Genesee is Seneca Iroquois for “pleasant valley”. Its first use as a U.S. place name was the Genesee River near Rochester, NY, way back in the 1780s, but with many cities and counties across the country having adopted the name, the inspiration for our Genesee Avenue is unclear. I can tell you that it started out between Fountain and Santa Monica in 1913 on a tract owned by Mira Hershey and E.E. Anderson. Hershey (1843-1930) was an interesting character: a distant cousin of the chocolate family, she made a fortune in lumber in her native Muscatine, Iowa, then came to L.A., bought the Hotel Hollywood, and bequeathed a huge sum to UCLA. But I found no indication that “Genesee” meant anything to her, and unfortunately I couldn’t identify this E.E. Anderson person at all.