History of Syracuse

Before the modern hustle and bustle of Syracuse, the city began much more humbly. For 4,000 to 5,000 years, native Americans inhabited the area that is found around Central New York’s Onondaga Lake. The first documented Europeans arrived there in 1615, led by the French geographer Samuel de Champlain. Once he arrived with his army, he waged a battle against the indigenous Onondagas, but he and his fighters couldn’t overcome the natives and they were left to withdraw in defeat.

Troubling battles continued between the French and native Americans into the 1640s, leading many Canadian French missionaries to retreat toward the northern part of the area.

During the 18th century, the British befriended the native Onondagas. With this established relationship, the indigenous tribe slowly sold their rights to their land, resulting in a gradual diminishing of their reservation over time.

Once European settlers were able to establish themselves in the area, industry and modernization began in earnest, and the city was the site of multiple businesses and factories that were extremely important to the economy at the time. For example, where Syracuse is located today was originally part of the Onondaga Salt Springs Reservation, where coarse and refined salt were manufactured. Until 1900, most of the salt used in the United States came from Syracuse.

In 1819, Syracuse village were made up of simply streets in lots, but by 1825, it was officially incorporated as a city. As it and its neighboring cities continued to develop into the mid-19th century, the villages of Syracuse and Salina were combined to form the City of Syracuse in 1847.

Before this, the small city’s population stood at about 7,000 in the year 1830, but within two decades, Syracuse expanded to include over 22,000 residents. Along with the population boom, the number of local businesses grew and community centers that include churches and schools were built. Soon, Syracuse developed into a successful and populous village.

Beginning in 1839, the residents of Syracuse centered their lives around Vanderbilt Square, which was the city’s first railroad station. The square was named after Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, the 19th century millioniare who owned the largest railroad business in the nation at the time.

During this time, Syracuse was no stranger to famous faces and names, including that of President Abraham Lincoln, who passed through the city twice: once in 1861 as he was heading toward his inauguration, and once again in 1865 during his own funueral procession.

An innovator when it came to public transportation, Syracuse was among the first cities within the nation to practically utilize modes of transportation that relied on electricity; the trolley and streetcar were regular city sights as early as 1859.

Manufacturing increased in Syracuse during the Industrial Revolution, when multiple important stores and businesses were founded and built, including the famous Franklin Automobile Company. Playing a large part in the nation’s automobile industry, the manufacturer introduced the nation to the Franklin Model A in the early 20th century.

After World War II, General Motors and Chrysler also had major operations in the area.

Today, Syracuse is the fifth largest New York city by population and is the county seat of Onondaga County. According to the census, there are currently more than 145,000 residents in the city. To those who live in Central New York, Syracuse is known for its strong economic activity and educational achievements. Home to colleges and professional schools, the city includes Syracuse University, which is recognized across the nation for its college basketball, football, and lacrosse teams.

Basic Syracuse Motorist Statistics

According to state statistics collected by the city’s law enforcement personnel, the annual average number of auto thefts in Syracuse currently stands at almost 400.

In addition, other official reports state that the total average daily traffic is 5,940,042, which means that the city sometimes experiences many vehicular collisions:

  • Fatal accidents: 9
  • Vehicles involved in collisions resulting in fatal accidents: 11
  • Accidents caused by drunk drivers resulting in fatalities: 3
  • Persons involved in collisions resulting in fatal accidents: 23
  • Pedestrians involved in collisions resulting in fatal accidents: 6

Furthermore, data reports that Syracuse has an average annual total of over 5,700 property crimes. Of these crimes, which include burglary, larceny, theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, shoplifting, and vandalism, 6% were motor vehicle thefts. From this data, the projected number of vehicle thefts to occur each year beginning in 2012 is 141.

Knowing these important statistics, it wouldn’t be a good idea to drive in Syracuse if you don’t have car insurance, which will protect you in the event that you become involved in a car collision or experience other vehicle-related crises. If you’d like to compare multiple car insurance rates, simply enter your Syracuse zip code into the form above to get started.