New York Counties
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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.

Monroe County, New York

Monroe County Education, Geography, and HistoryMonroe County, New York Courthouse

Monroe County is a county located in the western portion of the state of New York, along the southern shore of Lake Ontario. As of 2013, the population of Monroe County was 749,857. Its county seat is the city of Rochester. The county is named after James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States of America. Monroe County is part of the Rochester, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Monroe County Name

Named in honor of James Monroe, fifth President of the United States


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Monroe County History

Monroe County, New York, named for President James Monroe, was created from portions of Ontario and Genesee Counties on February 23, 1821. The county already included 28,000 settlers in growing towns and villages that provided agricultural products and market support for the burgeoning mill town known as Rochester. The county seat, Rochester, named for one of its three founders, used the power of the Genesee River to drive the mills and the convenience of the Erie Canal to ship products. Over the years, those products would change from flour to flowers, as the nursery business flourished thanks to the moderating effect of Lake Ontario. Industry would again change the nature of local products to an increasing emphasis on technological innovations, while the county's towns and villages maintained the agricultural base that nourished growing business.

Today, Monroe County is comprised of 19 towns, 10 villages and the City of Rochester, the third largest city in the state, with a combined population of approximately 750,000 residents and a land area of 663.21 square miles.

On the lake plain of the prehistoric waters of Lake Iroquois, is the watershed for a vast network of sparkling creeks draining northwards into Lake Ontario. Here was located the port city of the Genesee Valley, at Charlotte. A series of three waterfalls at Rochester once impeded navigation, but provided abundant power for many mills sites along the banks.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,366 square miles (3,537 km2), of which, 659 square miles (1,708 km2) of it is land and 706 square miles (1,829 km2) of it (51.72%) is water.

Monroe County is in northwestern New York State, northeast of Buffalo and northwest of Syracuse. The northern county line is also the state line and the border of the United States, marked by Lake Ontario. Monroe County is north of the Finger Lakes.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Lake Ontario and Canada - north
  • Wayne County, New York - east
  • Ontario County, New York - southeast
  • Livingston County, New York - south
  • Orleans County, New York - west
  • Genesee County, New York - west


Primary and secondary education

The overwhelming majority of children in Monroe County are educated by the public school system. The schools operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester or Roman Catholic religious orders educate the next largest segment of children, although collectively, these are a distant second.

Public schools

There are some 26 public school districts that serve Monroe County, including the Rochester City School District, 10 suburban school districts in Monroe #1 BOCES, seven in Monroe #2 - Orleans BOCES, and several primarily serving other counties (Avon, Byron - Bergen, Caledonia - Mumford, Holley, Wayne, Williamson and Victor central school districts).

Private schools

There are three private schools that serve more than 200 students each:

Allendale Columbia School, a college preparatory school in Pittsford
The Harley School, a college preparatory school in Brighton
Mary Cariola Children's Center serving children with multiple, complex disabilities in the city
There is one small, but historically significant school: Rochester School for the Deaf in the city

Parochial schools

There are three small Judaic schools and two small Islamic schools.
There are about ten primary schools operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester.
There are four senior high schools (or combined junior/senior high schools) operated by or in the tradition of a Roman Catholic religious order

Colleges and universities

The county is home to nine colleges and universities:

Bryant & Stratton College in Greece and Henrietta
Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in the city
Monroe Community College in Brighton with a campus in the city
Nazareth College in Pittsford
Roberts Wesleyan College in Chili
Rochester Institute of Technology in Henrietta
St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry in Pittsford
St. John Fisher College in Pittsford
State University of New York at Brockport in Brockport with a campus in the city
University of Rochester in the city

Additionally, four colleges maintain satellite campuses in Monroe County

The Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations maintains an office in the city
Empire State College maintains the Genesee Valley Learning Center in Irondequoit
Ithaca College's Department of Physical Therapy leases part of the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School facility for teaching and research
Medaille College maintains its Rochester Campus in Brighton

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