During the first half of the 19th Century, the Holland Land Office Company used this historic landmark building. The Big Tree Treaty of 1797 between representatives of Declaration of Independence signer, Robert Morris and the Seneca Indians opened Western New York for settlement. Shortly after, the Holland Land Company purchased the land from Mr. Morris. The 3 1/2 million-acre purchase then became known as the Holland Purchase.
Settlers came to Western New York in 1800 to begin their new lives. The village of Batavia, settled in 1801, became the capital of this new frontier. Batavia's founder, Joseph Ellicott, built a small log cabin to serve as a land office to sell the land directly to the settlers. The Holland Land Office Museum, the fourth land office built in 1815, still stands as a symbol of the pioneer spirit of our forefathers.
From this building, one of the most recognizable and photographed structures in Western New York, key decisions to the history of New York and the United States were made. The Holland Land Company donated thousands of acres to the State of New York to guarantee the completion of the the Erie Canal. The State Senate appointed Joseph Ellicott as a Canal Commissioner. Joseph Ellicott hired surveyors to find potential routes through the western part of the state.
Another national significant event that took place in Genesee County was the disappearance of William Morgan. His disappearance led to the fervor and rise of the anti-Mason Party, America's first Third Party.
The Holland Land Company continued to sell land from this building until the late 1830's. After the Holland Land Company left, the building became a bank, a music school, and a church. In 1894, the building, saved from demolition by the Batavia High School Class of 1894, became the Holland Land Office Museum.
Today, the Genesee County owned building, houses the collection of the Holland Purchase Historical Society. The collection contains important artifacts symbolizing the history and culture of the people of Genesee County.
For more information about the Holland Land Office Museum, call (585) 343-4727 or email at email@example.com