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About the Society

The New Society of the Genesee is a group of friends who enjoy conversing about the history of Lake Ontario, the region of the Finger Lakes, and the valleys of the Genesee, Conhocton, Canisteo, Tioga, Chemung and Susquehanna Rivers.

Members of the Society meet occasionally, six or more times a year, at area places of historic interest in the Genesee and Finger Lakes regions of western New York. The original Society of the Genesee was founded in 1897 by Louis Wiley who had been a newspaperman in Rochester and became the editor of the New York Times. It consisted of descendants of pioneer families of the Genesee Valley.

The New Society grew from occasional luncheon gatherings held by contributors of articles and stories to The Crooked Lake Review. These writers wanted to talk with other writers about their interests. The first meetings were at the Avon Inn. Soon meetings were in various eating places and in member's homes. Later, group visits to museums and historical sites were arranged.

To overcome the sometimes awkwardness of not having an identifying name, Donovan Shilling, who had been researching the history of the Society of the Genesee, suggested that our group adopt the name of the now abandoned society and distinguish ourselves as the New Society of the Genesee. His proposal was accepted.

There is no formal organization—no by-laws, dues or officers. Members of the Society are the people who come frequently, or occasionally, to the meetings held six to eight times a year on Saturdays. Meeting places and dates are chosen by the people who attend an announced February luncheon meeting. All suggestions are considered and the group chooses a schedule which is then listed on this web site.

For more information about the original society,
read Donovan Shilling's article, Society of the Genesee
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