The Cayuga County government offices are located at 160 Genesee Street, Auburn, NY 13021; phone: 315‑253‑1308.
Cayuga County was created in 1799 from a section of Onondaga County. The village of Cayuga, which occupied a central location in the county, was the seat of government between 1799 and 1804. In 1804, portions of Cayuga County were divided up to form Seneca County and parts of Wayne and Tompkins Counties. Reduced in area, the village of Cayuga was no longer in a central position, and a decision was made to find a new county seat. In March 1804, three men from outside of the county were commissioned to select the new county seat, and in June 1804, the selected Hardenbergh's Corners. The name was soon changed to Auburn, and a new wood-frame courthouse was completed in 1809. DeWitt Clinton visited the village in 1810 and noted that it was a "fine growing place and indebted to its hydraulic works and the Courthouse for its prosperity. By 1810 Auburn had seventeen mills along Oswasco Outlet, the main source of water power. In 1815, the village was incorporated; in 1816, the state penitentiary was established; and in 1818, the Auburn Theological Seminary was formed. By 1840, the only towns west of the Hudson River surpassing Auburn in size were Utica and Rochester.