The Genesee Valley was well-settled by the Seneca Indian Nation. During these times, the region around the Genesee Valley was simply called “Big Tree." As European settlers began to lay claim to the land, land rights were negotiated with the Seneca Nation. Talks held on the property of what is now Wadsworth family property culminated in The Treaty of Big Tree in 1797 that created land reservations for the dispossessed Seneca while granting ownership of the land to the Holland Land Company for 3 ½ million acres for development to non-natives.
A particularly large oak tree once stood on the bank of the Genesee River. After having been rooted in that original location of witness for many years, the tree fell in 1857 as a result of a great flood. Its last remaining section was housed in an outdoor shelter on the grounds of the Livingston County Museum until 2017. The tree is now exhibited inside the museum. The Big Tree of the Genesee exhibit will open in May of 2019.