County Information - Cayuga
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The earliest inhabitants of Cayuga County were Indians of the archaic period who lived along the shores of
Cayuga Lake. Carbon dating established the time of occupance for these people around 3500 B.C.
Archeological sites by Owasco Lake and along the Seneca River show the development of these early people
so that by 1,000 A.D. in the Woodland Period, people of the Owasco Focus had begun farming and
developed crops later copied by the Europeans.
After the revolution, Cayuga County was wholly within the military tract of western land set aside as bounty
payments for soldiers. Most other early settlements in Cayuga County were in the southeast area near Cayuga
Lake. When Cayuga County was set off from Onondaga in 1799, Aurora became the county seat. The county
seat was later moved to the more centrally located Auburn in 1805.
Auburn became the largest community in the state west of Utica in the early years, as it served as a junction
of the mayor turnpikes serving the westward settlers. The building of the Erie Canal led to the changes in
migration patterns from the south to the east and southeast. Montezuma, Port Byron and Weedsport owe their
growth to the canal.
Harriet Tubman, the famous leader of the abolition movement and the underground railroad settled in Auburn
and established a home for elderly black people there.
Auburn is the industrial center of Cayuga County with the production of shoes, carpets, rope, railroad
locomotives, air conditioners, and electronic components. When Auburn was chartered its population was
8,500, its population has leveled off now at 35,000, the county itself approaches 75,000.
Cayuga County has three state parks at Fillmore Glen, Fair Haven and Long Point on Cayuga Lake. The
County operates Emerson Park at the foot of Owasco Lake and the village of Union Springs has Frontenac
Park on its shoreline.
Cayuga County is located in the west central part of the state, in the Finger Lakes region. Owasco Lake is in
the center of the county, and Cayuga Lake forms part of the western boundary. Lake Ontario is on the northern
border, and Skaneateles Lake is at the eastern border. Cayuga County has more waterfront land than any other
county in the state not adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,237 km² (864 sq mi). 1,795 km² (693 sq
mi) of it is land and 441 km² (170 sq mi) of it (19.74%) is water.
* Oswego County, New York - northeast
* Onondaga County, New York - east
* Cortland County, New York - southeast
* Tompkins County, New York - south
* Seneca County, New York - west
* Wayne County, New York - west
As of the census² of 2000, there were 81,963 people, 30,558 households, and 20,840 families residing in the
county. The population density was 46/km² (118/sq mi). There were 35,477 housing units at an average
density of 20/km² (51/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 93.34% White, 3.99% Black or African
American, 0.31% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.88% from other races, and 1.03%
from two or more races. 1.97% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 30,558 households out of which 32.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them,
52.00% were married couples living together, 11.00% had a female householder with no husband present,
and 31.80% were non-families. 26.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.90% had
someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the
average family size was 3.04.
In the county the population was spread out with 25.10% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 29.70%
from 25 to 44, 22.60% from 45 to 64, and 14.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37
years. For every 100 females there were 102.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were
The median income for a household in the county was $37,487, and the median income for a family was
$44,973. Males had a median income of $33,356 versus $23,919 for females. The per capita income for the
county was $18,003. About 7.80% of families and 11.10% of the population were below the poverty line,
including 14.90% of those under age 18 and 8.20% of those age 65 or over.
Aurelius | Brutus | Cato | Conquest | Fleming | Genoa | Ira | Ledyard | Locke | Mentz | Montezuma | Moravia |
Niles | Owasco | Scipio | Sempronius | Sennett | Springport | Sterling | Summerhill | Throop | Venice | Victory
Aurora | Cato | Cayuga | Fair Haven | Meridian | Moravia | Port Byron | Union Springs | Weedsport
* County of Cayuga
* Cayuga County history pages
* Summary early history of counties and towns of Cayuga County
Cayuga County is a county located in the U.S. state of New
York. It was named for one of the tribes of Indians in the
Its county seat is Auburn.
Year Organized: 1799
Area: 693 Square Miles