Endwell, New York

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Endwell is a hamlet (and census-designated place) located in the Town of Union in Broome County, New York, United States. Its population was 11,706 at the 2000 census.

Endwell is adjacent to the Village of Endicott and the Village of Johnson City. It is west of Binghamton and is considered a suburb of that city.

Endwell is the home of a popular local park, Highland Park, well known in the area for its annual Fourth of July fireworks display as well as its classic carousel. Endwell is also home to two well known local golf courses, Endwell Greens and the Binghamton Country Club. Endwell is the home of the 2007 New York State Little League Champions.

Although most children residing in Endwell that attend public schools are served through the Maine-Endwell School District, some attend the Union-Endicott School District

History

Endwell used to be known as "Hooper," but the name had to be changed in 1921 because of post office regulations. There were too many locations in the state with the name Hooper. The most likely story, shared by an elderly man who attended the meeting to change the name: Endicott Johnson Corporation was producing a line of shoes called the "Endwell." An advertisement for the shoes read, "Wear the Endwell shoes and your day will end well."

Hooper was originally part of the Town of Union in Broome County and first appears on a map in the early 1850s as a depot of the newly constructed Erie Railroad at the intersection of what is now Hooper Road and the Norfolk Southern railroad. The main road along the north bank of the Susquehanna River, existing since Colonial times and long before as an Indian trail, passed just to the south. It was common practice at the time to name depots for landowners who donated or leased land to the railroad to construct a depot, and this is where the name "Hooper" came from.

Up until 1900, the only settlements between Binghamton and Owego were Union (at the intersection of what is now Route 26 and Route 17C) and Hooper.

Several businesses were located near this commercial site from 1850 to 1950, including a creamery (dairy plant) reflecting the predominantly dairy-based economy in the immediate surrounding area at the time. A US Post Office named Hooper was established in one of the general stores near this site in 1853 and "Hooper" was the term commonly used for the unincorporated area between the Villages of Johnson City and Endicott until "Endwell" was adopted in 1921. Hooper Elementary School, located a quarter mile west of the depot on the north side of East Main St.(now demolished), provided primary education for area children from 1923 to 1966.

What is now Endwell was largely a forested area up to about 1950. The hilly terrain and relatively poor soil quality meant that only a pasture/livestock-based agriculture was viable, and the area was sparsely settled compared to other areas of Broome County. Economic activity was based on dairy farms along Hooper and Farm-to-Market Roads, logging, the railroad depot, and commercial/residential development along the East Main St. corridor, (State Route 17C), which connected the growing villages of Johnson City and Endicott. These villages grew very rapidly in the early 1900s because of the success of the Endicott Johnson Corporation, a shoe manufacturer. Wealthy residents of Binghamton in this horse-and-buggy era also maintained numerous weekend/summer homes in what is now Endwell.

The area was best known from the 1850s to the early 1900s for the Carmel Grove Campgrounds located about half a mile north of the depot on the east side of Hooper Road. Originally created by the Methodist Church for the summer church meetings popular at the time, it soon became part of the Chautauqua movement, which appealed to a desire for self-improvement. For a nominal fee, subsidized by Reed Freeman, a wealthy Binghamton clothing manufacturer, the Chautauqua Assembly at Carmel Grove combined what we would call today a week long "resort" experience with a stimulating series of lectures on diverse topics by nationally known lecturers of the time. This was a popular summer vacation destination for residents of Binghamton, central New York, and northeastern Pennsylvania for many years.

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