Dansville lies between two hills within the town of North Dansville. Population of the village as of the 2000 census is 4,832.
A Brief History...
Settlers first arrived in the Dansville area in the 1790s, of those Captain Dan Faulkner, a militia captain and the towns namesake, was included. The early days of the community were founded by area saw and flour mills. Later construction of the Dansville branch of the Genesee Valley Canal added to the area population in the 1840s with village incorporation in 1845. Probably the village's most famous resident, Clara Baron, founded the first chapter of the American Red Cross in 1881. The 1880s also brought the Lackawanna Railroad across East Hill (a railroad line in use until the 1960s).
Looking east at Dansville from the hill west of town. Photo taken 07/02/05.
Dansville's Castle on the Hill
The Dansville water cure, known initially as "Our Home on the Hillside" then later the Jackson Sanatorium opened in 1858. This health resort featured prominently on East Hill and was a retreat for the weary and the health conscious. In 1929 the facility switched ownership and gained new direction as the Physical Culture Hotel under health faddist Bernarr Macfadden. Macfadden converted the former water cure facility into a exercise resort with outdoor sports and therapeutic treatments. The resort flourished until his death in 1955, changing roles for a final time as "Bernarr Macfadden's Castle on the Hill". Abandoned since 1971, the facility may be renovated with funds from a $2.5-million state grant awarded in 2008.
Main Street northbound in downtown Dansville. The village has only four signalized intersections, three of which reside along Main Street. Photo taken 05/11/05.
Dansville is also known for its Labor Day balloon festival. Started in 1982, the annual festival draws tourists from the region to the village from its launch site at Dansville Municipal Airport every year. Dansville Airport opened in 1927.
Interstate 390 was constructed as a freeway between New York 21 near Wayland and New York 36 near Dansville Airport between 1966 and 1968. Known as the Dansville-Wayland Expressway, the roadway was initially designated New York 245. Work on the freeway between New York 36 and Groveland followed by 19811, though the freeway received the Interstate 390 designation on November 24, 1971.2
New York 36 enters Dansville from the southwest via Clara Barton Street, merging with New York 63 briefly in downtown along a .13-mile overlap on Main Street. Ossian Street carries the route west to Franklin Street and a northwest path to Dansville Municipal Airport. Overall the highway travels 95.17 miles between Pennsylvania 249 at Troupsburg and New York 31 at Adams Basin.
New York 63 connects Dansville with the Steubon County seat community of Wayland. Following Main Street, the state route bisects the village of Dansville, briefly sharing pavement with New York 36. The route tallies 82.20 miles between New York 15 and 21 in Wayland and New York 18 at Yates.
New York 245 followed the current alignment of New York 436 into Dansville from the west, sharing pavement with New York 63 along Main Street to Wayland. The state route turned southward with New York 21 to Naples, joining its current alignment from there.
Once the Dansville-Wayland Expressway segment opened to traffic in 1974, New York 245 was relocated from its overlap with New York 63 onto the new freeway. This alignment replaced New York 401, a briefly used designation along the same freeway.
New York State Route 256
Following Perine Street north from New York 63 (Main Street), New York 256 turns northward from Dansville on its 21.08-mile path to New York 15 at Lakeville.
05/28/00, 05/08/05, 05/11/05, and 07/02/05 photos taken by Alex Nitzman.
Livingston County 9 south
Beginning of Livingston County 9 (Ossian Hill Road) south from the junction with New York 436 (Nunda-Dansville Road) in North Dansville. Livingston County 9 quickly intersects Eades Road, a former alignment of New York 436. Photo taken 05/28/00.
Continuing the ascent along Ossian Hill Road south, Livingston County 9 increases in elevation from 650 to 1050 feet by the time it meets County Route 49. Photo taken 05/08/05.
Ossian Hill Road crosses from the town of North Dansville into the town of Ossian Hill at 970 feet in elevation. Photo taken 05/08/05.
Approaching the intersection with Livingston County 49 (McCurdy Road) south. There are no County Road 49 pentagons posted on Ossian Hill Road. County Road 49 otherwise leads southward to Canaseraga Road. Photo taken 05/08/05.
Livingston County 9 north
Descending from 1050 feet in altitude at the junction with Livingston County 49 toward the village of Dansville on Livingston County 9 (Ossian Hill Road) north. Photo taken 05/11/05.
Continuing the 400 foot drop along Livingston County 9 north toward Dansville. Photos taken 05/11/05.
Nearing the intersection with Eades Road on Livingston County 9 (Ossian Hill Road) north. Eades Road ascends westward and represents the original alignment of New York 245. Photo taken 05/08/05.
The north end of Livingston County 9 at junction New York 436 (Nunda-Dansville Road). New York 436 replaced New York 245 between Dansville and Nunda in 1974. Photo taken 05/08/05.
Livingston County 49 south
A pentagon for Livingston County 49 resides just south of the McCurdy Road intersection with Ossian Hill Road (County Road 9). Photo taken 05/08/05.
Livingston County 49 north
Approaching Livingston County 9 (Ossian Hill Road) on Livingston County 49 (McCurdy Road) north in the town of Ossian. Photo taken 07/02/05.
Livingston County 9 pentagon posted at the end of Livingston County 49; Livingston County 9 descends eastward into the village of Dansville and heads west to the Ossian town center. Photo taken 05/28/00.