The first American chess tournament was held in New York City in 1843, and it was won by a 21-year-old named Paul Morphy.
Yates County, located in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, has a rich and diverse history dating back to the early settlers. The area was originally inhabited by the Seneca Nation, one of the six tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy. European colonization began in the late 18th century, when the Sullivan-Clinton Expedition passed through the area during the American Revolutionary War.

In 1795, land speculator Oliver Phelps purchased a large tract of land from the Seneca Nation, known as the Phelps and Gorham Purchase. This opened up the area for settlement, and the first pioneers began to arrive in the early 19th century. The county, named after Judge Joseph C. Yates, was officially established in 1823, and Penn Yan was chosen as the county seat.

Agriculture played a major role in the development of Yates County, with crops like wheat, corn, and grapes becoming increasingly important. The region's rich soil and favorable climate made it well-suited for farming, and the early settlers took advantage of these resources. The establishment of the Crooked Lake Canal in the 1830s further facilitated the transportation of goods, boosting the local economy.

Yates County also played a significant role in the abolitionist movement, with many local residents actively participating in the fight against slavery. Notable figures such as Frederick Douglass, who lived in nearby Rochester, and Harriet Tubman, who made several stops in the area on the Underground Railroad, visited and spoke in Yates County. The region's involvement in social reform movements continued into the 20th century with the rise of the women's suffrage movement, as several well-known suffragists lived and organized in the area.

Today, Yates County is a vibrant and picturesque community, known for its beautiful lakes, vineyards, and historic sites. Visitors can explore the numerous wineries, hiking trails, and museums that showcase the county's rich history.

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

  • 1788 - Yates County is established as one of the original counties in the state of New York.
  • 1791 - The first settlements are established in the area, including the town of Penn Yan.
  • 1835 - The Erie Canal is completed, bringing increased trade and transportation to the county.
  • 1855 - The county's first railroad line, the Elmira & Williamsport Railroad, is completed.
  • 1901 - The Keuka College is founded in Keuka Park.
  • 1938 - Construction of the Keuka Lake State Park is completed.
  • 1964 - The prehistoric Native American archaeological site of Gawanagayotaha is discovered.
  • 1990 - The county celebrates its bicentennial.
  • 2010 - The population of Yates County reaches approximately 25,000 people.