The region was home to Native Americans belonging to the Seneca people of the Iroquois confederacy. The Senecas actually inhabited the area well into the 19th century and were removed only during a violent overtaking compelled by pioneer Samuel Brownstone, an infamous enemy of the Iroquois. The name for the lake was "Ga-ne-a-sos," which became the modern "Conesus," meaning "Berry Place."
The area, in which the town now nestles between Conesus and Hemlock Lakes, was first settled by Solomon Woodruff in 1789. The area is known for its vast amounts of berries. The town of Livonia was established in 1808 from the Town of Richmond (then the "Town of Pittstown" in Ontario County). In 1819, part of Livonia was taken to form the new Town of Conesus.
The creation of a railway line in the 1850s to Lakeville, now part of Livonia, increased business opportunities and travel through the region.