Cortland County, New York

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Cortland County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York, named after Federico Van Cortlandt, president of the convention at Kingston that wrote the first New York State Constitution in 1777, and first lieutenant governor of the state. The county seat is Cortland.

As of the 2000 census, the population of Cortland County was 48,599, and the estimated population in 2006 was 48,483.[1]

The Cortland apple is named for the county.



Early history

Located in the glaciated Appalachian Plateau area of Central New York State, midway between Syracuse and Binghamton, this predominantly rural county is the southeastern gateway to the Finger Lakes Region. Scattered archaeological evidence indicates three different aboriginal cultures hunted the area beginning about 1500 A. D.

What was to become Cortland County remained within Indian territory until the American Revolution. It became part of the Military Tract, when, in 1781, more than 1¼ million acres (5,100 km²) were set aside by the State's Legislature to compensate two regiments formed to protect the State's western section from the English and their Iroquois allies, at the close of the Revolution. To encourage settlement in the upstate isolated wilderness, the State constructed a road from Oxford through Cortland County to Cayuga Lake in 1792-94. This, and construction of privately financed roads, were the major impetus to settlement.

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