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Hamburg, New York
Hamburg NY Welcome sign Nov 10.JPG

The Town That Friendship Built
Location of Hamburg in Erie County and New York
Location of Hamburg in Erie County and New York
Hamburg, New York is located in the United States
Hamburg, New York
Hamburg, New York
Location in the United States
Country United States
State New York
County Erie
Incorporated 1812; 211 years ago (1812)
Named for Hamburg
 • Type Town board
 • Body Hamburg Town Board
 • Total 41.35 sq mi (107.10 km2)
 • Land 41.32 sq mi (107.03 km2)
 • Water 0.03 sq mi (0.07 km2)
732 ft (223 m)
 • Total 60,085 Increase
 • Density 1,405.92/sq mi (542.83/km2)
Demonym(s) Hamburger
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code 716
FIPS code 36-029-31654
GNIS feature ID 0952086

Hamburg is a town in Erie County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town had a population of 56,936. It is named after the city of Hamburg, Germany. The town is on the western border of the county and is south of Buffalo. Hamburg is one of the Southtowns in Erie County. The villages of Hamburg and Blasdell are in the town.


Woodlawn Beach 1896
Vintage image of Woodlawn Beach in 1896

Historical evidence shows that the area was settled originally by the Erie people. Around 1805 the settlement was known as "Barkerville", named after Zenas Barker, the postmaster. On the site of this building today is the Dock at the Bay. The first landowner in the area was John Cummings, who built the first grist mill in 1806.

The town of Hamburg was formed by government decree on March 20, 1812, from the (now defunct) town of Willink. The first town meeting took place on April 7, 1812, at Jacob Wright's tavern at Wright's Corners, which was renamed Abbott's Corners, and now Armor. One of the early noted activities of the town board in that same year was to place a $5 bounty on wolf hides, due to the complaints of the local settlers who were being bothered by them.

In 1815, mail routes were established. The earliest settlers in the area were from New England. Germans started arriving in the 1830s and set up many successful farms. On November 29, 1824, a meeting was held in Abbott's Corners at the home of early settler Seth Abbott. At a vote of those present, agreement was reached to form a library with the sum of $102.

By 1850, the town was reduced by the formation of the towns of Orchard Park and West Seneca. Around 1852, the Erie Railroad was built through the area. In 1868 the Erie County Fair came to the town and has been located there since then. In 1875 the weekly publication of the Erie County Independent began. This is now known as The Sun. Telephone service in the area started in 1886.

The village of Hamburg set itself off from the town in 1874 by incorporating as a village.

Starting in 1890 and to support the growing regional steel industry, Polish and Italians began to arrive in the area.

In 1897, a group of women known as the Nineteenth Century Club started a permanent free public library, known as the Hamburg Free Library. Until 1901 it was located in various rented buildings. The Hamburg Free Library was moved into a Carnegie library on Center Street on November 8, 1915, where it remained until 1966 when the current library at 102 Buffalo Street was opened.

In 1898, the community of Blasdell set itself apart from the town by incorporating as a village.

A trolley car system was established in the early 1900s.

The Kleis Site, containing the remnants of a 17th-century Iroquoian village and burial ground, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

In 2003, Joe Haptas, a spokesman for the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), sent a letter to then-Town Supervisor Patrick Hoak and asked that the name of Hamburg be changed to "Veggieburg". PETA offered the Hamburg Central School District $15,000 worth of free veggie burgers as an incentive for the name change. Hoak declined the name change.

In July 2012, Main Street in the village of Hamburg from Lake Street to Buffalo Street was granted state approval for nomination as a national historic district.


Eighteen Mile Creek Hamburg
Eighteen Mile Creek in Hamburg

According to the United States Census Bureau, 41.4 square miles (107.1 km2), of which 41.3 square miles (107.0 km2) is land and 0.03 square miles (0.07 km2), or 0.07%, is water.

Lake Erie forms the western border of the town, and Eighteen Mile Creek forms the southern boundary.

