kids encyclopedia robot

Geneseo (village), New York facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Geneseo, New York
The Bear Fountain sits in the center of Geneseo's Main Street. In this picture, it is decorated with flags for Memorial Day.
The Bear Fountain sits in the center of Geneseo's Main Street. In this picture, it is decorated with flags for Memorial Day.
Geneseo, New York is located in New York
Geneseo, New York
Geneseo, New York
Location in New York
Geneseo, New York is located in the United States
Geneseo, New York
Geneseo, New York
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  New York
County Livingston
Town Geneseo
Village incorporated 1832
 • Total 2.85 sq mi (7.38 km2)
 • Land 2.85 sq mi (7.38 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
909 ft (277 m)
 • Total 8,031
 • Estimate 
 • Density 2,850.12/sq mi (1,100.32/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 585 Exchanges: 243,245,991
FIPS code 36-28618
GNIS feature ID 0978991

Geneseo is a village in and the county seat of Livingston County in the Finger Lakes region of New York, United States, south of Rochester. The name "Geneseo" is an anglicization of the Iroquois name for the earlier Iroquois town there, Gen-nis-he-yo, which means "beautiful valley".

The village of Geneseo lies within the western part of the town of Geneseo at the junction of State Routes 39 and 63 with U.S. Route 20A. The village's population was 8,031 at the 2010 census, out of 10,483 in the town. The United States Department of the Interior designated part of the village—the Geneseo Historic District—a National Historic Landmark in 1991.


The town of Geneseo was established in 1789, prior to the formation of Livingston County. Settlement began shortly after the arrival of James and William Wadsworth in 1790. The brothers came to the Genesee Valley from Connecticut as agents of their uncle, Colonel Jeremiah Wadsworth, to care for and sell the land he had purchased. The Wadsworths were participants in the negotiations of the Treaty of Big Tree between Robert Morris and the Senecas at the site of Geneseo in 1797.

Geneseo, as well as nearby Mount Morris, were part of The Morris Reserve that Morris held back from his sale of much of western New York to the Holland Land Company.

The village of Geneseo became the county seat of Livingston County in 1821 and was incorporated in 1832. The State Normal School, now SUNY Geneseo, was opened in 1871. A portion of the village was designated a National Historic Landmark by the United States Department of the Interior in 1991.

By 1835 the village consisted of 83 families and the streets were Main, Second, North, South, Center and Temple Hill. The village grew steadily and in the 1850s Elm Street was opened. With the advent of the State Normal School in 1871, there was a new surge of development and Oak Street was opened in the late 1880s. The private Temple Hill Academy, part of which still stands on Temple Hill Road, educated Chester A. Arthur among others.

During the Civil War, Union soldiers trained at Camp Union, located at what is now the corner of Lima Road and Rorbach Lane. During World War II, a prisoner-of-war camp was built in Geneseo; it housed mostly Italian soldiers.

Present day

Doty Building at SUNY Geneseo
The Doty building, which was purchased and is being renovated for usage by SUNY Geneseo, was once Geneseo's high school.
Livingston County Courthouse
The Livingston County Courthouse and offices are located at the end of Main Street.
P-51D Mustang "Excalibur"
A P-51 Mustang at the 2007 Geneseo Airshow.
Conesus Lake Ring of Fire and fireworks 2
Conesus Lake during the 2006 Ring of Fire.

In its addition of Geneseo to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991, the National Park Service said,

One of the most remarkably preserved villages in northwestern New York, Geneseo is one of the best examples of "picturesque" architecture and town planning as expounded by American landscape architect Andrew Jackson Downing (1815−1852) in his enormously popular and influential books. The cohesive quality of the surviving town displays a textbook of styles and is almost unique in American architectural history. The relatively sophisticated and imposing structures included in the district reflect the village's early−19th century prosperity as a market place for the valley's farming communities.

The valley of the Genesee is wide and fertile, with some of the best agricultural land in New York, but it was very prone to flooding, and Geneseo suffered several bad floods until the United States Army Corps of Engineers' construction of the Mount Morris Dam upstream of the community in the 1950s. Agriculture is now a large contributor to Geneseo's economy. Geneseo is also used by many as a bedroom community for jobs in nearby Rochester. The village of Geneseo is governed by a mayor and four trustees.

