Geneva’s History – Meet Steve O’Malley:

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In front of our Smith Opera House and the two medallions on its faćade of Edwin Booth, left, and William Shakespeare – the “Richard Burton of his time,” Booth was the brother of the infamous John Wilkes Booth
who assassinated President Lincoln. Booth moved to Europe and enjoyed a successful acting career there.

Geneva has an interesting history and we asked Steve to support our sharing it with you! Raised in Geneva, Steve was the Museum Curator for the Geneva Historical Society between 1979 and 2000. He is a preservation contractor who assists in restoring and preserving some of the city’s oldest structures (particularly historic homes), and Steve owns the Chapman House Bed & Breakfast on historic Main Street – many visitors claim walking along Main Street and viewing its row houses and Fountain Park with the lake view adjacent to the Hobart and William Smith college, is one of the most beautiful walks in America! Also a City Councilman at-large, Steve is interested in maintaining and preserving Geneva’s history while we grow.

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Our historical Post Office and mural by Peter Blume, 1941

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Our rich agricultural history (western New York was once the “bread basket of America”) is evident by
the number of older bank buildings downtown, like this 1900-1920 Colonial Revival
Farmers & Merchants Bank, which is being restored by a private investor

According to Steve: Geneva has been reinventing itself throughout our history. Our charming Main Street and its row houses, park, and the college entrance, was once our downtown which overlooked Lake Seneca. The commercial area moved to the lake when the Seneca-Cayuga canal was opened to the Erie Canal in the early 1800s.

Between the 1840s and through 1900 our region, which is still known for our rich glacier soil (our Finger Lakes were formed by retreating glaciers), was known as “the bread basket” of the nation, and produced particularly wheat and corn, as well as produce – the first US capital was New York City and the vast majority of the country’s population was in today’s northeast, which was fed by our region.

At the turn of the 20th Century when the agricultural focus moved into the Ohio Valley, Geneva became a massive nursery center for trees, flowers, and plants. The famous Otto Stern Nursery (the creators of Miracle Grow) used mass advertising in the New York Times of his nursery stock, where one could “order a plant from Geneva” and have it shipped all the way to California.

After World War II industry found its way to Geneva, when we became known as “Boiler City” for all of our foundries. We hosted radiator corporations, metal foundries, and Geneva Cutlery was on our lakefront. Both the canal and rail supported industry in Geneva, shipping our wares across the globe. These industries, however, left by the 1960s as a combination of union influence as well as cheaper labor drove these industries south.

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Geneva’s Ventosa Vineyards – owner Lenny Cecere with nephew and GM Mike

Due to the depth of Seneca Lake in particular and its annual water temperature, the conditions in our direct vicinity make for optimal wine growing – more than 100 wineries dot the Finger Lakes, which has grown an impressive tourism industry in our region.

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Charming Watkins Glen to our south hosts multiple racing events at its famous track, including NASCAR

Today our Finger Lakes, gorges, hills and vales are breathtaking, with pristine and unspoiled cold, clear waters. The sunrises and sunsets over the lakes and valleys are especially magnificent, welcoming tourists who spend more than $200 million. Geneva is additionally bolstered by Hobart and William Smith Colleges and their financial and entertainment influence.

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“Geneva’s Downtown area is very vibrant and we are in an exciting time. Young professionals who work at the colleges are beginning to choose to live there and walk to the lakefront as well as shopping and restaurants, as well as enjoy a walk or bike ride to work.”

More “Did you know?” Geneva Info from Steve:

 

Š       Fountain Park on Main Street was once the town square and the center of commerce in Geneva, which had the Geneva Hotel as well as the post office and a municipal parking lot.

Š       The Presbyterian Church was the “gathering place” of the community – the local medical college used it for its graduation ceremonies.

Š       William Smith, of the Smith Brothers, is related to the nursery industry, which was prominent in the early 20th Century through WW II, endowed the local college (William Smith College) in 1912.

Š       Hobart College was originally Geneva Academy, once an all-in-one school located near Fountain Park on Main Street, then it became Geneva College it was an Episcopal School and later was named after Bishop Henry Hobart.

