The Village lies in the Chenango Valley, just south of the headwaters of the Chenango River. The Village is approximately 40 miles southeast of Syracuse and 30 miles southwest of Utica, and is located in Madison County. The area that became the Town of Hamilton (including the Village of Hamilton) originally was inhabited by members of the Iroquois League, and some of the territory is still considered to be sacred by the Oneida Indian Nation.
Following the American Revolution, the area was ceded to the State of New York. Originally called Payne’s Settlement, Elisha Payne and his wife, who owned one of the first farms in the area, donated his land to the Baptist Theological Society as the new location of the Society’s Theological Institution, which became Colgate University in 1819, (not to be confused with Hamilton College which is located 30 miles north in Clinton, New York.)
Hamilton is a “Village” in an incorporated area within the Town of Hamilton. The Village is governed by a Board of Trustees. It consists of the Mayor, who is presiding officer, and four Trustees. In addition to the elected officials and professional officers, the governance of the Village rests in the hands of about fifty volunteers who serve by appointment on ten boards, commissions, and committees.
The 2010-2011 annual budget of the Village is approximately $7 million dollars. In 2010, there were approximately 3,500 people residing in the Village. Colgate University is the largest economic influence in the Village with a student population of 2,800.
There is a vibrant downtown area surrounding the Village Green with numerous restaurants, specialty shops, a movie theater, coffee house, the Colgate University Bookstore and the Colgate Inn. The Palace Theatre in the heart of the Village is a venue for theatrical entertainment.
The Village operates the Hamilton Municipal Airport with a 5,300 ft runway with outdoor airplane tie-down capability and hanger facilities. Adjacent to the airport is the newly constructed airpark industrial area with available building sites. The Community Memorial Hospital is located in the Village and is associated with Crouse Irving Hospital in Syracuse.
Hamilton is one of a handful of municipalities in New York State that operates its own low cost municipal power company. Hamilton is proud of its reputation for its walkability including an extensive and scenic walk along the former Chenango Canal.
In easy driving distance and open all year are the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, The Farmer’s Museum, and the International Boxing Hall of Fame. The Madison-Bouckville Antique Show, one of the largest in the northeast, is held nearby on U.S. Route 20 each August.
There are beautiful rolling hills, abundant lakes and streams for boating and fishing, and a variety of walking trails. Golfers can play the Colgate University owned Seven Oaks Golf Course and the three highly challenging courses nearby at the Turning Stone Casino. Overnight lodging is available at the Colgate Inn, Wendt’s University Inn, and several B & B facilities.