On the east bank of the Genesee River, just east of the present college campus, a large white oak tree grew. Famous for its huge trunk, measuring approximately 27 feet in circumference, the tree led the local Seneca Indians to call this area “Big Tree.”
In 1833 the residence of Mr. Allen Ayrault and his wife, Mrs. Bethia Ayrault, was built on this land. In 1886 the building was renovated by Mr. Wadsworth and Mr. William C. Nash to become a hotel. A large sign bearing the words “Big Tree Inn” in red letters was erected in front of the imposing mansion, thus giving it the name it carries to this day.
We continue to write new chapters in the history of the Big Tree Inn. In 2008 an addition to the building allowed for the opening of the Event Center at the Big Tree Inn, a place where business and community members can join together to celebrate and conduct business.
Today we welcome you to experience the history and charm of the Genesee Valley—once known simply as “Big Tree”—by gathering with friends and family to enjoy each other and a memorable meal at the Big Tree Inn.
If you would like to submit your memories of the time you have spent with us
please click here
As a child living in Genesee County and later as a student here from 1969-1972, I had special experiences eating (lets say DINING) at the Big Tree Inn—always a much anticipated time by myself and my parents. Never did I dream that 32 years later I would be able to come back from having lived all over the US and spend a night within this lovely old building, so lovingly and beautifully restored! I was accompanied by my daughter, Margaret, who is now a happy Freshman at SUNY Geneseo. What a memorable stay we have had—my 1st visit with her in 2 months! Thank you, CAS and all, for your loving care of the Big Tree Inn.
My husband completely surprised me for our 22nd wedding anniversary when he pulled up outside your beautiful inn! We had often talked about staying at a B&B sometime, but didn’t like the thought of sharing facilities. I love Victorian places and things and historic homes and museums, so this was exactly what I was looking for in my dreams for a private, romantic place to stay! Cozy, beautiful accommodations and atmosphere! Loved the fireplace, flat screen TV, Jacuzzi tub in our Village View suite. I think it will be hard to find anything to compare this night with.
Paul and Pam, Medina, NY
As parents of 3 children scattered all over the US, we travel extensively. When we decided to celebrate my 39th birthday (for the 20th time) we chose your Inn. Friends, media, and parents of Geneseo students from our area said it was unique and memorable, and we wouldn’t be disappointed. All were correct! The Village View suite was superb—spacious lovely and most inviting. Dinner was truly excellent and our server Rob, most accommodating and courteous. We have stayed in numerous Historic Hotels and Inns across the US and place yours in the top 10. Thank you again for making a special visit even more wonderful.
Thank you for saving my first home. My parents, John and Marian O’Neil were co-owners when I was a child. My fondest memories are of Christmas in the Front Parlor. Our rooms were wonderful, the service superb. Thanks again for preserving a great building.
Patsy, Santa Fe, NM
Thanks for giving David a whole new perspective of Geneseo. He thought he knew all there was to know after living here in the Town of Geneseo for 47 years. You thought of all the details! Wonderful to be “down on Main Street” for a night.
David & Monica
We had our first date at the Big Tree Inn almost 16 years ago and we came back this weekend to stay for our 6th wedding anniversary. We have always loved dining here and the rooms are every bit as nice! We can’t wait to return.
Gisela & Jason
We had our first date at the Big Tree Inn almost 16 years ago and we came back this weekend to stay for our 6th wedding anniversary. We have always loved dining here and the rooms are every bit as nice! We can’t wait to return.so delightful and memorable. Brian & Angie, Baltimore
We spent our 25th wedding anniversary here. A treat from our children. It’s absolutely beautiful. It feels as if you’re staying in someone’s home. Thank you for everything!
Patty and Tim, Rochester
This inn is really beautiful. I remember when I was a student at SUNY Geneseo and this building was being renovated. I’m so glad my husband and I were able to spend a night here. We are visiting Geneseo from Long Island one last time before our baby is born. Hopefully we’ll get back here in a few years. Thank you for your hospitality!
Kristin ’98 (RLK) and Jack ’00 (PIGS)