758, Fort Stanwix was constructed to protect the great Carrying Place and its settlers. The first shovel of dirt was turned at Rome for the Erie Canal, which bridged the gap between waterways to enable travel and opened the American West. During the Industrial Revolution, Rome gained the reputation as the “Copper City” as its metal industries produced an estimated 10 percent of all copper in the US. Throughout the centuries, our great city has been home to many of our country’s pioneering minds and remarkable patriots.

Francis Bellamy, who is most famous for authoring the “Pledge of Allegiance,” is buried here in Rome. Alex Haley, the talented author of “Roots,” also lived in Rome. In 1851, Jesse Williams inaugurated the factory systems of making cheese from sweet milk. And John Dove, who was instrumental in the development of the CD-ROM technology, was a fellow Roman.