Batavia (city), New York

Batavia (city), New York

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Batavia, New York
settlement_type = City
nickname = "1802 Birthplace of Western New York"
motto = The Right Place. The Right Time.

imagesize =
image_caption =



pushpin_label_position =
pushpin_map_caption =Location within the state of New York
pushpin_mapsize =

mapsize =
map_caption =

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_name1 = New York
subdivision_name2 = Genesee
government_type =
leader_title = City Manager
leader_name = Jason Molino
unit_pref = Imperial
area_footnotes =
established_date =
area_magnitude =
area_total_sq_mi = 5.2
area_land_sq_mi = 5.2
area_water_sq_mi = 0.1
area_water_percent = 1.14
area_total_km2 = 13.6
area_land_km2 = 13.4
area_water_km2 = 0.2
elevation_m = 272
elevation_ft = 892
latd = 42 |latm = 59 |lats = 55 |latNS = N
longd = 78 |longm = 11 |longs = 3 |longEW = W
population_as_of = 2006
population_note =
population_total = 16,256
population_metro =
population_density_km2 = 1195
population_density_sq_mi = 3126
timezone = EST
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
postal_code = 14020
postal_code_type = ZIP code
area_code = 585
area_code_type =
latitude = 42°59'55" N
longitude = 78°11'03" W
website = [ Batavia NY]
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 36-04715
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0943150
footnotes =

Batavia is a city in Genesee County, Western New York, USA, located near the middle of Genesee County, entirely within the Town of Batavia. Its population as of the 2000 census was 16,256. The name "Batavia" is Latin for the Betuwe region of the Netherlands, and honors early Dutch land developers. [ Genesee County webpage] ]

The city hosts the Batavia Muckdogs baseball club of the New York-Penn League. In 2006, a national magazine ranked Batavia third among the nation’s micropolitans based on economic development. [cite web | url = | date = 2006-03-03 | last = Deckert| first = Andrea| title = Batavia development efforts spotlighted. | publisher = Rochester Business Journal | accessdate = 2007-01-09]

The New York State Thruway (Interstate 90) passes north of the city. Genesee County Airport (GVQ) is also located north of the city.



The Holland Land Company

The current City of Batavia was an early settlement in what is today called "Genesee Country", the farthest western region of New York State, comprising the Genesee Valley and westward to the Niagara River, Lake Erie and the Pennsylvania line. The area was purchased in 1792 by the Holland Land Company, a consortium of Dutch bankers. The 3.5 million acre (14,000 km²) territory, purchased from Robert Morris, a prominent Revolutionary banker, was known as "The Holland Purchase".

Batavia, the name the Dutch gave the city is a poetic name for the Netherlands. It comes from The Batavian Republic, which was a short-lived republic in the Netherlands at the turn of the nineteenth century, itself named after the Batavii tribe that lived there in Roman times.

One of the provisions of the sale was that Morris had to settle the Indian title to the land, so he arranged for his son Thomas Morris to negotiate with the Iroquois at Geneseo, New York in 1797. About 3,000 Iroquois, mostly Senecas, arrived for the negotiation. Seneca chief and orator Red Jacket was adamantly against the sale, but his influence was thwarted by freely distributed liquor and trinkets given to the women. In the end he acquiesced and signed the "Treaty of Big Tree", in which the tribe sold their rights to the land except for a small portion for $100,000. Mary Jemison, known as "The White Woman of the Genesee", who had been captured in a raid and married her Seneca captor, proved to be an able negotiator for the tribe and helped win more favorable terms for them.

In the negotiations Horatio Jones was the translator and William Wadsworth provided his unfinished home. The land was then surveyed under the supervision of Joseph Ellicott, a monumental task of the biggest land survey ever attempted to that time.

In 1801 Ellicott, as agent for the company, established a land office in Batavia and the entire purchase was named Genesee County in 1802, with Batavia as the county seat. The company sold off the purchase until 1846, when the company was dissolved. The phrase "doing a land office business", which denotes prosperity, dates from this era. The office still exists and is a museum today, designated a National Historic Landmark.

Joseph Ellicott lived in Batavia for many years although he thought Buffalo would grow to be larger. Batavia has a major street named after him (Ellicott Street and a smaller street, Ellicott Avenue), as well as a large monument in the heart of the city. Batavia was incorporated as a village in 1823.

The present counties of western New York were all laid out from the original Genesee County, and the modern Genesee County is but one of many. But the entire area as a region is still referred to as "Genesee Country". Thus, Batavia was the core from which the rest of western New York was opened for settlement and development.

The Masonic Scandal

A scandal erupted in Batavia in 1826, when William Morgan, a local n'er do well was offended by the local Masonic Lodge (Western Star Chapter R. A. M. No. 33 of Le Roy, New York), and threatened to expose the secrets of the lodge. He was arrested on a minor charge, then released when his charge was paid, into the company of several men, with whom he went, apparently unwillingly. It was developed later that the men were Masons, and they carried him to Fort Niagara, where he was held captive, and from whence he disappeared. Although the Masons claimed he was only bribed to cease publication and leave the area forever, public sentiment was that he was murdered. No conviction was ever obtained. His captors were only charged and convicted with his abduction.

