Font Size Print

County Information

Located in the Southern Tier of Central New York State, Chemung County has a long and rich history. The name itself dates back to 1779 when pioneers named the area after a Native American village that was Map_of_New_York_highlighting_Chemung_Countydestroyed at the Battle of Newtown, during  the American Revolution.  In the Delaware dialect of the Algonquin language, the word Chemung means "Place of the big horn". This harkens back to a time when Native Americans discovered large mammoth tusks along what is now the Chemung River. Chemung County began being settled in earnest by 1784.

Chemung County is known as "Mark Twain Country". Mark Twain (a.k.a. Samuel Clemens) summered in Chemung County for more than twenty years.mark-twain-study-36 He wrote some of his finest literary classics, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as he was perched high above the Chemung River in his octagonal study. You can find out more about Mark Twain's time in Chemung County by clicking here.

Because of its strategic location at the southern end of the Finger Lakes Region, Chemung County is known as the "Gateway to the Finger Lakes". Our County Seat, Elmira, is known as the "Soaring Capital of America", due to the fact that nearby Harris Hill has been hosting national soaring (sailplane) competitions since 1930.

Today, Chemung County's heart is beating with the vitality of a modern business center, yet remains peaceful in nature. Chemung County's veins are rich in history, commerce and community spirit.

The County of Chemung, State of New York, was incorporated by Act of the State Legislature as a County of the State of New York by Chapter 77 of the Laws of 1836 on March 29, 1836, being taken from the western part of Tioga County, with the County Seat at Elmira. For more detailed information about Chemung County click here.

Area in Square Miles 412
Population (Census in 2010) 88,830


Chemung County is situated in the 23rd Congressional District, the 58th State Senatorial District, the 124th and 132nd State Assembly Districts, and the Sixth State Judicial District.

Chemung County has one city (Elmira), eleven towns (Ashland, Baldwin, Big Flats, Catlin, Chemung, Elmira, Erin, Horseheads, Southport, Van Etten and Veteran) and five villages (Elmira Heights, Horseheads, Millport, Van Etten and Wellsburg).

(2010 Census)
Chemung County 88,830
Elmira -City (Incorporated 1864) 29,200
Elmira Heights (Incorporated 1896) 4,097
Horseheads (Incorporated 1837) 6,461
Millport (Incorporated 1923) 312
Van Etten (Incorporated 1876) 537
Wellsburg (Incorporated 1872) 580

(2010 Census)
Ashland 1,695
Baldwin 832
Big Flats 7,731
Catlin 2,618
Chemung 2,563
Elmira 6,934
Erin 1,962
Horseheads 19,485
Southport 10,940
Van Etten 1,557
Veteran 3,313