Š       Arthur Dove (1880-1946), credited by many to be the first abstract painter, attended Hobart College and then Cornell. He was an illustrator for magazines, lived in Europe and was involved in the post-impressionist movement in the global arts community. Dove was also an inventor. He lived in Geneva for about 5 years during his adulthood.

Š       The Smith Opera House was rebuilt in 1929 as a movie theater and today hosts many concerts and recitals – many sponsored by Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Only the faćade is original – notice the medallions have the faces of William Shakespeare and Edwin Booth. Booth was the most highly-regarded stage actor of his time, and brother of infamous John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated President Lincoln.

 

Special thanks to Steve O’Malley, The Chapman House B&B, 562 South Main St., Geneva, NY 14456, 315-521-3253. During your interview, we invite you to consider staying with Steve at The Chapman House – let us know this is your preference when we are scheduling your visit!

 

Below is more about Geneva!




The Seneca Indians:

The first known permanent inhabitants of our area were the Seneca Indians in the 1600s, who were part of six nations in the Iroquois confederacy – the Iroquois controlled land and commerce west of the colonies. The first contact with the Seneca by the western world was made by the French. In fact, Geneva was originally known by its Seneca Indian name of Kanadesaga. While many native populations resisted the west, the Seneca were a nation known to adopt the rituals of others, including western ways of life, including learning the English language.

The Seneca remained in what is today Geneva until September 7, 1779, according to an historical marker on Preemption Road, which is on the west side of town (While exact population figures are unknown, approximately 15,000 to 25,000 Seneca live in Canada, in Ontario, who are descendants of Seneca who were resettled there as allies of the British after the American Revolution. Nearly 30,000 Seneca live in the United States, primarily around the Buffalo area and in Oklahoma.

The Seneca sided with the British during the French and Indian War and our region became a strongpoint after being fortified by the British against the French and later against the Americans (the Seneca also sided with the British against the Colonial Army in the American Revolution).

The Sullivan Expedition of 1779 resulted in the destruction of Kanadesaga. Dispatched by George Washington, it was led by Major General John Sullivan and Brigadier General James Clinton against Loyalists (“Tories”) and the Iroquois Indians and their native allies. The expedition occurred during the summer of 1779, beginning June 18 when the army marched from Easton, Pennsylvania, to October 3 when it abandoned Fort Sullivan to return to New Jersey, and only had one major battle in which about 1,000 Iroquois and Loyalists were decisively defeated by an army of 3,200 Continental soldiers. Sullivan's army methodically destroyed at least forty Iroquois and Seneca villages throughout the Finger Lakes region to put an end to Iroquois and Loyalist attacks against American settlements as had occurred the previous year. The devastation created great hardships for the thousands of Iroquois refugees outside Fort Niagara that winter, and many starved or froze to death. The survivors fled to British regions in Canada and the Buffalo areas.

Many of the soldiers of the Sullivan Expedition were from Pennsylvania and Massachusetts – they saw the rich farmland and how the Iroquois had farmed large bounties – a community to our south, called Penn-Yann, is from the term “Pennsylvania Yankees” who settled into our area (and others came from Connecticut and Massachusetts). These were the first non-native inhabitants of our area.

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A Seneca Long House

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A monument to the Sullivan expedition showing its route of destruction

Cornplanter was a Seneca war-chief. He also carried the name John Abeel after his Dutch fur trader father. After the Sullivan expedition, he became a negotiator in disputes between the new "Americans" and the Seneca as well as other indigenous tribes, even participating in meetings with both Presidents Washington and Jefferson.

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Red Jacket was a Seneca Tribal Commander who lent support to the British during the Revolutionary War. After the war, he became a principal spokesman for the Seneca people. He was present at treaty negotiations in 1794 and 1797 in which major portions of Seneca land in upstate New York were ceded or partitioned into smaller reservations. During this era, Red Jacket also became an outspoken opponent of Christianity and an advocate for preserving traditional Iroquois beliefs. His efforts to protect traditional beliefs culminated in the temporary expulsion of all Christian missionaries from Seneca territory in 1824. Red Jacket is immortalized in a now-famous painting by Charles Bird King. In this historical painting, Red Jacket is depicted with a large, silver medal that was given to him in 1792 by President George Washington during a diplomatic visit to the then U.S. capital at New York City.


