Short History of Geneva, New York

Standing on the ancestral lands of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Geneva appears to have received its present-day name by the late 1780s, with a population that fluctuated between three and six permanent family dwellings. In 1793 roads were laid out for what had become a growing settlement, establishing streets that overlooked the lake and away from “swampy” areas. Geneva became a village in 1806, although incorporation papers were not made official until 1812. With its steady growth, village leaders began looking to change its charter in the 1890s. By a vote of 475-302, citizens passed a charter to make Geneva a city in 1897. The state legislation approved the charter later that year, and, on January 1, 1898, this community officially became the City of Geneva, New York.  For an extended version, visit