The first African-American woman to earn a medical degree in the United States, Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler, studied at the New England Female Medical College in Boston, but she completed her clinical studies at the New York Infirmary for Women and Children in Manhattan in 1864.
Orleans County, New York, located in the western part of the state, has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1824. Prior to European settlement, the area was home to the Seneca Nation, part of the larger Iroquois Confederacy. The first European settlers arrived in the late 18th century, and a significant influx occurred after the Holland Purchase of 1802, when the land was acquired from the Seneca Nation by the Holland Land Company.

The county's name, Orleans, pays tribute to the influential French General, Louis-Philippe d'Orléans. The early settlers faced challenges in establishing settlements due to the dense forests and swampy lands. However, by the early 19th century, the completion of the Erie Canal brought prosperity and growth to the region.

During the mid-19th century, Orleans County experienced rapid progress in agriculture, particularly in the cultivation of apples and wheat. The canal system also facilitated trade and transportation, leading to the development of towns and hamlets along its path. The county's first courthouse and jail were erected in 1825 in Albion, which became the county seat. The 19th century also saw the establishment of schools, churches, and other key institutions.

In the 20th century, Orleans County continued to thrive as an agricultural hub, specializing in the production of fruit, vegetables, and dairy products. The county also became known for its extensive apple orchards and fruit processing plants. Today, Orleans County maintains its agricultural heritage while embracing modern industry and tourism, offering attractions such as the Erie Canalway Trail, historical museums, and festivals celebrating its cultural past.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Orleans County, New York.

  • 1802: Orleans County is formed from parts of Genesee County.
  • 1813: The village of Gaines is established as the first settlement in the county.
  • 1818: The town of Albion is established as the county seat.
  • 1824: The Erie Canal is completed, bringing economic growth to the county.
  • 1825: The village of Medina is incorporated.
  • 1858: The Holley Manufacturing Company is founded in Holley village.
  • 1872: The town of Kendall is established.
  • 1911: The Cobblestone Museum is established in Childs village.
  • 1959: The Oak Orchard State Marine Park is created.
  • 2019: The apple industry remains an important part of the county's economy.