Gowanda, New York

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Gowanda is a village in New York in the United States and lies partly in Erie County and partly in Cattaraugus County. The population was 2,842 at the 2000 census. The name is a local native term meaning "almost surrounded by hills" or "beautiful place among the hills. The Erie County portion of Gowanda is part of the BuffaloNiagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area, while the Cattaraugus County portion is part of the Olean Micropolitan Statistical Area.

The Village of Gowanda is partly in the Town of Collins in Erie County and the Town of Persia in Cattaraugus County.

Gowanda Airport (D59) is a general aviation grass strip, located northwest of the village. Located in Gowanda, Zoar Valley features over 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) of wilderness, hiking trails and waterfalls.


Correctional Facilities

Formerly the Gowanda Psychiatric Center, the Gowanda Correctional Facility, which opened in 1994, and the Collins Correctional Facility, which opened in 1982, are adjacent to the village. They are medium security prisons and overlook the village below. Gowanda Correctional facility houses over 1100 inmates and feature one of the largest sex offender counseling programs of the New York State prison systems. Collins Correctional houses less than 800.


Gowanda is home to Gowanda Middle School, Gowanda High School, Gowanda Elementary School, Gowanda Christian Academy, St. Joseph's Roman Catholic School which are all primary and/or secondary schools.


The village was settled around 1810 and was originally called "Aldrich Mills." The village later adopted the name "Lodi," which was in conflict with another community in New York, so that name was dropped when the village was incorporated.

The Village of Gowanda was first incorporated in 1848 and was re-incorporated in 1878 under a new state regulation and extended its territory to absorb the nearby hamlet of Hidi.

Most of the village in Erie County was destroyed by a fire in 1856, and another fire in 1875 burned many businesses in the Cattaraugus part.

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