Communities and locations

  • Amsdell Heights – A hamlet in the western part of the town inland from Wanakah.
  • Armor – A hamlet northeast of Hamburg village on the border of the town of Orchard Park. This community was originally called "Wright's Corners" and later "Abbott's Corners."
  • Athol Springs – A lakeside hamlet on the west side of the town.
  • Big Tree – A location near the intersection of US-20 and US-20A.
  • Blasdell – The village of Blasdell is at the northern border of the town.
  • Bethford – A location on the border of West Seneca and Orchard Park directly behind the McKinley Mall.
  • Carnegie – A location northwest of Hamburg village on NY-75.
  • Clifton Heights – A lakeside hamlet on the Lake Erie shore.
  • Eighteen Mile Creek – A stream that forms part of the south border of the town and empties into Lake Erie south of Walden Cliffs.
  • Eighteen Mile Creek County Park – An undeveloped park on the south town line.
  • Hamburg - The village of Hamburg is in the southeast corner of the town.
  • Hamburg Airport (4G2) – A small general aviation airport on the south town line.
  • Hamburg Fairgrounds – The location of the Erie County Fair every August and other events throughout the year. Buffalo Raceway is inside the fairgrounds. The fairgrounds are on Route 62 north of Hamburg village.
  • Hampton Brook Woods Wildlife Management Area – A conservation area by Eighteen Mile Creek.
  • Lake View – A hamlet in the southwest corner of the town inland from Walden Cliffs and site of the Gatling Land Boom of 1893.
  • Locksley Park – A location by Lake Erie south of Athol Springs.
  • Mount Vernon – A lakeside community in the west part of the town.
  • Pinehurst – A lakeside hamlet on the Lake Erie shore.
  • Roundtree – A development south of Athol Springs and north of Carnegie.
  • Scranton – A location bordering the north side of Hamburg village.
  • Wanakah – A lakeside hamlet in the western part of the town.
  • Walden Cliffs – A lakeside hamlet in the southwest corner of the town named after Ebenezer Walden, a prominent western New York citizen and once mayor of Buffalo.
  • Water Valley – A hamlet south of Hamburg village on the south side of Eighteen Mile Creek, located on Routes 62 and 75.
  • Weyer – A location east of Pinehurst.
  • Windom – A community on the eastern border of the town.
  • Woodlawn – A hamlet in the northwest part of the town.
  • Woodlawn Beach State Park – a park on the shore of Lake Erie.


Hamburg experiences a continental climate (Köppen Dfb), heavily influenced by lake-effect snow from Lake Erie.


Buffalo from Hamburg
Evening view of Buffalo from Bayview Road in Hamburg. Windmills generating electricity can be seen in the distance.
Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 2,034
1830 3,348 64.6%
1840 3,727 11.3%
1850 5,219 40.0%
1860 2,991 −42.7%
1870 2,934 −1.9%
1880 3,234 10.2%
1890 3,802 17.6%
1900 4,673 22.9%
1910 6,059 29.7%
1920 8,656 42.9%
1930 13,058 50.9%
1940 17,190 31.6%
1950 25,067 45.8%
1960 41,288 64.7%
1970 47,644 15.4%
1980 53,270 11.8%
1990 53,735 0.9%
2000 56,259 4.7%
2010 56,936 1.2%
2020 60,085 5.5%
Historical Population Figures

As of the census of 2000, there were 56,259 people, 21,999 households, and 15,157 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,362.7 people per square mile (526.1/km2). There were 22,833 housing units at an average density of 553.1 per square mile (213.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.93% White, 0.49% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.39% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.38% from other races, and 0.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.56% of the population.

There were 21,999 households, out of which 32.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.7% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.1% were non-families. 26.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 24.8% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $47,888, and the median income for a family was $56,974. Males had a median income of $41,440 versus $27,602 for females. The per capita income for the town was $21,943. About 3.2% of families and 4.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.2% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture

The Erie County Fair is situated on a 275-acre (111 ha) plot of land near the village of Hamburg. The fair, operated by Strates Shows, runs for twelve days in August and is the third-largest county fair in the United States.

Parks and recreation

The Seaway Trail, a National Scenic Byway, travels through Hamburg on New York Route 5, along the Lake Erie shoreline. The Lake Erie Seaway Trail Center, a seasonal visitors information center with exhibits and public waterfront access, is located in Hamburg.

Woodlawn Beach State Park, located on the shore of Lake Erie, was opened as a state park in 1996, and has been operated since 2011 by the town of Hamburg under a ten-year agreement with New York State.


