Founded: Columbus was first settled around 1791. The town was formed in 1805 from the town of Brookfield (now in Madison County). Additional territory was obtained from the town of Norwich in 1807.
Hamlets within the town: Button City, Columbus Center, Columbus Corners (also called Lamb’s Corners), Columbus Quarter, Perrytown and Talettewere all hamlets of Columbus in the early settlement of the town. The only one still in existence is Columbus Center, which is called Columbus today.
Named after: The town was named by Dr. Tracy Robinson, the first doctor in the town and first town supervisor. It was possibly so named in reference to the first Columbus Day Celebration that took place in New York City in 1792.
Current population: 975 (2010 U.S. Census).
Notable people: Judge William Cooper (1754-1809) – father of James Fenimore Cooper, author of Leatherstocking Tales – lived here for a short period of time in his life.
Interesting facts: It was the first community named Columbus in the United States. In 1844, Columbus produced nearly 345,560 pounds of cheese.
Industry past: The home of Philadelphia Cream Cheese – the first known cream cheese factory in the world and the largest in the U.S. – was founded in 1872 as the Empire Cheese Company. The cream cheese was named Philadelphia in honor of America’s cradle of liberty and her first capital. It later became Kraft’s Breakstone Yogurt Plant.
Industry present: Chobani: Founded in 2005 by Hamdi Ulukaya, he purchased the old Breakstone Yogurt Plant and, in 2007, updated it to make natural yogurt. Chobani is now the top-selling Greek yogurt brand in America and operates the largest yogurt facility in the world. It now employs more than 2,000. Chobani was an official sponsor of the 2012 and 2014 U.S. Olympic teams. Unadilla Motocross, which began in 1969, has hosted various motocross races, including the first Motocross des Nations ever held in the U.S. in 1987. It has also hosted a round of the U.S. nationals every year since 1989.