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New York Counties

There are sixty-two counties in the State of New York. The first twelve counties in New York were created immediately after the British annexation of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, although two of these counties have since been abolished. The most recent county formation in New York was in 1912, when Bronx County was created from the portions of New York City that had been annexed from Westchester County.

Cayuga County, New York

Cayuga County Education, Geography, and HistoryCayuga County, New York Courthouse

Cayuga County is a county located in the state of New York. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 80,026. Its county seat is Auburn. The county was named for one of the tribes of Indians in the Iroquois Confederation.

Cayuga County comprises the Auburn, NY Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Syracuse-Auburn, NY Combined Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Cayuga County Name

The name of the fourth tribe of the Iroquois League


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Cayuga County History

Cayuga was formed from Onondaga in 1799; but other counties have since been taken from it. Greatest length N. and S. 55, greatest breadth E. and W. 23 miles. From Albany, W., 156 miles, from New York, 301. Upon the S. the surface rises into ridges, along the Cayuga lake, the Owasco lake and inlet, and the Skaneateles lake. The principal streams are the Salmon and Fall creeks, tributaries of the Cayuga lake; the inlet and the outlet of the Owasco lake, and the Seneca river, which is the eventual recipient of all these waters. The river flows through a plain in which its sluggish course is scarce perceptible, and the marshes which it waters, extend to the western border of the county; in its way it passes through Cross lake, a basin 5 miles long by 2 wide, lying on the eastern boundary, in a low swampy district, whose surface is 370 feet above tide. The disposition of the waters shows an irregular surface. The Poplar ridge, E. of the Cayuga lake, rises in some places to 600 feet above, but has a gentle slope towards the lake, displaying finely-cultivated farms. The eastern declivity of this and other hills is more abrupt. On the N. of Auburn, the country is comparatively level, yet has a rolling appearance from the many large gravel hills scattered over the plain, assuming in many places the semblance of stupendous mounds formed by art. This gravel has much limestone, and produces excellent wheat. Few portions of the state possess more fertile lands, or can boast of higher cultivation. In all the fruits of the climate, this county is prolific. About two thirds of the land is under improvement. The southern portion is most thickly settled. The Cayuga lake, which forms a large part of the western boundary, is a beautiful sheet of water, 36 miles long, and from 1 to 4 broad. The county is divided into 22 towns. (Historical Collections of the State of New York, Past and Present, John Barber, Clark Albien & Co, 1851).

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.

Geography: Land and Water

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.

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 864 square miles (2,237 km2), of which, 693 square miles (1,795 km2) of it is land and 170 square miles (441 km2) of it (19.74%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • 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


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