The Town of Lansing is the second largest town in Tompkins County, with 60.7 square miles, in Tompkins County (after Dryden with 93.9 sq. miles). The north part of the township is largely farm land. The town is a few minutes from the City of Ithaca and Cornell University. Lansing, Michigan was named for the New York Town after two sons of a Revolutionary War veteran residing near Conlon Road migrated west to Michigan.
In 2010 the town’s population was 11,033 people. 3,529 of those live in the Village of Lansing. Lansing is the third most populous town in the county after Dryden and Ithaca city and town. The population is evenly split by gender.
Major businesses include Cargill Deicing technology, The Cayuga Power Plant and BorgWarner Morse Systems. In the Village The Shops at Ithaca Mall, Cayuga Mall and Triphammer Marketplace define a thriving retail and professional center. The Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport is in the Village of Lansing, next to the thriving Cornell Business and Technology Park. Retail space in the town and village abounds. Inns, bed and breakfasts and restaurants attract visitors, and the town boasts a number of churches and a synagogue.
Lansing farms generate almost one-third of the $67 million total farm product sales in the Tompkins County, making it the most vital farming community in the county. The town has over 17,000 acres of farmland that provides over 100 jobs, at least 40 of them full time, with a combined payroll of at least $3 million. About $17 million of that comes from dairy farms. 8,472 acres in Lansing are farmed by owners, and an additional 8,570 acres are leased.
In 2010 the median household income was $71,067. The median age was 34.8 years old, and median household value was $127,800. Lansing residents are above the national average in education with 95% holding a High School diploma, and 57.2 with bachelor’s degrees. 56% of those over 15 are married. 12.4% is foreign-born. Estimated per capita income in 2013 was $35,715, up from $29,047 in 2000. The estimated median house or condo value in 2013 was $316,327. The median gross rent in 2013 was $1,038.
The most common occupations in Lansing are:
- Education, training, and library occupations (19%)
- Management occupations (12%)
- Computer and mathematical occupations (12%)
- Life, physical, and social science occupations (9%)
- Office and administrative support occupations (8%)
- Health diagnosing and treating practitioners and other technical occupations (8%)
- Sales and related occupations (5%)
Lansing’s governmental bodies and taxing authorities include the Town Board, Village Board of Trustees, Lansing Fire District, Lansing Central School District Board of Education and Lansing Community Library Board of Trustees. The Town maintains an active and successful recreation program with many sports programs. The Recreation Department maintains four parks, including Myers Park that includes a marina as well as camping areas, a play ground and pavilions. The Village of Lansing also maintains Dankert Park on the south side of the Village.
Lansing schools are above average with 72% of graduates earning Regents diplomas. Class sizes are below average and annual attendance rate is 96.1%. graduation rate is 95%. Most of the Town, and part of the Village is in the Lansing Central School District. The rest of the Village is in the Ithaca City School District.
The earliest settlers in Lansing resided in Onondaga County in the Town of Milton. In 1808 the name Milton was changed to Genoa and in 1817 the Town of Lansing was set off from Genoa under the act that created Tompkins County. The first settlers to arrive in Lansing came in the year 1791 from the Border Settlements of the Minisink Valley of New York and Pennsylvania. Others also arrived from New Jersey, Connecticut, and other areas of New York and Pennsylvania.
Because of General Sullivan’s Expedition in 1779 there were no Indians in this area and after the land was divided into 100 Military Lots, settlers were anxious to settle this fertile land of the lakes. They came by land route from the south and water route from the north, traveling in the winter when the waterways made frozen roads and the forest undergrowth was at a minimum. Grist mills, saw mills, clothing mills, blacksmith shops, and tanneries soon provided services to the early farmers.
The ensuing 200 years have seen Lansing change from a town of many small, self sufficient villages to an area which depends on several large shopping districts in the incorporated Village of Lansing in the south of the town. The northern part of the town still has many prosperous farms, but many of the residents work in industries in and outside of the town, and at Cornell University, Ithaca College and Tompkins Cortland Community College.