Ulysses, New York

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Ulysses is a town located in northwest Tompkins County, New York, U.S. at 42.512 North, 76.618 West. The population was 4,775 at the 2000 census. The town was named after the hero of the Odyssey.

The Town of Ulysses is northwest of the City of Ithaca and is in the northwest part of Tompkins County.

Taughannock Falls, the highest waterfall in the state is in the town, in Taughannock Falls State Park. The falls drop 215 feet (66 meters), farther than Niagara Falls, making Taughannock Falls one of the highest waterfalls east of the Rocky Mountains.

Much of the town is devoted to dairy farms and fruit orchards, but the proximity to Ithaca has also brought a large number of professionals, academics and artists to the town.



According to the United States Census Bureau, Ulysses has a total area of 36.8 square miles (95.4 km²), of which, 33.0 square miles (85.4 km²) of it is land and 3.9 square miles (10.0 km²) of it (10.48%) is water.

The eastern town line is at Cayuga Lake, one of the Finger Lakes. The town's northern boundary line is the border of Seneca County.

New York State Route 89 is a north-south highway near Cayuga Lake. New York State Route 96 is a northwest to southeast highway through the town.


Ulysses is located in the former Central New York Military Tract, which was used to pay soldiers of the American Revolution. It was named by Robert Harpur in 1790 for the hero of Homer's Odyssey. The town was first settled around 1790.

The town once contained the towns of Dryden (est. 1803), Enfield (est. 1821) and Ithaca (est. 1821 and named for Ulysses' home in ancient Greece). Ulysses was organized in 1794 while still a part of Onondaga County. The village of Trumansburg, the main settlement in Ulysses, was started by Abner Treman in 1792.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 4,775 people, 1,986 households, and 1,314 families residing in the town. The population density was 144.8 people per square mile (55.9/km²). There were 2,198 housing units at an average density of 66.6/sq mi (25.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.50% White, 1.11% African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.77% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.38% from other races, and 1.11% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.17% of the population.

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