Allegany County, New York

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Allegany County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2000 census, the population was 49,927. Its name derives from a Delaware Indian word, applied by settlers of Western New York State to a trail that followed the Allegheny River. Its county seat is Belmont.

Contents

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,034 square miles (2,700 km2), of which 1,030 square miles (2,700 km2) is land and 4 square miles (10 km2) (0.41%) is water.

Allegany County is in the southwestern part of New York State, along the Pennsylvania border. Allegany County does not lie along the Allegheny River, as its name would suggest. The highest point in the county is Alma Hill with an elevation of 2,548' above sea level. This is the highest point west of the Catskill Mountains in New York State. The highest point of Interstate 86 is located in the Town of West Almond with an elevation of 2,110'. This is also believed to be the highest point of any Interstate in the New York.

The Genesee River bisects the county from south to north. In June 1972 the remnants of Hurricane Agnes stalled over the area, dropping more than 20 inches (510 mm) of rain. There was memorable flooding in Wellsville, Belmont, Belfast and other valley communities of the county. The Genesee River is extremely popular with canoeists (as it was a favored route for Native Americans) and the river abounds in smallmouth bass, trout and panfish.

History

  • Allegany County was created on 1806-04-07 when Genesee County, New York was partitioned so that 1,570 square miles (4,000 km2) was given over to the new county. The first County Seat was established at Angelica, New York where it remained for half a century. It was later moved to Belmont, New York on the Genesee River.[1]
  • On 1808-03-11, the borders were adjusted so that 230 square miles (600 km2) of Steuben County passed to Allegany County,[2] and 600 miles (1,000 km) of Allegany County passed to Genesee County.[3] This established the current border between Genesee and Steuben Counties, and reduced the size of Allegany County to 1,200 square miles (3,100 km2).
  • On 1812-06-12, the legislature authorized the attachment of Cattaraugus County, New York to Allegany County for administration reasons, but for practical reasons the attachment failed to take place at that time.[4] However, on 1814-04-13, the eastern half of Cattaraugus County was so attached and administered from Belmont.[5] This attachment was ended on 1817-03-28.[6]
  • On 1846-04-01, Allegany County lost 120 square miles (310 km2) to Wyoming County, reducing the size of Allegany County to 1,140 square miles (3,000 km2), and establishing the current border between Allegany and Wyoming Counties.[7]
  • On 1846-05-11, Allegany County lost 50 square miles (100 km2) to Livingston County, reducing the total to 1,090 square miles (2,800 km2), and establishing the western portion of the current border with Livingston County.[8]
  • On 1857-03-23, Allegany County lost another 40 square miles (100 km2) to Livingston County, passing the Ossian, New York area to Livingston County, and establishing the current border between them.[9]

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