Penn Yan, New York

Penn Yan, New York

Historic downtown Penn Yan

Location in Yates County and the state of New York.
Coordinates: 42°39′36″N 77°3′20″W / 42.66000°N 77.05556°W / 42.66000; -77.05556Coordinates: 42°39′36″N 77°3′20″W / 42.66000°N 77.05556°W / 42.66000; -77.05556
Country United States
State New York
County Yates
Settled 1799 (1799)
Incorporated 1833 (1833)
Named for "Pennsylvania Yankee"
  Total 2.3 sq mi (6.0 km2)
  Land 2.3 sq mi (5.9 km2)
  Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation 728 ft (222 m)
Population (2010)
  Total 5,159
  Density 2,200/sq mi (860/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
  Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 14527
Area code(s) 315
FIPS code 36-57177
GNIS feature ID 0960144

Penn Yan is an incorporated village in Yates County, New York, USA. The population was 5,159 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Yates County [1] and lies at the north end of the east branch of Keuka Lake, one of the Finger Lakes.

The Village of Penn Yan is primarily in the Town of Milo, but a small section is in the Town of Benton. A smaller section is in the Town of Jerusalem. The Penn Yan Airport is south of the village.

The name "Penn Yan" is a syllabic abbreviation of "Pennsylvania Yankee".[2] It houses the Penn Yan Central School District.


Vineyard near Keuka Lake, Penn Yan, New York
N.E. view of PENNYAN, Yates Co., N.Y. (circa 1856-1860) by John Warner Barber

The first frame dwelling at Penn Yan was built in 1799. The village became the county seat in 1823, when Yates county was created, and was incorporated in 1833.

The first settlers were chiefly followers of Jemima Wilkinson (1753–1819), a religious enthusiast, born in Cumberland Township, Providence County, Rhode Island, who asserted that she had received a divine commission. Wilkinson preached in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. After obtaining a large tract (which was called Jerusalem in 1789) in the present Yates county, she founded in 1788 the village of Hopeton on the outlet of Keuka Lake about a mile from Seneca Lake. Many followers settled there, and she herself lived there after 1790. Some of her followers left her before 1800, and then the community gradually broke up.

The name of the village is said to have been contrived from the first syllables of "Pennsylvania" and "Yankee,"[3] as most of the early settlers were Pennsylvanians and New Englanders (or Yankees).

Old Order Mennonite families are recent arrivals to the area. Beginning in 1974, many families of the Groffdale Conference Mennonite Church moved to Yates County from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, seeking cheaper farmland. The Yates County Old Order Mennonites settlement is the largest horse-and-buggy community in the state of New York.[4] There are also several Old Order Amish settlements in adjacent Steuben und Seneca Counties, that were founded starting in 1979.[5]

The village was the western terminus of the former Crooked Lake Canal.

In 1921 the Penn Yan Boat Company was founded by German immigrant Charles A. Herrman; it produced wooden and glass-fiber boats until 2001.

The Roderick M. Morrison House, Lake View Cemetery, Crooked Lake Outlet Historic District, Yates County Courthouse Park District, Sampson Theatre, United States Post Office, Charles Wagener House, and Penn Yan Historic District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[6]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20155,014[7]−2.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 5,219 people, 2,141 households, and 1,261 families residing in the village. The population density was 2,299.7 people per square mile (887.7/km2). There were 2,299 housing units at an average density of 1,013.1 per square mile (391.0/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 97.15% White, 0.67% African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, and 1.23% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.94% of the population.

There were 2,141 households out of which 29.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.2% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.1% were non-families. 35.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the village the population was spread out with 23.9% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 21.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 87.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.2 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $29,278, and the median income for a family was $39,087. Males had a median income of $30,692 versus $19,263 for females. The per capita income for the village was $15,848. About 9.7% of families and 13.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.8% of those under age 18 and 11.7% of those age 65 or over.


WYLF-AM 850 broadcasts from Penn Yan.

The Chronicle-Express is Penn Yan's weekly newspaper that provides information regarding a variety of current events and updates of local news.[10]

Notable people


Penn Yan is situated on the Eastern branch of the famous "y" shaped Keuka Lake. Being in the heart of the Finger Lakes, Penn Yan is an iconic destination for individuals with many interests.

The Keuka Lake Wine Trail[12] offers stunning views and exceptional Finger Lakes grown and produced grape wines.

See also


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