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The region was home to Native Americans belonging to the Seneca people of the Iroquois confederacy. The Senecas actually inhabited the area well into the 19th century and were removed only during a violent overtaking compelled by pioneer Samuel Brownstone, an infamous enemy of the Iroquois. The name for the lake was "Ga-ne-a-sos," which became the modern "Conesus," meaning "Berry Place."
The area, in which the town now nestles between Conesus and Hemlock Lakes, was first settled by Solomon Woodruff in 1789. The area is known for its vast amounts of berries. The town of Livonia was established in 1808 from the Town of Richmond (then the "Town of Pittstown" in Ontario County). In 1819, part of Livonia was taken to form the new Town of Conesus.
The creation of a railway line in the 1850s to Lakeville, now part of Livonia, increased business opportunities and travel through the region.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 41.0 square miles (106.2 km²), of which, 38.3 square miles (99.2 km²) of it is land and 2.7 square miles (7.0 km²) of it (6.61%) is water.
The east town line is the border of Ontario County, partly defined by Honeoye Creek. Most of Conesus Lake makes up the western part of town and Hemlock Lake is in the south part of the town, both lakes being part of the Finger Lakes.
U.S. Route 20A crosses the town in an east-west manner. New York State Route 15 and New York State Route 15A are important north-south highways.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,286 people, 2,693 households, and 1,992 families residing in the town. The population density was 190.3 people per square mile (73.5/km²). There were 3,004 housing units at an average density of 78.4 per square mile (30.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.75% White, 0.51% Black or African American, 0.32% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.10% from other races, and 0.97% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.81% of the population.
There were 2,693 households out of which 39.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.7% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.0% were non-families. 19.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.10.
In the town, the population was spread out with 29.4% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 30.9% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 9.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 97.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.1 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $51,197, and the median income for a family was $55,382. Males had a median income of $40,800 versus $30,578 for females. The per capita income for the town was $19,967. About 2.6% of families and 5.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.7% of those under age 18 and 3.5% of those age 65 or over.
Communities and locations in the Town of Livonia
- Bosley Corner – A hamlet east of Livonia village on US-20A at the intersection with NY-15A.
- Cedarcrest – A hamlet on Conesus Lake south of Tuxedo Park.
- Glenville – A hamlet in the southeast part of the town on NY-15A.
- Hartson Point – A lakeside hamlet on Conesus Lake near the south town line.
- Hemlock (formerly Hemlock Lake) – A hamlet (and census-designated place) in the southeast part of the town on NY-15A and US-20A. It was the rival of Jacksonville in the early 19th Century. The Hemlock Fairground was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.
- Jacksonville – A former community north of Hemlock, founded around 1823, but mostly abandoned by 1856 due to its distance from a railroad line.
- Lakeville – A hamlet (and census-designated place) in the northwest corner of the town at the north end of Conesus Lake.
- Livonia – The Village of Livonia on US-20A at the intersection of NY-15.
- Livonia Station – A former community west of Livonia village.
- Livonia Center – A hamlet (and census-designated place) east of Livonia village on US-20A.
- McPherson Cove – A hamlet on the shore of Conesus Lake, south of Old Orchard Point.
- McPherson Point – A hamlet on the shore of Conesus Lake, south of McPherson Cove.
- Old Orchard Point – A hamlet on the shore of Conesus Lake south of Cedarcrest.
- Sand Point – A hamlet Lakeville at the north end of Conesus Lake.
- South Livonia – A hamlet in the south part of the town on NY-15.
- Tuxedo Park – A lakeside hamlet on the east shore of Conesus Lake.
Livonia, New York Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.