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Hornell Wedding Resources (more information)

Hornell, NY

What is now Hornell was settled in 1790 under the name "Upper Canisteo" to distinguish it from the community of Canisteo. The area was incorporated as a town in 1820, as "Hornellsville." The name comes from early settler George Hornell, who built the first gristmill here.

The City of Hornell was chartered in 1888 as the "City of Hornellsville," (having been first organized as the "Village of Hornellsville" in 1852). The name was changed to Hornell in 1906.

The floods of 1935 put parts of the city under water, afterwards a system of levees had prevented any more serious flood problems.

Railroads and Hornell

Erie Railway shop in Hornell - aerial photo from 1971The New York and Erie Railroad arrived in Hornell in 1850, which connected New York City and Dunkirk on Lake Erie via a southern tier route. In 1852 another route the (Buffalo and New York City Railroad) was added, branching from Hornell northwestward to Buffalo. For the next hundred years Hornell enjoyed prosperity with its steam engine shop doing the repairs for the entire railroad line. The railroad then came upon hard times as trucking picked up more and more of the freight business. In 1972, the line filed for bankruptcy. Just a few days later, floods from Hurricane Agnes destroyed about 200 miles or 321 kilometers of roadbed along the Canisteo River, removing all hope of reorganizing the railroad.

Hornell has struggled since to regain its former prosperity. The Erie shops are now Alstom's main production site and production of railway cars and passenger locomotives continues. Prior to Alstom, the shops were operated by Morrison Knudsen.
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