More on the Seneca Indians:

The Seneca traditionally lived in what is now New York between the Genesee River and Canandaigua Lake to Geneva’s immediate west. Some recent archaeological evidence indicates their territory extended to the Allegheny River in northwestern Pennsylvania. The Seneca numbered 4,000 by 1600.

While the Seneca maintained substantial permanent settlements and raised agricultural crops in the vicinity of their villages, they also hunted widely through extensive areas and prosecuted far-reaching military campaigns. The Seneca had two branches; the western and the eastern. Each branch distinct, they were individually incorporated and recognized by the Iroquois Confederacy Council. The western Senecas existed predominately in and around the Genesee River, gradually moving west and southwest into Erie and Niagara then south into Allegheny and Pennsylvania. The eastern Senecas existed predominantly south of Seneca Lake in and around current-day Corning. They moved south and east into Pennsylvania and the western Catskill area.

Seneca people lived in villages and towns and many Seneca adopted customs of their immediate American neighbors by building log cabins practicing Christianity and participating in the local agricultural economy. Traditionally, the Seneca Nation economy was based on hunting and gathering activities, fishing and the cultivation of corn, beans, and squash. These vegetables were the staple of their diet and were called “the three sisters.” Seneca women generally grew and harvested them, as well as gathered medicinal plants, roots, berries, nuts, and fruit.

Š       Seneca women held sole ownership of all the land and the homes, thus the women also tended to any domesticated animals like dogs and turkeys. Women were in charge of the kinship groups called clans. The woman in charge of a clan was called the "clan mother". Despite the prominent position of women in Iroquois society, their influence on the diplomacy of the nation was limited. If the "clan mothers" didn't agree with any major decisions made by the chiefs, they could in fact eventually depose them.
Š       Seneca men were generally in charge of locating and developing the town sites, including clearing the forest for the production of fields. Seneca men also spent a great deal of time hunting and fishing. This activity took them away from the towns or villages to well-known and productive hunting and fishing grounds for extended amounts of time. Seneca men maintained the traditional title of War Sachems. A Seneca war sachem was in charge of gathering the warriors and leading them into battle.

The Seneca Nation reaches its height:

In 1609 the French allied with the Huron and set out to destroy the Iroquois. The Iroquois-Huron war raged until approximately 1650. The Iroquois Confederacy of nations, which included the Seneca, however, grew in power and determined to unify all Iroquois speaking people while vanquishing all enemies. By the winter of 1648 the Confederacy, lead by the Seneca, fought deep into Canada and defeated Huron, who pledged allegiance to the Seneca and were subjugated.

The Confederacy began a near 35 year period of conquest over all of its surrounding tribes following the defeat of its most powerful enemy, the Huron. In 1675 the Seneca extended the Confederacy’s hegemony from Canada to Ohio, deep into Pennsylvania and the Mohawk Valley and lower Hudson in the east while seeking peace with the New England Mohegan.

Seneca power remained great and far reaching at the beginning of the 1700s. Gradually, the Seneca began to ally themselves with the British and Dutch against France’s ambitions in the new world. By 1760, the British, with the help of the Seneca, captured Fort Niagara from the French. This same year Quebec fell as did France’s ambitions in the new world. The Senecas experienced relative peace from 1760 to 1775. When war finally broke out between the British and the colonists, the Seneca attempted to remain neutral. Neutrality was futile when the in the process of routing the British at Fort Stanwix the colonists slaughtered many Seneca onlookers.

In order to neutralize the Confederacy, General Washington sent an expedition of 3000 to 5000 men under the command of General Sullivan up the very waterways and paths used by the Seneca to expand its hegemony. Sullivan’s expedition drove straight up the Susquehanna to Elmira, pushing the mighty Seneca to defeat at Fort Niagara. From this point on, the nation settled in new villages along Buffalo creek, Tonawanda creek, and Cattaraugus creek in western New York. These settlements eventually became the nation’s reservations as part of the Treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1784.

