A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 18, 2017
Elmira: Queen City of the Southern Tier (nickname)

Elmira (a city in Chemung County, New York) was called the “Queen City of the Southern Tier” in the 19th century. Harper’s New York and Erie Rail-road Guide-book (1851) stated:

“ELMIRA (from New York 273 miles, from Dunkirk 187 miles). This is the queen city along the New York and’ Erie Rail-road, and is a good specimen of the towns that seem to exhale from the American soil.”

“Queen City on the Erie Railroad” was printed in a Boston (MA) newspaper on May 17, 1851. “Queen city of the Southern tier of New York counties” was printed in The Saturday Evening Post (Philadelphia, PA) on July 26, 1856.

Buffalo has been called the “Queen City of the Lakes” since the 1830s. Binghamton was called the “Parlor City of the Southern Tier” in 1873.


Wikipedia: Elmira, New York
Elmira /ˌɛlˈmaɪrə/ is a city in Chemung County, New York, US. It is the principal city of the Elmira, New York Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses Chemung County, New York. The population was 29,200 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Chemung County.

The City of Elmira is in the south-central part of the county, surrounded on three sides by the Town of Elmira. It is in the Southern Tier of New York, a short distance north of the Pennsylvania state line.

Chronicling America
16 May 1851, New-York (NY) Daily Tribune, “The Opening of the Erie Railroad,” pg. 4, col. 3:
... but discover that they ought to be in that very rich and remarkable work entitled “Harper’s New York and Erie Railroad Guide,” which we recommend to the reader who wishes to combine amusement with instruction as he hurries Erie-ward.

17 May 1851, Boston (MA) Atlas, “Tour of the President and Cabinet,” pg. 2, col. 5:
A magnificent entertainment was given by the citizens of Elmira. The procession was a splendid demonstration, and worthy of the Queen City on the Erie Railroad.

20 May 1851, The Republic (Washington, DC), “Correspondence of the Republic,” pg. 1, col. 2:
The inhabitants of Elmira—which well deserves its new cognomen of “Queen City of the West,” although it has to share it in common with a dozen or two other new towns in that vague region known as “the West,” turned out in astonishing force on our departure as well as on our arrival, and seemed as much delighted, judging from the heartiness of their cheers, to see us off as they were to welcome us to their beautiful town.

29 July 1852, New York (NY) Herald, “Our Dunkirk Correspondence: Trip Over the Eric Railroad,” pg. 2, col. 5:
The principal (stations—ed.) are, Elmira, Binghamton, Corning, and Owego; and of these, the largest, Elmira, though designated the “Queen City” of the line, has only some five thousand inhabitants.

Google Books
Harper’s New York and Erie Rail-road Guide-book (8th edition)
By William MacLeod
New York, NY: Harper & Brothers, Publishers
1855-56
Pg. 155:
ELMIRA (from New York 273 miles, from Dunkirk 187 miles). This is the queen city along the New York and’ Erie Rail-road, and is a good specimen of the towns that seem to exhale from the American soil.

26 July 1856, The Saturday Evening Post (Philadelphia, PA), “Things at the North,” pg. 2, col. 2:
Then you come to Elmira, and you seem to have reached a different people. A very pretty town it is, worthy of the appellation of “Queen city of the Southern tier of New York counties.”

Google Books
History of Elmira, Horseheads and the Chemung Valley, with Sketches of the Churches, Schools, Societies, Rail Roads, Manufacturing Companies, Etc., Etc:
Also, Directory & Business Advertiser for 1868

By A. B. Galatian & Co
Elmira, NY: A.B. Galatian & Company
1868
Pg. 96:
Thrift and prosperity are everywhere written on the glowing face of the Queen of the Southern Tier, whose index is found through all these pages, which give in detail the unquestioned statistics.

Google Books
Sweet’s Amusement Directory and Travelers’ Guide:
From the Atlantic to the Pacific

By O. P. Sweet
Rochester, NY: Travelers’ Publishing Company
1870-71
Pg. 409 (Elmira, N. Y.):
Thrift and prosperity are every where written on the glowing face of our city, the “Queen of the Southern Tier.” (...) All these serve as the brilliant settings of the crown which is to encircle the future head of the “Queen City of the Southern Tier.”

NYS Historic Newspapers
11 July 1872, Yates County Chronicle (Penn Yan, NY), “Printing and Journalism,” pg. 1, col. 7:
Nineteen years ago this summer, the first call was issued for a gathering of editors and publishers of Western New York—in response to which some twenty or twenty-five assembled in the then embryo city of Elmira—now the thriving Queen City of the Southern Tier.

OCLC WorldCat record
Elmira, New York : the Queen City of the Southern Tier.
Author: Elmira (N.Y.). Chamber of commerce.
Publisher: Elmira, N.Y. : Star Gazette Press, [1914?]
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Elmira, New York : queen city of the southern tier.
Author: Elmira Chamber of Commerce.
Publisher: Elmira, New York : Elmira Chamber of Commerce, 1924.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

Google Books
Queen City Adventure
By Emma Latier
Elmira, NY: New York History Review Press
2010
Pp. 8-9:
In 1851, Harpers New York & Erie Railroad Guide gave Elmira the nickname “Queen City of the Southern Tier.” A line in their book reads:

This is the queen city along the New York & Erie Railroad and is a good specimen of the towns that seem to exhale from the American soil.

Posted by Barry Popik
Nicknames of Other PlacesNew York State • Tuesday, July 18, 2017 • Permalink