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Our History

On May 18th, 1888 � as Mark Twain was writing �A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur�s Court� from Quarry Farm overlooking Elmira � Elmira Savings & Loan was formed with the following purpose:

      �to encourage frugality, house building and savings among its members, the accumulation of savings, and the loaning of such accumulation to its members.�

The bank�s building changed locations four times before settling at our current location of 300 W. Water Street. In 1972, one year after a major expansion of our building, Hurricane Agnes tore through the Southern Tier. Having only one office, ES&L was virtually crippled by the flood. In a matter of hours, we opened our doors for business at the Tom Sawyer Motor Inn. In a short time, a mobile bank trailer was placed in the bank parking lot and all business was transacted there.

In 1983, ES&L converted from a state-chartered bank to a federal thrift institution. ES&L Financial Services was formed in 1987 to provide our customers with non-traditional investment and insurance products.

In 1988, the Bank celebrated its 100-year anniversary. Many customer activities highlighted the year, the most notable of which was an old time baseball game and fireworks held at Dunn Field. It was a celebration of both the Bank�s anniversary and 100 years of professional baseball in our community.

During the summer of 1990, amidst turbulent economic conditions, war in the Persian Gulf and a declining stock market, the Bank undertook one of the most important projects in our history � the conversion from a mutual savings association (owned by depositors) to a stock-owned institution.

On July 19, 1990, a stock prospectus was mailed to all our customers as well as many other community members. Within 30 days, we had sold 352,558 shares at $8.00 per share. This effort was a testament, endorsed by approximately 450 charter stockholders, to the importance of our organization within the community. Stock certificates were issued on August 28, 1990.

On December 2, 1991, ES&L Bancorp paid its first quarterly cash dividend of $0.10 per share. We have continued to pay a dividend each quarter since that time.

In 1994, the Bank expanded through a 10,000 square foot addition, nearly doubling the size of our office. We continue to invest in our technology and infrastructure to make banking more convenient for our customers.

Also in 1994, the Bank stepped in and assumed control of the city�s annual Christmas Parade. Now called the ES&L Downtown Holiday Parade, this event is made possible thanks to a large investment of our employees� time.

ES&L has a very rich history as a small-town community bank. We look forward to more exciting milestones as we continue to build strong relationships with our customers.

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