Through history, like all native nations, the Seneca have been reduced and relocated through a series of treaties they were likely forced to endorse by the government. Today, while it is not known exactly how many Seneca there are, approximately ten thousand Seneca live near Lake Erie. About 7,800 people are citizens of the Seneca Nation of Indians. These enrolled members live or work on five reservations in New York. Another 1,200 or more people are citizens of the Tonawanda Band of Seneca Indians and live near Akron, NY. Other Seneca are members of the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma, who live near Miami, OK. As many as 25,000 Seneca are citizens reside on the Grand River Territory near Brantford, Ontario, Canada.


Geneva in its earliest years:

Around 1793 the Pulteney Association, led by speculator Sir William Pulteney, began to “carve out civilization” after purchasing a large portion of the Western NY land tract known as the Phelps and Gorham Purchase (more than 2 million acres) – In 1790, after the original purchasers could not pay a second installment for the land, the state resold that right to Robert Morris, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a financier of the Revolution, and the wealthiest man in the United States. In 1792 Morris’s London-based agent, William Temple Franklin, grandson of Benjamin Franklin, sold 12 million acres of the Phelps Gorham tract, called the “Genesee Tract,” which is today includes our Ontario County. After Sir William's death in 1805, it was known as the Pulteney Estate.

1796 was a big year in early Geneva history: the Geneva Academy (forerunner of Hobart College) was founded, the Geneva Hotel opened, the Geneva post office was established, the Ontario Gazette, a newspaper which served all of western New York began printing, and the sloop "Alexander," carrying commercial trade on Seneca Lake, was launched. Although plotted on the map of 1793, Main street, on the hill, was not laid out and regulated until 1796, and it was the intention of Charles Williamson, a prominent surveyor who initiated the building of roads, schools and the first boat sloops for trade on the Hudson River that no buildings should ever be erected on the east side of the street, thus perpetuating a free and unobstructed view of the lake. The house at the south end of Main Street, known as the Mile Point House, cost $4,228.84. The "Village of Geneva" was incorporated in 1806, 1812, and 1871, formally separating it from the surrounding area of Geneva Town. Later the village became a city.

Š       The Geneva Hotel, above mentioned, was an institution of more than ordinary importance. Its construction began in the spring and was finished in the fall. It fronted on the large open park and was in all respects an imposing building, and one the reputation of which extended throughout the State, and was maintained for more than half a century. Its first landlord was Thomas Powell, whom Captain Williamson selected, contributed much to its early success. At this hotel was a general rendezvous for the stage lines and wagons carrying merchandise from the east to the west. It was also a famous resort for all travelers, and many public officers have found entertainment and rest within its comfortable walls. The cost of the building was $9,577.39.

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Main Street and its row houses offer stunning views of Seneca from their back yards – this was once the
main area of commerce and where the Geneva Hotel, the post office, and the First Presbyterian Church (the first town hall structure as well as house of worship), and the college, are located

On the 4th of April, 1806, the Legislature of the State passed an act "to vest certain powers and privileges in the freeholders and inhabitants of the 'village of Geneva,' in the county of Ontario," which act was the first authoritative recognition of the existence of a village of that name, and here, ordinarily, the history of the body corporate and politic would naturally begin. However, as early as the year 1788 the village of Geneva had a distinct and positive existence, and the name by which it is now known was then in use, first applied during that year, and, it is supposed, so given in allusion to Geneva, a municipality in Switzerland. Williamson, struck with the peculiar beauty of the elevated plain which crowns the high bank of the lake, and the many advantages which it possessed as a site for a town, began here to lay out his building lots parallel with and facing the lake. Ten years of Captain Williamson's efforts increased Geneva to a population of 325 in 1806, there being then thirty-five houses.

Š       Geneva was the most important settlement in the area. By comparison, Syracuse, known until 1809 as Bogardus Corners, was an insignificant hamlet, and Rochester wasn't settled until 1810. The population of Geneva (300 people in 1800) increased to almost 3,000 by 1826. This was largely due to Geneva's importance as a trading center.

Geneva's early economy was largely based on agriculture. Farm produce was often shipped in the form of whiskey or brandy. There were 13 distilleries in Geneva prior to 1830, due largely to the lack of water power for the establishment of flour mills.

