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Yates County, located in the Finger Lakes region of western New York, has a rich history dating back to the 18th century. Here are 7 interesting facts about Yates County's history.

1. Yates County was formed in 1823 from portions of Steuben, Ontario, and Seneca Counties, making it one of the youngest counties in New York State.

2. The region that is now Yates County was originally inhabited by the Seneca Nation of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Seneca Nation played a significant role in the history of Yates County, with many of their villages located along the shores of Canandaigua Lake.

3. In the mid-19th century, Yates County was a major center of abolitionist activity. A number of local residents, including famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass, played a role in the Underground Railroad, helping enslaved individuals escape to freedom in Canada.

4. In 1901, the International Motor Contest Association held a race in Yates County, which was won by famous race car driver Barney Oldfield. The race helped put the county on the map as a destination for racing enthusiasts.

5. Yates County was home to Mary Clark Thompson, a prominent philanthropist and art collector of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Thompson was a major supporter of the arts in Yates County, donating land and funds to establish the Keuka College campus and the Keuka Lake State Park.

6. The Yates County History Center, located in Penn Yan, is home to a wealth of historical artifacts and documents related to the county's history. The center also offers educational programs and exhibits for visitors of all ages.

7. In recent years, Yates County has become a hub for the local food movement, with numerous farms and vineyards located throughout the region. Visitors can enjoy a variety of fresh produce and locally-made products at farmers' markets and artisanal shops throughout the county.

In conclusion, Yates County may be one of the youngest counties in New York State, but it certainly has a rich and diverse history. From its early Native American inhabitants to its role in the Underground Railroad, Yates County has played an important role in shaping the history of western New York.

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