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What is the Genesee Country?
In the late 1700s, the first European settlers in western New York referred to
The Genesee Country as including everything west of the so-called "pre-emption
line." This north-south line started at Sodus on Lake Ontario and ran south
through Seneca Lake and on to the Pennsylvania border. The dominant Native American
tribe in the area were the Seneca Indians, who styled themselves as the "Keepers
of the Western Door" of the Iroquois
Over the years, many people forgot about the old definitions and began to think
of the Genesee Country as solely the area adjacent to the Genesee River which
starts in Gold, Pa. and runs north to Lake Ontario. The river cut the beautiful
gorges of Letchworth
State Park, "the Grand Canyon of the East", meanders across the
broad lower Genesee Valley and powered the early mills of Rochester "the
In 1993, with the debut of Genesee Country Magazine, "The Magazine of the
Western Door" the concept of the Genesee Country began to grow again. While
our first issue concentrated on the 10 counties bordering the Genesee Valley,
reader interest soon encouraged us to expand our coverage to the 17 county area
For our editorial purposes, we define the Genesee Country today as most of the
following counties: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Erie, Genesee,
Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Ontario, Orleans, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne,
Wyoming and Yates. For tourism
information about this region, see our online Western New York Travel Guide.