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Pulteney Park and the row houses on Main Street are “must sees” for visitors of Geneva


The Erie Canal boosts commerce:

The opening of water routes to New York City in the early 1820's ended the large-scale distilling industry in Geneva, as farmers could ship their fruit and grains directly to market.

The Erie Canal connecting Albany to Buffalo opened in 1825. Towns along the canal route grew more rapidly than the off-canal settlements such as Geneva. For example, in the decade 1820-1830, Geneva's population increased 100 percent, but the populations of Utica, Syracuse, Buffalo, and Rochester increased by 183, 282, 314, and 512 percent respectively.

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This poster tells the citizens of Geneva about plans for celebrating the opening of the Erie Canal. Towns all along the length of the new Canal designed special festivities to mark the occasion.
On right is an Erie Canal bridge in nearby Fairport.

The Erie Canal created a water route from the Great Lakes to the Hudson River and New York Harbor. The Cayuga-Seneca Canal was completed a few years later, and Geneva soon joined the prosperity of the canal trade. During this time, agriculture was Geneva’s primary industry. The transportation of agricultural products heightened when the canal system became fully operable.

Clearly, the opening of the Erie Canal, much like later Railroads and today’s Interstates, grew population centers along its route, and it was the biggest contributor to populating the west.

Rail transportation came to Geneva in the 1840s. New industries arose in the commercial district and others expanded. Retail establishments were built along Seneca, Castle, and Exchange Streets, and this area became known as “the bottom lands.” Residences and cultural, educational, and religious institutions remained on the hill above the commercial district.

The first railroad in Geneva was the Auburn & Rochester. It was incorporated in 1836 and finished in 1841. It ran from Auburn through Seneca Falls, Waterloo, Geneva, Vienna (now called Phelps), Manchester, Canandaigua, and Victor to Rochester. The original estimate for building the Auburn and Rochester had been just about $1.5 million. By 1848 the actual cost amounted to just over $2.5 million. By 1843 10 such railroads connected with each other and Genevans could travel west to Buffalo and Niagara Falls and east to Albany.

In 1850 the Auburn and Rochester consolidated with the Auburn and Syracuse Railroad to become the Syracuse and Rochester Railroad. In 1853, all the roads connecting Albany to Buffalo were consolidated into the New York Central Railroad.

The early 1890s also saw the organization of three trolley lines: The Geneva Surface Railway Company, incorporated in 1891; The Geneva & Waterloo Railway Company, incorporated in 1893; and The Waterloo, Seneca Falls, & Cayuga Lake Railway, incorporated in 1894. The organization of these three companies was the first step in linking Geneva, Waterloo, and Seneca Falls with an electric railway.
The Geneva & Waterloo was the only one of the three to operate. It was controlled by the Brush Electric Company of Cleveland, Ohio which also operated the electric utility in Geneva, called the Geneva Brush Electric Light and Power Company. Located at 547 Exchange St., this company became the source of power for the Geneva & Waterloo Railway.


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Š       Geneva has a long academic tradition. In 1825, the Geneva Academy attained state accreditation and became Geneva College. In 1834, a Medical College was established, from which Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female medical doctor in America, was graduated in 1849. The Medical College moved to Syracuse and became part of Syracuse University in 1872. Geneva College was renamed Hobart Free College in 1852 and Hobart College in 1860. The State purchased the Nehemiah Denton farm for the establishment of an agricultural experiment station in 1882. The Station became part of Cornell University in 1923.


Geneva in Civil War & the 126th Infantry Regiment:

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The 126th Infantry Monument in Gettysburg, NY, and a book cover referencing Seneca Indians
who also fought in the Union Army

From Geneva Courier, April 24, 1861:

“Our village is fully aroused.  An impromptu meeting was held on Saturday evening at about 8 o'clock at Judge Folger's office on Seneca street.  No notice whatever was given; notwithstanding the offices of Mr. Folger and Schell and Hemiup were crammed full, and the sidewalk and street outside the building for some distance were crowded and lined with our best citizens.  No speeches were made; we are not much given to talking in Geneva, and on this occasion the feeling was too intense for utterance. At the meeting Wm. E. Sill, Esq., was appointed Chairman, Theodore E. Smith, Secretary.  A committee was appointed, consisting of Joseph L. Lewis, Chas. J. Folger, George Barkley, Anson Wheeler, and P. Prouty, Jr.  A subscription was then opened, and in less than an hour $2310 were subscribed to be applied mainly for the support of the families of volunteers.  No subscriptions were asked, but as each man voluntarily came forward and put down his name, an air of silent determination most expressive was observable; and no one doubted the willingness of each subscriber to put down the whole amount of his property, if need be, to sustain the Government, and to back it up with his arm.  The following is the subscriptions up to Wednesday morning: More than 400 men gave total of $7000 helped form the 126th Infantry.”

