Latitude: 42.7467

Longitude: -76.6994

Region: --

Aurora, Cayuga County, New York

The clickable images and aerial photographs below show material about Aurora, Cayuga County, New York. Aurora is a village and college town in Cayuga County, in the Town of Ledyard, north of Ithaca, New York, United States. The village had a population of 724 at the 2010 census, of which more than 400 were college students.

In 1980, its Aurora Village-Wells College Historic District, with more than 50 contributing properties, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. From 2001 to 2007, redevelopment of historic properties in the village by entrepreneur Pleasant Rowland and the Aurora Foundation earned compliments, as well as provoking citizen concern, a lawsuit joined by state and national preservation organizations, and national media attention.

Wells College, an institution of higher education for women founded by Henry Wells in 1868, is located in Aurora. It became coeducational in 2005, and since then enrollment has risen.


Prior to European-American settlement, a major Cayuga Indian village, Chonodote, stood near the present-day site of Aurora village. Chonodote was destroyed by the Sullivan Expedition in 1779 during the American Revolutionary War, when the Cayuga were allies of the British army. Some members of the Cayuga tribe returned after the war to live on a Seneca reservation that once included the north end of Cayuga Lake.

Part of the village was within the Central New York Military Tract, which the United States used after the Revolutionary War to pay off veterans with deeds to land. The Tract was part of the five million acres (20,000 km²) of lands which the Iroquois were forced to cede in the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua. Many veterans from New England settled in the Finger Lakes area.

During the 19th century, the village was a minor center for manufacturing. A stopping point for canal traffic after the Cayuga-Seneca Canal opened, the village was incorporated in 1837. It became a port, shipping produce from farmers in the region up Cayuga Lake, then by the Erie Canal to other major markets. Academies and seminaries for basic education were established in 1800. Notable schools include Cayuga Lake Academy which was founded in 1797, chartered by New York State Regents in 1801 and remained and its second structure built in 1835 remained until the building was destroyed by fire on April 19, 1945. Many prominent graduates attended the school including President Millard Filmore, William Brookfield, the founder of the Bushwick GlassWorks and William E. Leffingwell (1855–1927), State Assemblyman and founder of the Glen Springs Sanitarium. In 1868 Henry Wells founded Wells College for the education of women.

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Close places of interest

Ledyard, New York (2.73 km)

Ledyard is a town in Cayuga County, New York, United States. The population was 1,886 at the 2010 census. The name of the town is from General Benjamin Ledyard, an early settler. The Town of Ledyard is on the western edge of the county and is southwest of Auburn, New York. Wells College, founded as a college for women, is in the village of Aurora. History The south part of Ledyard was in the Central New York Military Tract, and the northern part was a reservation designated for the Cayuga tribe. The first settlers arrived around 1789.

Poplar Ridge, New York (6.72 km)

Poplar Ridge, New York is a hamlet in Cayuga County, New York. It holds the Jethro Wood House, a National Historic Landmark.The Vernon Center Green Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

Cayuga Lake (7.06 km)

Cayuga Lake (or)  is the longest of central New York's glacial Finger Lakes, and is the second largest in surface area (marginally smaller than Seneca Lake) and second largest in volume. It is just under 40 miles (64 km) long. Its average width is 1.7 miles (2.7 km), and it is at its widest point near Aurora. It is approximately at its deepest point. Location The city of Ithaca, New York, site of Ithaca College and Cornell University, is located at the southern end of Cayuga Lake.

Goiogouen (9.74 km)

Goiogouen (also spelled Gayagaanhe and known as Cayuga Castle), was a major village of the Cayuga nation of Iroquois Indians in west-central New York State. It was located on the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake on the north side of the Great Gully Brook, about south of the large 17th-century Cayuga town of Tiohero; and approximately along the southern line of the modern-day township of Springport, New York.

Union Springs, New York (10.74 km)

Union Springs is a village in Cayuga County, New York, United States. The population was at 1,197 people at the 2010 census. The name is derived from the mineral springs near the village. The Village of Union Springs is in western part of the Town of Springport and is southwest of Auburn, New York. History The village is south of the former Cayuga tribe village of Gwau-gwah (Cayuga Castle), which became a Jesuit Mission. The native village was a target of the Sullivan Expedition of 1779.

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