John Marks, curator of collections at the Geneva Historical Society, will explain the Pre-Emption Line and its lasting impact on Geneva and Ontario County in a presentation, “What’s A Pre-Emption Line?” starting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 26. His talk is free and open to the public.
In the late 18th century, Massachusetts and New York both laid claim to the unsettled land in western New York State. Their solution, to draw a “pre-emption line” from Pennsylvania north to Lake Ontario, started real estate speculation that lasted for decades and created a controversy that has never been fully settled.
The Geneva Historical Society has a rich collection of archival materials about the Pre-Emption Line and early land development, including copies of the agreements authorizing the creation of the Pre-Emption Line; Col. Hugh Maxwell’s original field notes from surveying the Line in 1788; and a rare 16-foot long linen map showing the first and second Pre-Emption lines together.
Reproductions and transcriptions of these materials will be available for viewing before and after the program.
Refreshments will be served after the talk; for details, call the museum office at (315) 789-5151.
Parking is available on the street or in the Trinity Episcopal Church lot across the street.