The Association for the Preservation of Geneseo (APOG) is a civic organization dedicated to preserving, improving, and restoring the places of civic, architectural, and historic interest to Geneseo and to educate members of the community to their architectural and historical heritage. Additional aims and purposes are to encourage others to contribute their knowledge, advice, and financial assistance.

In July 2007, Money Magazine ranked Geneseo 10th of 25 on its places with the highest percentage of singles, with 65.1% of the 7500 inhabitants reported to be single.

In addition to the Geneseo Historic District, one individual building, The Homestead, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

One of the village's landmarks, a fountain in the middle of Main Street that was built in the 1880s, was destroyed when a tractor trailer crashed into it on April 7, 2016.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 2.79 square miles (7.22 km²), all land.

The Genesee River defines the western town line, and Conesus Lake defines the eastern town line. Interstate 390 and U.S. Route 20A pass through the town. New York State Route 39 and New York State Route 63 are two important north-south highways passing through the village, and New York State Route 256 is a north-south route along the shore of Conesus Lake.


Geneseo has a mild climate; summers typically bring temperatures between 60–80 °F (16–27 °C), while winters average 15–35 °F (−9–2 °C).

Climate data for Geneseo, New York
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 67
Average high °F (°C) 32
Average low °F (°C) 16
Record low °F (°C) −24
Average precipitation inches (mm) 1.57
Source: The Weather Channel


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 1,925
1890 2,286 18.8%
1900 2,400 5.0%
1910 2,067 −13.9%
1920 2,157 4.4%
1930 2,261 4.8%
1940 2,144 −5.2%
1950 2,838 32.4%
1960 3,284 15.7%
1970 5,714 74.0%
1980 6,746 18.1%
1990 7,187 6.5%
2000 7,579 5.5%
2010 8,031 6.0%
2019 (est.) 8,120 1.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
Sturges Hall at SUNY Geneseo
Sturges Hall is SUNY Geneseo's landmark building.

As of the census of 2000, there were 7,579 people, 1,718 households, and 730 families residing in the village. The population density was 2,718.3 people per square mile (1,049.5/km2). There were 1,780 housing units at an average density of 638.4 per sq mi (246.5 per km2). The racial makeup of the village was 92.7% White, 1.8% African American, 0.1% Native American, 3.3% Asian, 0.9% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.6% of the population.

There were 1,718 households, out of which 19.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.8% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 57.5% were non-families. 28.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the village, the population was spread out, with 8.6% under the age of 18, 63.5% from 18 to 24, 10.9% from 25 to 44, 9.3% from 45 to 64, and 7.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 21.1 years. For every 100 females, there were 65.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 62.5 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $30,438, and the median income for a family was $59,500. Males had a median income of $40,915 versus $26,382 for females. The per capita income for the village was $12,239. About 14.1% of families and 41.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.4% of those under the age of 18 and 7.0% ages 65 or older.

Popular Culture

"Person of Interest" TV Series (2011-2016) featured a three-second clip of Geneseo's historic Main Street. The clip aired in the 21st episode of Season 1, entitled "Many Happy Returns." It originally aired on May 3, 2012.


The Geneseo Central School District encompasses Geneseo and Groveland, and consists of Geneseo Central School, which graduates approximately 75 students each year.

The school mascot is the Blue Devils and wear blue and white, with a gray accent color. Past accent colors included red and black.

The school was located on Temple Hill from about 1830 to 1871 when it moved to Center Street. In 1933 it moved to its own building on School Street and in 1963 added a wing. In 1974 it moved into a new building at its present location on Avon Road.

The State University of New York at Geneseo has approximately 5,000 undergraduate students. It is a four-year public liberal arts college, which is one of the top SUNY schools.

Notable people

  • Philo C. Fuller, US congressman
  • Gregg "Opie" Hughes, radio talk show host
  • William H. Kelsey, US congressman
  • James S. Wadsworth, Union general in the American Civil War
  • James Wolcott Wadsworth Jr., US congressman
  • Orange Jacobs, American judge
kids search engine
Geneseo (village), New York Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.