The Village of Geneseo overlooks a large valley that was created by the Genesee River. The local residents refer to it as Sunshine Valley with its great Summers and mild Winters.
The valley was first discovered and settled by the Seneca Indians who named the land jo-nis-hi-yu meaning beautiful valley.
In 1790, two brothers bought tens of thousands of acres from the Seneca with a dream of creating an agricultural footprint on the land. The two brothers were William and James Wadsworth, the founders of Geneseo. The Wadsworth brothers quickly began bringing in tradesman to help provide the services required for a growing town. William built a large estate on the south end of present day Main Street. "The Homestead", as it was called still stands today behind its original cobblestone wall that welcomes every visitor to the town. On the North end of Main Street. James built his estate and family home. This home is still occupied by his descendents.
While preparing the land for their agricultural industry, the Wadsworth's were amazed with its many giant oak trees. The trees can still be found today due to the Wadsworth's personal preservation of them. All land agreements today contain a clause that they not be harmed.
Education is a big part of Geneseo with SUNY (State University of New York) Geneseo located in the Village. James Wadsworth was a strong advocate for public education and had a vision for a great school in Geneseo. The Wadsworth Normal School at Geneseo was chartered by the New York State Legislature in 1871 with 91 students. This was the beginning of what is now SUNY Geneseo with over 5,000 students.
The historic village of Geneseo is still a thriving area full of large Victorian homes and a cozy Main Street occupied by a variety of locally owned shops.
Every evening the sun can be admired as it sets over the beautiful Genesee Valley, just as it was by its original inhabitants over 300 years ago.
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