Mustered in: November 23,1861. Mustered out: June 27, 1865

17 officers, 259 enlisted men; aggregate, 276; of whom 30 enlisted men died in the hands of the enemy. This regiment, recruited in the counties of Ontario, Seneca and Yates, was organized at Geneva, and there mustered into the U. S. service for three years, Aug. 22, 1862. At the close of 1864, when it had become much reduced in numbers by reason of its hard service, it was consolidated into a battalion of five companies, A to E. The regiment took part in the following important battles: Siege of Harper's Ferry—including Maryland and Bolivar heights; Gettysburg, Auburn ford, Bristoe Station, Morton's ford, Wilderness, Po river, Spottsylvania, North Anna, Toto-potomy, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Weldon railroad, siege of Petersburg, Deep Bottom, Reams' station, Hatcher's run, and Sutherland Station, and was also present in the Mine Run campaign, at Strawberry Plains, Boydton Road, Farmville and Appomattox. Commanded by Col. Brown, it was mustered out at Washington, D. C, June 3, 1865. The total enrollment of the regiment during service was 1,036, of whom 16 officers and 138 men were killed and mortally wounded, or 14.7 per cent.; 1 officer and 121 men died of disease and other causes; total deaths, 17 officers and 259 men, 30 of whom died in the hands of the enemy. The total of killed and wounded in the regiment amounted to 535. The percentage of killed and mortally wounded at Gettysburg amounted to over 15, and the total casualties to 57.4 per cent.


Geneva on the move:

During the mid-19th century, the commercial base of Geneva expanded considerably. Services for the growing population were provided by shoe manufacturers, carriage makers, printers, bakeries, grocery stores, stocking weavers, millinery shops, and factories. During the post-Civil War era, Geneva continued to grow as an industrial center and soon became known for its production of optical equipment, boilers, and iron stoves. The tourism industry was also bustling, as visitors flocked to Geneva to enjoy mineral springs and many fine hotels.

Š       During the first five decades of the 20th century, business activity in the City flourished. Industrial development focused on the Seneca Lake waterfront and included boat works, malt houses, foundries, and grain processors. Geneva continued to benefit from the Cayuga-Seneca Canal and an extensive network of rail lines, making the City the center of business and trade in the Finger Lakes region.

As canal and rail transport industries declined, Geneva began to decline economically. But in the 1940s and 1950s this was partially offset by the commercial activity generated from the nearby Sampson Military Base. As many as 40,000 servicemen were housed at Sampson for training during World War II. This base became a major market for Geneva businesses and greatly supported economic growth in the downtown area. After World War II a portion of the base was converted to a state park.

There is still a Naval facility at Seneca Lake, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Sonar test facility, where a scale model of the sonar section of nuclear submarines were tested (remember Seneca Lake is the deepest of the Finger Lakes).

By 1990, Geneva’s economy had become service-oriented. Only 24 percent of Geneva employees worked in the services sector in 1950, but by 1990 this figure had risen to 46 percent. During the same time period, the share of employees in manufacturing dropped from 30 percent to 14 percent. Geneva’s top employers now include Finger Lakes Regional Health System, Hobart & William Smith Colleges, and the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station of Cornell University. However, many small businesses, hotels, school systems, county governments, and tourist/recreation-based businesses thrive, including Watkins Glen Raceway, which is a major racetrack, hosting multiple motorsports events including a NASCAR stop – often during these weekends travelers choose to stay in Geneva.

