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Tipperary Hill

Tipperary Hill, sometimes known as Tipp Hill, is an area in the city of Syracuse, New York largely settled by immigrants from Ireland, largely, it is assumed, from County Tipperary.

In the 1820s, when the Erie canal was built from Albany to Buffalo, New York, the Irish were the chief laborers. Syracuse is about the middle of the route, the "hub" of the system. When the canal was finished many of the Irish settled west of Syracuse on a hill overlooking the canal. This area became known as Tipperary Hill.

When the city first started to install traffic lights they put one at a major intersection on Tipperary Hill, on the corner of Tompkins Street and Milton Avenue. The Irish, incensed that anyone would dare to put the "British" red above green, smashed the light. The city replaced it. The Irish smashed the replacement. After a few rounds of this the city decided that if they wanted a light at that intersection, the had better put the green on top, so they did.

The Irish, pleased with their victory, built a small park, the Tipperary Hill Memorial Park, and erected a statue, the Tipperary Hill Heritage Memorial. The memorial is dedicated to those who, in their opinions, were brave sons of Ireland who had stood up to City Hall and won. The statue was created by Dexter Benedict. The park and statue are still there and so is the light. Also, on the eve of every Saint Patrick's Day, someone (or ones) go out and paint the yellow strip in the center of the road green in time for the Saint Patrick's Day parade.

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