Orleans County Profile

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Images of ErieNestled along the Lake Ontario shoreline, Orleans County is blessed with natural beauty, quaint Victorian villages and a rich history. From the Erie Canal and the Seaway Trail, to railroading history, farm markets and world-class sport fishing on the Oak Orchard River, you’ll find good times around every bend, and just 45 minutes from the mighty Niagara Falls.

In 1824, when it was decided to carve a new county from the northeastern section of the Holland Land Purchase, a dispute arose over the name it was to bear. The Whigs chose Adams, namesake of their leader, John Quincy Adams, while supporters of Old Hickory preferred Jackson. A compromise was struck in 1825 with the Old World name of Orleans.

Images of ErieThat same year, the Erie Canal was completed, opening commerce with America’s west. From agrarian roots grew quaint villages along “Clinton’s Ditch,” as a string of pearls threaded together by lush rural landscapes crossing the 23-mile breadth of the county.

Today, you can savor its history with a visit to a museum recalling the cobblestone architecture era, a guided tour of a memorial cemetery, or a sampling of the harvest of farms settled nearly 200 years ago. Orleans County will renew your appreciation of nature with canoeing, bicycling, birding, biking, camping and the venerable traditions of hunting and fishing.

Orleans is a small county, so attractions are conveniently close together. And itís just beyond the mist of the mighty Niagara Falls.

Images of ErieEach year, Orleans County celebrates the apple with an annual harvest of over 130 million pounds! You can sample a variety of apples (fresh, baked or pressed into cider) at a roadside market. Or try our strawberries, cherries, raspberries and pears. Your harvest wouldn’t be complete without a trip to an antique shop, a festival or a stay in one of our quaint bed and breakfast inns.

Waterways, railways and highways define Orleans County’s historical evolution since the early 1800’s. The engineering feat of the grand Erie Canal, the heyday of the New York Central Railroad and Iroquois Indian trails turned to turnpike, are all brought to life with a museum tour; a quiet walk through a historic memorial cemetery, or a stop at one of the many antique shops.

Images of ErieIn the heart of Albion, the county seat, stands the 1858 Greek Revival Style dome County Courthouse and the 1882 County Clerk’s Building, surrounded by thirty-four architecturally significant structures. Seven churches face the square, one of which was built in 1894 by George M. Pullman, who later became a millionaire with the manufacture of railway sleeping cars.

Be sure to check out the Cobblestone Museum, the only one of its kind in the world, which showcases the unique masonry construction method using stones rounded and polished into cobble by glacial action. The museum offers guided tours of seven buildings housing artifacts from the Cobblestone Era (1825-1860) including the oldest cobblestone church in North America and the cobblestone parsonage once owned by Horace Greeley.

Images of ErieOr take a drive in the only tunnel allowing motorists to drive under the Erie Canal. This unique feat of engineering was built to avoid a very expensive and time-consuming construction of a bridge and approach roads on both sides of the canal that would have been needed to carry traffic over the waterway.

There are a few spots in the world where one might find Chinook Salmon as plentiful as found in Orleans County. Only in Orleans County can you find all the colossal fish concentrated in one area, accessible to anglers of all ages and income levels, all year round. The diversity and productivity of the Orleans County fishery is unequaled on this planet. Off our shores on Lake Ontario during the spring and summer months our charter fleet can help you find and catch a staggering array of trophy trout and salmon.

Take a walk on the wild side or a leisurely stroll back in time. Orleans County is abundant with rural landscapes featuring farm markets, wooded marshes, and historic sites along the grand Erie Canal.


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Richard Bennett, At-Large


County Profile | Elected Democrats | Local Democratic Party | Other Links


Orleans County Democratic Committee
Jeanne Crane, Chair
709 West Avenue
Medina, NY 14103
585-798-2197 phone


County Profile | Elected Democrats | Local Democratic Party | Other Links


Medina Railroad Museum
Watt Farms Orchard Train Tours


Genesee Community College