Rome is a city in Oneida County, New York, United States. The population was 34,950 at the 2000 census. It is in New York's 24th congressional district. During the Revolutionary War and for years thereafter, the city was originally known as Fort Stanwix, due to the fort being the only existing building in the area. In 1796, the city was founded and named Lynchville. Some time later, the city's name was changed to Rome, assumingly after the Italian city of Rome. The exact time, the reason, and the idea for this name change remains a mystery. Rome is one of two principal cities in the Utica–Rome, New York Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city is in the south-central part of the county. In the heart of the Leatherstocking Region made famous by James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales, Rome is known as the City of American History.