Photo: South Main Street, Geneva; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva,_New_York, accessed January 2010, public domain.
Settled some time before 1800 when the land began to be developed by a group of investors known as the Pulteney Associates. The land had been previously owned as part of the Phelps and Gorham purchase and was reclaimed by the State when that organization encountered financial difficulties. It was purchased from the State by Robert Morris (who was at the time the richest man in America). It was from Morris from whom the Pulteney Group purchased the land and began developing the location.
Incorporated in 1806 as a village, Geneva's fortunes accelerated in 1828 when the Cayuga-Seneca Canal was completed, connecting the city to the Erie Canal. The canal connected the Erie canal at Montezuma with Cayuga Lake at East Cayuga, and Seneca Lake at Geneva.