A Walking Tour of Elmira, New York
a walking tour in the Look Up, America series from walkthetown.com
by Doug Gelbert
published by Cruden Bay Books at Smashwords
Copyright 2010 by Cruden Bay Books
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the Publisher.
The land-grant program offered to veterans of the Revolutionary War spurred development of the north bank of the Chemung River in the 1780s. Most of the soldiers sold their interests to land speculators but some packed up and came to carve a homestead out of the wilderness. Captain Curtis Ramsey is given the credit as being perhaps the first, building his log cabin in the vicinity of Miller’s Pond that is named for him. The hamlet was called Newtown in its formative days at the intersection of Newtown Creek and the Chemung River. The adoption of the name Elmira in 1828 is smothered in the historical muck but local tradition hands down the colorful tale that a rambunctious child’s mother spent so much time calling her name that the townsfolk grew to accept their village as “Elmira.”