City officials have taken significant actions in recent years to stimulate economic growth and provide incentives for new business and industry. These actions have proven effective and many important goals have been achieved. The City scored a major victory in 1997 when Guardian Industries of Auburn Hills, Michigan, began construction of a $120 million glass plant in Geneva’s industrial park. The Guardian plant is featured in our Online Job Tour. Other victories have followed, and Geneva’s economic outlook appears bright. Although residents voted down a referendum to build commercial real estate and residences on the Seneca Lake waterfront, due primarily to the concern that it may lead to overbuilding and disrupt the view as well as access to the lake by public citizens, in 2009 the city announced a new boat museum would be built near that area instead. Geneva, once the Hub of the Finger Lakes, is again moving successfully forward.

Š       Prentice Hall recently named the City as one of The 100 Best Small Towns in America. It is just one of two communities in New York State to be listed in The Nationwide Guide to the Best in Small Town Living.


City of Geneva Landmarks: The following properties are listed on the Geneva Historic Register:

Baldridge House - 196 Genesee Street
Douglas-Blackwell House - William Smith
Federal Three-Bay House - 508 Washington Street
Thomas Folger House - 105 Jay Street
Geneva Women's Club - 336 S. Main Street
Greek Revival - 273 Washington Street
Greek Revival - 226 Washington Street
Greek Revival - 218 Washington Street
Greek Revival - 143 William Street
Greek Revival - 96 Pulteney Street
Greek Revival Revival - 92 Pulteney Street
Simpson House - 34 Elmwood Place
Former Smith Nursery Office - 580 Castle Street
Smith Observatory - Castle Street
Van Brunt-Foote House - 46 DeLancey Drive
Victorian Eclectic - 210 Washington Street

The following properties are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:

Ashcroft House - 112 Jay Street
Denton House/Parrott Hall - 643 North Street
Geneva Armory - 300 Main Street
Geneva Hall (Hobart) - S. Main Street
Lehigh Valley Railroad Station
Nestor House (Geneva on the Lake) - 1001 Lochland Road
Pulteney Land Office - 106 Washington Street
Smith Opera House - 82 Seneca Street
Trinity Hall - Hobart
U.S. Post Office - 67 Castle Street
William W. Wright House - 224 North Street


Unique History in Western New York:

ROCHESTER MUSEUM & SCIENCE CENTER— Monroe County, Rochester
(Regional Underground Railroad Interpretive Center)

THE HARRIET TUBMAN HOME—Cayuga County, Auburn, NY
The Harriet Tubman Home preserves the legacy of "The Moses of Her People" in the place where she lived and died in freedom. The site is located on 26 acres of land in Auburn, New York, and is owned and operated by the AME Zion Church. It includes four buildings, two of which were used by Harriet Tubman.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY HOUSE— Monroe County, Rochester
The Susan B. Anthony House shares the story of Susan B. Anthony's lifelong struggle to gain voting rights for women and equal rights for all. The organization keeps her vision and struggle alive by owning and protecting Anthony's National Historic Landmark home; collecting artifacts and research materials directly related to her life and work; and making these resources available to the public through tours, publications, the Internet and interpretive programs.

Best known for her tireless campaign for woman suffrage, Susan B. Anthony was also an ardent abolitionist. Tours of her historic home highlight Anthony's anti-slavery activities, including her friendship with Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison, and her work as an agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society.

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GENEVA HISTORICAL SOCIETY—Ontario County, Geneva
Through its collections, educational programs, historic properties, and collaborations, the Geneva Historical Society preserves and interprets the history and heritage of Geneva, New York and its environs. The collections encompass 30,000 photographic images as well as documents, furniture, decorative art, costumes, textiles, fine art, tools and equipment, and four historic properties: Rose Hill Mansion, Balmanno Cottage, the Johnston House, and a museum of the history of Geneva at the Prouty-Chew House.

Guided tours are available of Rose Hill, a restored 1839 Greek Revival mansion and National Historic Landmark. The property was named for Robert Selden Rose, a Virginian who immigrated to central New York in 1802 with his entire household, including slaves. These enslaved people were the nucleus of Geneva's early African-American community, one of the largest in the western half of the state prior to the building of the Erie Canal. In 1809, Rose erected a simple frame house, which later owners used as a carriage barn and which now serves as a visitor reception center. An exhibit in the visitor center tells the story of the Rose family and the African Americans they brought with them to New York.

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