Our Rich History

Founded over 200 years ago, Dansville carries on a tradition of progressive community works: the county’s only hospital and airport, a renovated Main Street, an expanded and modernized public library and much more.

The Village of Dansville was first settled in 1795 by Daniel Faulkner, and covers a large portion of the Township. Dansville is nestled deep within the heart of the Genesee Valley where the Seneca Nation of the Iroquois Confederacy once laid claim to the land. Dansville is surrounded by fertile farmland, rolling wooded hillsides, lakes, and streams and offers a unique balance between rural beauty and a thriving business community.

Dansville has an unusually rich history. Dansville gained national prominence when a water cure enterprise was established in 1858 and run for 60 years by the Jackson family of physicians. The water cure enterprise rivaled the health resorts of Europe and attracted such luminaries as Frederick Douglas, Susan B. Anthony, and Horace Greeley. It was this facility that attracted Miss Clara Barton to Dansville to regain her health while establishing the American Red Cross. During her stay in 1881, she established the first local society of the Red Cross in this country and it has been nationally recognized as the Clara Barton Chapter No. 1.

The Dansville Area Historical Society

As a community, we have been blessed with an organization dedicated to capturing our history. The Dansville Area Historical Society was created in 1961.  Since then, they have provided our community with a museum as well as on-going community learning opportunities, events and programs.  

Location:  14 Church Street, Dansville

Contact #: 585-335-8090

Museum Hours of Operation:  The Museum is open from 10:00am till 2:00pm, the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month.

The Dansville Area’s Historic Landmarks

There are several homes, buildings and locations that have qualified for landmark status with the National Register of Historic Places.  Consequently, these historic places are now a part of the official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation.  Join us to see our landmarks.

Dansville History Resources