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. Almira “Mira” Parker Hershey (1843-1930) was an interesting character: born in Lancaster County, PA, she was indeed a distant cousin of Milton S. Hershey the chocolatier, but grew up in Muscatine, Iowa and made her own fortune in lumber there. She then came to Los Angeles, bought the Hotel Hollywood among other parcels of land, and bequeathed a huge sum of money 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.