About This Place
Solvay is a village located in Onondaga County, New York, and a suburb of the city of Syracuse. According to the 2000 census, the village had a total population of 6,845. The village is named after the Solvay brothers, Belgian inventors of the chemical process employed by the Solvay Process Company, formerly the major industry of the village.
The area was within the former Central New York Military Tract, but Solvay was in a location reserved for members of the Onondaga tribe. The village was initially founded in 1794 by James Geddes and was initially called "Geddesburgh." The first residents were mostly Irish, subsequently joined by Tyroleans and Poles. Eventually the community became known for its population largely Italian in extraction. It still retains a large segment (about 35% in 2005) of population of Italian descent. More recently many families of Ukrainian descent have settled in the village.
The Village of Solvay was renamed, after 1884, when the Solvay Process Company built a Solvay process plant to produce soda ash. The Village of Solvay was incorporated in 1895. Other major businesses of Solvay included Frazier & Jones, a foundry; Crucible Steel, producer of specialty steels; Iroquois Pottery (Solvay China); and Pass & Seymour, producing electrical wiring devices.