Romulus, New York

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Romulus is a town in Seneca County, New York, United States. The population was 2,036 at the 2000 census. The town is named after the mythical founder of Rome, Romulus, a name assigned by a clerk with an interest in the classics. The current Town Supervisor is David Kaiser [1].

The Town of Romulus is in the central part of the county, northwest of Ithaca, New York.



Before the American Revolution, this area was controlled by both the Cayuga tribe and the Seneca tribe. Jesuit missionaries visited the area in the 17th Century. A punitive action in 1779 destroyed native villages and drove many of the Native Americans away. Romulus contains the area of Kendaia (Apple Town), a former Iroquois (Cayuga) village destroyed by the residents in anticipation of the arrival of the Sullivan Expedition on September 5, 1779.

After the war, this town became part of the Central New York Military Tract, land for veterans of the Revolution. Returning natives were provided with land at the north end of Cayuga Lake. This reservation was partly in the eastern side of modern Romulus. The first non-native settlers arrived around 1789.

The town was formed while still part of Onondaga County in 1794. In 1800, part of Romulus was used to make the Town of Fayette. The north part of Romulus was used to form the Town of Varick in 1830.

The town also contains the former Seneca Army Depot (1941 - 1990s), built during World War II and finally phased out after the Gulf War. It was a major employer for citizens of Romulus and surrounding parts of Seneca County. The Seneca Army Airfield, located along NY-96A, provided a long runway for transport aircraft.

Willard State Hospital was converted to a state prison drug treatment center in 1995.

(Portions of a diary written by Henry McLafferty Jr (1819–1859) are available online from the Rochester Public Library: Romulus Revisited: Extracts from the Diary of Henry McLafferty, Jr. 1856–1857).


The town lies between Cayuga Lake and Seneca Lake at latitude 42° 45' 8" N. and longitude 76° 50' 2" W. at an altitude of 705 ft (214 m).

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