The economy in the town is supported by a wide variety of sectors, including logistics, manufacturing, healthcare, commerce and education. In Blasdell, the Ford Motor Company operates a stamping plant with over one thousand employees. Also along the waterfront is the Lake Erie Industrial Park, formed by the town's industrial development agency. This site includes the primary FedEx Ground warehouse for the Buffalo metropolitan area, employing 300 people, with an Amazon, Inc. distribution center under construction.


Sports teams in the town include the Frontier Falcons, representing Frontier Central High School, and the Hamburg Bulldogs, who represent Hamburg High School. The Red Raiders represent the St. Francis High School, a private, Franciscan/Catholic boys school.


Frontier Central High School

Early childhood education

As of 2021, there were ten preschools within the town, including two in the village of Blasdell.

Primary and secondary schools

The town of Hamburg is home to the Frontier Central School District, which is its primary public school district. The district serves students living outside of the village of Hamburg along the lake shore of the town, and is an independent public entity. Frontier was created in the 1950s, combining the Amsdell, Athol Springs, Big Tree, Blasdell, Lake View (Pinehurst), Shaleton, Wanakah (Cloverbank), and Woodlawn school districts dating to the 19th century. The district's offices are located at the Frontier Educational Center in Wanakah. The district serves over 4,500 students with its Big Tree, Blasdell, Cloverbank, and Pinehurst elementary schools, Frontier Middle School, and Frontier High School. In 2009, Big Tree Elementary School was recognized as a Blue Ribbon School. In 2020, Buffalo Business First ranked Frontier as the fifteenth-best performing school district in the Western New York region. Other districts serve Hamburg along the town's boundaries, including the Hamburg (village), West Seneca and Orchard Park central school districts.

The Hamburg Central School District mainly serves students living within the village of Hamburg, but also serves students living in areas adjacent to it. Both Frontier and Hamburg Central are members of the Erie 1 Board of Cooperative Educational Services system. The Hamburg, West Seneca and Orchard Park central school districts serve the village and small portions of the town.

Higher education

Hilbert College is in the town of Hamburg, north of the village of Hamburg.


The New York State Thruway (Interstate 90), U.S. Route 62, US 20, and NY Route 5 pass through the town. NY 75 runs through the village of Hamburg, temporarily concurrent with Route 62. U.S. 20A diverges from US 20 north of the village of Hamburg as both routes proceed east.

Five bus lines operated by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) serve the town. A park and ride facility is between NY 5 and NY 75 near Athol Springs.

Notable people

  • George Abbott, playwright
  • Lucius Allen, former Wisconsin State Assembly member
  • Thomas L. Bunting, former U.S. congressman
  • Tim Calkins, clinical professor of marketing and author
  • Eugene Asa Carr, U.S. Civil War general and Medal of Honor recipient
  • Peter Case, singer/songwriter, founding member of the Nerves and the Plimsouls, and noted musicologist
  • Clyde Brion Davis, author and journalist
  • Manly Fleischmann, Defense Production Administrator for the Korean War, chairman of the Fleischmann Commission
  • Katharine Houghton Hepburn, feminist social reformer
  • Kathy Hochul, Incumbent Governor of New York
  • E. Howard Hunt, author, CIA officer and Watergate conspirator
  • John Huntly, former Wisconsin State Assembly member
  • Jack Kemp, 1996 Republican Party U.S. vice presidential nominee who lived in Hamburg.
  • Jim Kubiak, retired NFL quarterback (born in hamlet of Athol Springs)
  • Daniel N. Lockwood, former U.S. congressman
  • John R. Pillion, former U.S. congressman
  • Francis J. Pordum, former New York State Assembly member (from Lake View)
  • Jack Quinn, President of Erie Community College, former U.S. congressman, former Town of Hamburg Supervisor
  • Jack Quinn III, former New York State Assembly member
  • Frank Resetarits, lacrosse player
  • Stephen J. Roberts, veterinarian, professor, polo player and coach
  • Erik Schlopy, former Olympic ski racer
  • Bob Schmidt, former pro football player
  • Jake Schum, NFL punter
  • Kevin Smardz, former New York State Assemblyman
  • Tom Telesco, general manager of the San Diego Chargers
  • Tom Toles, editorial cartoonist
  • Susan Walsh, former competitive swimmer
  • Dave Wohlabaugh, retired NFL center
  • John Wrench, mathematician
  • Tommy Z, blues musician

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See also

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