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Best of Oneida NY

The city of Oneida is a good example of pre-World War II city design. It was designed at a pedestrian scale, making it compact and bicycle-friendly for today’s residents. Public buildings, parks, and private residences are located in proximity, within walking and biking distance. The city is popular with remote workers who can choose where they live without the constraints of job location.[citation needed] Most residents of the city core are within walking distance to elementary schools and church activities.

Since the late 20th century, interest has renewed for increased bicycle infrastructure. Efforts are being made to revitalize the disused light-rail pathways, which ring the city’s south and north side, for multiple uses by cyclists and for recreation, and as a gateway to and from the inner and outer area retail districts.[verification needed]

Starting in the 2010s, Oneida has seen a revitalization to its downtown core. The formation of the Oneida City Center Committee has been the catalyst of this effort. They have partnered with outside institutions and partners such as Syracuse University’s School of Architecture and engineering consultants to create a vision for the downtown’s streetscape and buildings. The Greater Oneida Chamber of Commerce also works with the committee and the city to encourage and facilitate business growth in the city core. Through this collaboration, many new businesses have emerged in recent years. In addition, the Oneida City Center Market was established in 2018 and hosted various local business to table at their weekly summer event. The city and downtown committees hope for a more aggressive push for revitalization in the coming years and are looking for outside sources of funding to make that a possibility.[citation needed]

Recreational waterways such as the Erie Canal and Oneida Creek are located on the perimeter of the city limits. City parks are distributed throughout the city, with the exception of the rural Mount Hope Reservoir park. Oneida has 10 public tennis courts, seven of them lit, and more than 100 acres (40 ha) of public space used for organized youth sports. Also available are fishing, hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, and a winter ice skating rink.

Oneida is centrally located on the New York State Canalway Trail System, a network of more than 260 miles (420 km) of existing multiple-use, recreational trails across upstate New York, with major segments adjacent to the waterways of the New York State Canal System.

The Main-Broad-Grove Streets area was designated as a National Historic District in 1983. The Oneida Community Mansion House is highlighted on the Madison County Architectural Heritage Trail.


As of the census[7] of 2010, 11,393 people, 4,672 households, and 2,814 families were residing in the city. The population density was 500 inhabitants per square mile (190/km2).

Some 4,672 housing units were within the city limits. The racial makeup of the city was 96.29% White, 0.80% African American, 1.39% Native American, 0.46% Asian, 0.20% from other races, and 0.86% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 0.84% of the population.

Of the 4,431 households 32.1% had children under 18 living with them, 45.3% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.5% were not families. About 32.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 2.40, and the average family size was 3.03.

In the city, the age distribution was 25.1% under 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 15.0% who were 65 or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 92.5 males. For every 100 females 18 and over, there were 88.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,365, and for a family was $45,242. Males had a median income of $31,244 versus $23,846 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,966. About 8.8% of families and 12.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.5% of those under age 18 and 10.6% of those 65 or over.


The public Oneida City School District operates in Oneida, the city of Oneida Castle, the hamlet of Durhamville, the village of Wampsville, and certain parts of Canastota.

Oneida benefits from having several postsecondary academies within commuting distance including Colgate UniversityHamilton College, the State University of New York Institute of TechnologySyracuse UniversityLe Moyne CollegeMohawk Valley Community CollegeCazenovia College, the State University of New York at Morrisville, and Utica College.

Communities and locations:

  • Bennetts Corners – A hamlet in the southeastern part of the city, located at the intersection of Peterboro and Middle Roads.
  • Oneida Community – A former religious commune. The Oneida Community Mansion House is located at Kenwood Avenue and Skinner Road.


The city government consists of a mayor who is elected at large and six council members, each elected from one of six wards.

Other facts:

Oneida is located near the site of the former Oneida Community, a social and religious experiment that flourished during the third quarter of the 19th century. The Oneida Community Mansion House, a national historic monument, is the principal building of the Oneida Community. International tableware company Oneida Limited, founded 1880, is still headquartered in the city, although all US manufacturing operations have now ceased and all Oneida products are imported.

Oneida is also the home of Cross Island Chapel, built in 1989 and situated in the middle of a pond, which is believed by many to be the world’s smallest church.[8][9][10]

Oneida was formerly known as Oneida Depot. In the 19th century, its residents were among the closest neighbors to a utopian socialist commune, set up by John Humphrey Noyes, lasting from 1848 until 1881. This commune, called the Oneida Community, produced silk and canned goods until the manufacturing of flatware picked up in the later years of the community’s existence. This led to the foundation of Oneida Limited, a company that outlasted the community and became one of America’s most important flatware producers in the 20th century.[citation needed]

Oneida was featured in the storyline of the television show Law & Order (episode 250 – “Brother’s Keeper”), in which an Irish-American Mafia informant for the FBI takes refuge at the Oneida home of his twin brother, who is a teacher at a local university.

Joan Blondell‘s character, Vida Fleet, in the 1932 movie Big City Blues is from Oneida.

Oneida has a number of properties on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Main-Broad-Grove Streets Historic DistrictCottage LawnDeFerriere HouseMount Hope ReservoirOneida ArmoryOneida Community Mansion House, and United States Post Office.[11]

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