The event roused tremendous public furor and anti-Mason sentiment ran high. Anti-Masonry was a factor in politics for many years later, as well as religion. Many Methodist Episcopal clergy had joined the Masons, and this was one of the reasons the Free Methodist Church separated.

The Advent of the Erie Canal

The Erie Canal in 1825 bypassed Batavia, going well to the north at Albion and Medina, enabling Buffalo and Rochester to grow much faster. With the sale of the western part of the state completed, Batavia became a small industrial city in the heart of an agricultural area. It became known for the manufacture of tractors, agricultural implements, sprayers and shoes. It also was a tool and die making center for industries in other areas.

The largest manufacturer, Johnston Harvester Company came into being in 1868. In 1910, the business was acquired by Massey-Harris Co. Ltd, and became a subsidiary of that Canadian company, founded by Daniel Massey in 1847.

Batavia grew rapidly in the early Twentieth century, receiving an influx of Polish and Italian immigrants. The City of Batavia was incorporated in 1915.

Recent history

In recent years much of the heavier industry left for other areas of the US, or abroad, and Batavia became part of what has become known as "The Rust Belt".

From 1985 to 1991, Batavian and journalist Terry A. Anderson was held captive in Lebanon by Hezbollah partisans, [cite web | url = | date = 2002-02-19 | last = Kiesewetter| first = John| title = Terry Anderson talks tough. | publisher = Cincinnati Enquirer| accessdate = 2007-04-06] and his sister, Peggy Say, became an ardent campaigner for his release.

The construction of the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility, a federal immigration detention center adjacent to the airport has provided more jobs in the area, as well as expansion of the airport itself, including lengthening the runway to accommodate larger aircraft in 2005. Inmates at the detention center have included terrorism suspects, such as Nabil Ahmed Farag Soliman, who embarked on a hunger strike in 1999 after two and a half years in federal detention. [cite web | url = | date = 2002-07-11 | title = SOLIMAN v US | publisher = US 11th Circuit Court of Appeals| accessdate = 2008-03-09] [cite web | url = | date = 2000-01-31 | last = Siegal| first = Nina| title = After two years in deportation fight, a hunger strike. | publisher = New York Times| accessdate = 2007-04-06]

Barber Conable, political leader and World Bank president was a former resident. [cite web | url = | date = 2003-12-02 | last = Saxon| first = Wolfgang| title = Barber B. Conable, 81, Congressman and Bank Chief, dies. | publisher = New York Times| accessdate = 2007-04-06]

Author John Gardner, a Batavia native, set his novel "The Sunlight Dialogues" (1972) in 1960s Batavia. Also a native is Bill Kauffman, a political writer and columnist, whose "Dispatches from the Muckdog Gazette" (2002) [cite web | url =,M1 | last = Kauffman| first = Bill| title = Dispatches from the Muckdog Gazette. | publisher = Macmillan| accessdate = 2008-03-09] is about the city. Author F. Scott Fitzgerald references Batavia in his novel, "Tender Is the Night" (1934), plus popular authors Stephen King and Peter Straub mention or set parts of their novel, "The Talisman" (1983), in the city.

Batavia is the hometown of renowned trumpet virtuoso and recording artist, although it should be noted that few people, including the actual residents of Batavia, New York, have ever heard of Joey Pero.Joey Pero.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.2 square miles (13.6 km²), of which, 5.2 square miles (13.4 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (1.14%) is water.

New York State Route 5 (east-west) intersects New York State Route 33, New York State Route 63, and New York State Route 98 in the city. The New York State Thruway is immediately north of Batavia.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 16,256 people, 6,457 households, and 3,867 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,133.9 people per square mile (1,209.3/km²). There were 6,924 housing units at an average density of 1,334.8/sq mi (515.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.23% White, 5.43% Black or African American, 0.48% Native American, 0.87% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.06% from other races, and 1.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.45% of the population.

There were 6,457 households out of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.5% were married couples living together, 13.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.1% were non-families. 33.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.4% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 18.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 93.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,484, and the median income for a family was $42,460. Males had a median income of $32,091 versus $23,289 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,737. About 10.2% of families and 12.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.5% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over.

Notable events

*The First Business Incubator in the United States, the Batavia Industrial Center, was started in Batavia. [ About Batavia - Did You Know] ]
*John Elway, quarterback of the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, hit his first professional home run at Dwyer Stadium while playing minor league baseball.
*In March 1926, over 1,000 people turned out to hear Helen Keller speak in the City.
*The first union Soldier to enlist in the Civil War was from Batavia.

ee also

* Town of Batavia
*Downtown Batavia, NY (Information on Batavia Business Improvement District - events, programs, properties etc.)


Downtown Batavia,NY (Information on the Batavia Business Improvement District - events, programs, properties etc.)

External links

* [ Batavia New York website]
* [ Early history of Batavia region]
* [ Batavia History Podcasts]
* [ Holland Land Office]
* [ Historic Batavia: A City Revealed (images and audio)]
* [ Photos of Batavia]

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