Spotlight on DansvilleFall 2008
by John Adamski
The Village of Dansville occupies most of the Town of North Dansville in southern Livingston County. Founded in 1795 and named after pioneer settler Daniel Faulkner, Dansville is rich in history. In 1858, a world-class health resort known locally as Castle on the Hill was established by Dr. James Jackson. And in 1881, Clara Barton founded the first chapter of the American Red Cross there. Following that tradition, Noyes Memorial Hospital makes the healthcare industry Dansville’s largest employer today.
Starting with two stagecoach lines in the early 1800s, Dansville became an important transportation center with canal boat and railroad service. Although the Genesee Valley Canal no longer exists, Dansville, an hour south of Rochester on Interstate 390, is a major trucking hub, and rail freight service still supports local manufacturers. Dansville Municipal Airport has two lighted runways and can accommodate jet aircraft.
Nestled in the Genesee Valley watershed, business-friendly Dansville is a National Historic District “Main Street” community with several blocks of grand old buildings and stately homes, some of which show the influence of notable architect Claude Bragdon. As a gateway to the Southern Tier, Dansville provides easy access to outdoor attractions like Conesus Lake, Letchworth State Park and Stony Brook State Park.
6,000, combined Town and Village estimate
Stony Brook State Park – Located 5 minutes south of the village on Route 36, the park encompasses hilly woodlands, a steep gorge, rugged cliffs overlooking three waterfalls and fascinating rock formations. Seasonal activities include camping, hiking, swimming in the stream-fed pool in summer and skiing on cross-country trails during winter.
Clara Barton House – This historic home, situated on Elizabeth Street in the village, is where Clara Barton established the first local society of the American Red Cross. It is nationally recognized as Clara Barton Chapter No. 1.
Dogwood Festival – The Mid-May weeklong community-wide celebration includes music, a carnival, historic lectures, and the Dogwood Float Parade.
Truck and Tractor Pull – The Tractor Pull and Demolition Derby takes place in June at the Dansville Municipal Airport.
Poag’s Hole Hill Climb – The largest motorcycle hill climb in the country takes place in August on Poag’s Hole Road.
New York State Festival of Balloons – Each Labor Day weekend, over 30,000 people gather at the Dansville Municipal Airport (near I-390 Exit 5) to watch more than 50 hot air balloons from across the country. The balloons launch daily at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Attractions include 100 art, craft, food and commercial vendors, and musical entertainment Saturday and Sunday.
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