Fayetteville, New York

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Fayetteville’s History

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Fayetteville has been the center of trade and business since the first settlers arrived in 1792. “A thriving and beautiful village” was the way the New York Tribune described it in 1876 at the height of the trade generated by the Erie Canal.

The name “Fayetteville” was chosen to honor the hero of the American Revolution, Marquis de Lafayette. The post office, established in 1818, and the village’s incorporation in 1844, made the name official.

Fayetteville’s earliest industries used water power from Limestone Creek. After 1845, the Ledyard Dyke, a man-made shallow power canal, was a more dependable source. The prosperity of the local quarries, mills, farms, stores, warehouses and canal boats led to the building of many of the Greek Revival style homes that still line Fayetteville’s Genesee St. Hill and are part of the Fayetteville Historic District which was entered on the National Register in 1983.

Easy, fast transportation — first by electric trolley and later by buses and automobiles — helped make Fayetteville home to commuters who worked in Syracuse offices and at Syracuse University. In the years since World War Two, businesses such a General Electric, Bristol-Myers, Carrier and now the medical centers are the primary work places.

Today, homes fill the farm fields and orchards that once surrounded the village center. In each neighborhood, parks provide play space. The Erie Canal has become a recreational hiking trail and Green Lakes State Park on the eastern edge of the village preserves part of a primeval forest and two unusual lakes that provide year-round enjoyment.

February 14th, 2005

–Barbara S. Rivette, Fayetteville Village Historian

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