Geological layer

Marcellus (town), New York

Marcellus is a town in Onondaga County, New York, United States. The population was 6,319 at the 2000 census. The town was probably named after Marcus Claudius Marcellus, a Roman general, by a clerk interested in the Classics.

The Marcellus Formation is a vast geological layer of shale spanning Pennsylvania, West Virginia and parts of other states and Ontario, which is named for an outcropping in or near Marcellus.

The Town of Marcellus contains the Village of Marcellus. The town and village are southwest of Syracuse.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 32.7 square miles (84.6 km²), of which, 32.5 square miles (84.3 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (0.40%) is water.

US Route 20 is an east west highway through the south part of the town. New York State Route 175 is an east-west highway and intersects New York State Route 174 at Marcellus village.

Marcellus is at the east end of the Finger Lakes District and is at the north end of Otisco Lake. High hills, deep valleys, lake and streams, make the town remarkably scenic. Nine Mile Creek is a noted trout stream where New York State provides several access areas. Onondaga County's Marcellus Park is in the village of Marcellus and Baltimore Woods Nature Center is nearby.


The territory was part of the lands of the Onondaga tribe. Marcellus was a named township in the former Central New York Military Tract. It was first settled by outsiders around 1794. It is under speculation that the first setter to Marcellus was Sargent Kaydood Dooley of the colonial militia.

The town was formed in 1794, but lost territory to new towns. The Town of Geddes was removed in 1798. The township of Camillus was taken off in 1799. Otisco was removed in 1806. In 1830, the west part of the town was used for the new Town of Skaneateles. Marcellus regained territory in 1840 from Spafford and Otisco.


As of the census of 2000, there were 6,319 people, 2,378 households, and 1,773 families residing in the town. The population density was 194.1 people per square mile (75.0/km²). There were 2,488 housing units at an average density of 76.4/sq mi (29.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.31% White, 0.41% Black or African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.06% from other races, and 0.68% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.84% of the population.

There were 2,378 households out of which 37.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.3% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.4% were non-families. 22.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the town the population was spread out with 28.2% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 27.0% from 25 to 44, 25.6% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 95.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $51,881, and the median income for a family was $58,188. Males had a median income of $40,541 versus $32,234 for females. The per capita income for the town was $25,628. About 2.5% of families and 3.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.9% of those under age 18 and 0.5% of those age 65 or over.

Communities in the Town Of Marcellus

  • Clintonville -- A hamlet in the southwest part of the town on US-20.
  • Marcellus -- The Village of Marcellus is at the junction of NY-174 and NY-175.
  • Marcellus Falls -- A hamlet north of Marcellus village on NY-174, located at the north town line.
  • Marietta -- A hamlet north of Otisco Lake on NY-174.
  • Pumpkin Hollow -- A valley at the east town line.
  • Rose Hill -- A hamlet west of Marietta.
  • Shamrock A hamlet near the west town line, west of Marietta.
  • Thorn Hill -- A hamlet southwest of Marietta by the south town line.


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