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City historian visits other Batavias across the nation, will share his journey with readers

Batavia, N.Y., was founded in 1801 by Joseph Ellicott, surveyor and land agent for the Holland Land Company. Batavia was named after the homeland of the Holland Land Company investors who owned most of Western New York. At that time, their nation, the Netherlands, was called The Republic of Batavia.

Since then, at least eight other American communities have come into existence with the name, “Batavia.” They are located in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Arkansas, Montana and California. However, none of these other communities had any connection to the Holland Land Company.

As City Historian for our Batavia, I am in the process of visiting the other Batavias to learn their history, visit with residents, discuss the origin of their name, and to take photographs. My first such trip was to Batavia, Ill., in the spring of 2011. Since then, I have also visited the other five Batavias east of the Rocky Mountains.

In the next few days, thebatavian.com will carry a brief article and a few pictures pertaining to each of these places. As the reader will see, the other Batavias range from an incorporated community with 27,000 people to an unincorporated community with only a “handful” of people. As it has turned out, four of the six have direct historical links to Batavia, N.Y.

Larry D. Barnes

Batavia City Historian

June 2014

Jennifer Ross
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Wonderful! I am looking forward to reading your articles and seeing the photos!

Elizabeth Downie
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Joined: Nov 10 2009

How interesting! Can't wait to read about it!

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