Aurora, New York – WorldAtlas

Aurora is a small village of less than a thousand people located in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. Originally inhabited by Native Americans from the Cayuga Nation, Aurora became home to some veterans of the American Revolutionary War in the late 18th century. During the 19th century, several educational establishments were founded in the village. In fact, today Aurora is truly a college town filled with students during the school year. Notable attractions in the village include a historic mill, a century-old family farm, and an inn originally built by one of the The New York Times’ founders.

Aurora geography

Aerial view of Cayuga Lake, a Finger Lake in Aurora on its eastern shores.

Aurora is located on the east shore of Cayuga Lake, one of the lakes in the Finger Lakes region in New York State. South of the village is Long Point State Park. Union Springs, another community on the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake, is located approximately 12 km north of Aurora. Two small rivers, Little Creek and Paines Creek are located at the southern end of Aurora. The village has an area of ​​2.38 km².

Aurora Demographics

As of 2020, Aurora’s population was 668. About 80% of the village’s population is white, the vast majority of whom are non-Hispanic. Non-white Hispanics make up about 11% of the village’s residents, while African Americans make up 3.78%. Over 83% of Aurora’s residents speak only English and 11.4% speak Spanish. More than 94% of the people in the village were born in the United States, while almost 54% were born in Aurora. The majority of the foreign-born population (around 72.2%) is from Latin America. The above figures are for Aurora’s permanent population. However, almost half of the village’s population is made up of students who attend Wells College during the school year.

Aurora Economy

The average household income in Aurora is $ 92,799. The village has a low poverty rate of only 1.68%. The largest industry in terms of number of employees is education services. Wells College is a major employer in the village. The other most important industries are accommodation and food services and retail trade.

Aurora story

New York Aurora
Aurora Village in New York. Image Credit: Timothy Valentine / Flikr.

The area in which Aurora is now located is the traditional territory of the Cayuga people, one of the six nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, otherwise known as the Iroquois. The topography of Aurora Bay led these Native Americans to plant peach and apple orchards at the current site of the village. The Cayuga also established a small village called Chonodote (literally “Peachtown”) nearby. In 1779, American troops destroyed Chonodote and its 1,500 peach orchard during the American Revolutionary War. The people of Cayuga fled north to Fort Niagara. After the war, the Cayuga were given a reserve that included part of the current Aurora, but by that time they were widely dispersed. Their lands were sold pursuant to treaties which are still in dispute today.

European colonization of what is now Aurora began in 1789, encouraged by land grants to veterans of the War of Independence. The present village was originally designated as Lot 34 of the Military Tract. Those who settled there came from New England and Pennsylvania. The settlers took advantage of the region’s unique climate and its ideal lands. Sailing on Cayuga Lake has also become important to the local economy.

At the time of its founding, Aurora was called Scipio. Its name was changed to Aurora in 1795, and it was incorporated with this name in 1837. After the construction of the Erie Canal, Aurora became a bustling transport site for wool, grain, fruit and pigs, transported from town to Erie Canal. then to national and global markets.

In the 19th century, academies and seminars were established in Aurora. One of them was the Cayuga Lake Academy. Founded in 1797, the school has produced many distinguished graduates, including US President Millard Fillmore. In 1945, the school was destroyed in a fire and not rebuilt. In 1868, Henry Wells of the Wells Fargo Express Company founded Wells College, which was originally a college for women, although it became co-ed in 2005. 2005 was also the year of the signing of the SHARE farm (Strengthening Haudenosaunee-American Relations Through Education). to the Cayuga Nation of New York by US citizens, who had purchased and developed the 70-acre (280,000 square meter) farm in Aurora. This land is the first substantial property the Cayuga Nation has owned since they were forced to cede their land after the War of Independence. Today, the entire village of Aurora is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Attractions in and around Aurora

Long Point State Park at the edge of Cayuga Lake, New York.
Long Point State Park at the edge of Cayuga Lake, New York.

Historic attractions in and around Aurora include the Aurora Steam Grist Flour Mill and Mosher Farmstead, which, like the village itself, is also listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places. The Aurora Steam Grist Mill was a three-and-a-half-story stone building located on the shore of Cayuga Lake. It was one of the first mills built west of the Hudson River, powered by steam. Mosher Farm was established in 1887 when EW Mosher purchased the land on which it sits. It remains the property of the Mosher family to this day. This is a typical farmhouse from the late 18th to early 19th century, and many of its buildings are still intact.

Visitors to Aurora can stay at any of Aurora’s hostels, which are made up of five distinct properties, each with its own unique character. One of these properties is the original Aurora Inn, built in 1833 by Colonel EB Morgan, a native of Aurora and co-founder of The New York Times. In 1943, the inn became the property of Wells College. It was used twice as a dormitory for college students, first in 1888 when a fire destroyed the main college building, and again in the 1960s when additional dormitory space was needed due to a dramatic increase in the number of students. In 2000, the Aurora Inn was closed to allow for a complete renovation. It was completely restored and reopened in 2003.

Two other notable attractions in and around Aurora are Long Point State Park and MacKenzie Childs. The former serves as a local destination for swimming, picnicking, fishing and hunting. The latter is located in a Victorian farmhouse, where designers and artisans create colorful hand-made ceramics, glazes, glassware, furniture and home accessories.

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