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Marathon, New York
Town of Marathon
View in Marathon, N.Y, from Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views.jpg
Location within Cortland County and New York
Location within Cortland County and New York
Country United States
State New York
County Cortland
 • Type Town Council
 • Total 25.07 sq mi (64.9 km2)
 • Land 24.94 sq mi (64.6 km2)
 • Water 0.13 sq mi (0.3 km2)
1,332 ft (406 m)
 • Total 1,967
 • Density 79/sq mi (30.5/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
FIPS code 36-45403
GNIS feature ID 979194

Marathon is a town in Cortland County, New York, United States. The population was 1,967 at the 2010 census.

The town of Marathon contains a village also named Marathon. The town is on the south border of the county and is in the Southern tier region of New York State and is southeast of Cortland.

The Central New York Maple Festival takes place in Marathon annually.


Marathon is within the bounds of the former Central New York Military Tract. The first settlers arrived in 1794.

The town was formed from part of the town of Cincinnatus as the "Town of Harrison" in 1818. The name was changed to "Marathon" in 1828 because another town in New York was named Harrison. The present name is after the Battle of Marathon.

The village of Marathon set itself off from the town in 1861 by incorporation.

Notable residents

Thurlow Weed, political boss and publisher, came to this town with his family in 1808.

Carl T. Hayden, only New Yorker to ever serve as both Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents (1995-2002) and Chairman of the State University of New York (SUNY)(2007-2012).


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 25.1 square miles (64.9 km2), of which 25.0 square miles (64.7 km2) is land and 0.12 square miles (0.3 km2), or 0.53%, is water.

U.S. Route 11 and Interstate 81 are important north-south highways, and New York State Route 221, an east-west highway, intersects the former at Marathon village.

The Tioughnioga River, part of the Susquehanna River watershed, crosses the town along the same course as Interstate 81 and US-11.

The south town line is the border of Broome County.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 807
1830 895 10.9%
1840 1,080 20.7%
1850 1,341 24.2%
1860 1,502 12.0%
1870 1,611 7.3%
1880 1,700 5.5%
1890 1,806 6.2%
1900 1,664 −7.9%
1910 1,589 −4.5%
1920 1,296 −18.4%
1930 1,322 2.0%
1940 1,417 7.2%
1950 1,577 11.3%
1960 1,696 7.5%
1970 1,777 4.8%
1980 1,804 1.5%
1990 2,019 11.9%
2000 2,189 8.4%
2010 1,967 −10.1%
Est. 2014 1,940 −1.4%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 2,189 people, 814 households, and 598 families residing in the town. The population density was 87.7 people per square mile (33.8/km²). There were 861 housing units at an average density of 34.5 per square mile (13.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.49% White, 0.73% Black or African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.09% from other races, and 0.55% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.55% of the population.

There were 814 households out of which 39.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.4% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.5% were non-families. 21.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.10.

In the town, the population was spread out with 30.7% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 94.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $34,274, and the median income for a family was $40,379. Males had a median income of $29,781 versus $22,125 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,322. About 8.6% of families and 10.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.3% of those under age 18 and 12.0% of those age 65 or over.

Communities and locations in the Town of Marathon

  • Dean Pond – A small lake east of Marathon village.
  • Galatia – A hamlet on the north town line.
  • Marathon – The village of Marathon is in the west part of the town adjacent to US-11 and Interstate 81.
  • Texas Valley – A hamlet in the northeast corner of the town.

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