Alma, New York

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Alma is a town in Allegany County, New York, USA. The population was 847 at the 2000 census. The source of the town name is uncertain. It may come from the Latin word for "nourishing", or it may be named for a city in Germany.

The Town of Alma is on the southern edge of Allegany County and is southwest of the Village of Wellsville.

Contents

History

The area was first settled around 1833. The Town of Alma was established in 1854 from part of the Town of Willing. From 1881 to January 1893 several of the settlements in the Township (most notably Allentown) were on the Wellsville NY-Eldred PA Main Line of the Bradford, Eldred & Cuba Railroad (BE&C). The BE&C was a 36" narrow-gauge railroad built to serve the Allegany County oil boom. With the end of the boom and loss of the passenger and freight traffic therefrom the railroad entered receivership (bankruptcy) and was abandoned. Today the railheads for Alma Township are Wellsville and Friendship.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 36.5 square miles (94.7 km²), of which, 36.5 square miles (94.4 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.25%) is water.

Alma Hill, the wide rise which dominates the southern half of town, is at 2,548 feet (777 m) not only the highest point in Allegany County but the entire western half of the state. The section of Alma Hill Road that runs near the summit is, at approximately 2,500 feet (760 m), the highest free paved public road in the state outside of the Catskills.

The south town line is the Pennsylvania border.

New York State Route 417 crosses the north part of the town.

Demographics

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 847 people, 322 households, and 243 families residing in the town. The population density was 23.2 people per square mile (9.0/km²). There were 533 housing units at an average density of 14.6/sq mi (5.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.99% White, 0.12% African American, 0.35% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.24% from other races, and 1.06% from two or more races.

There were 322 households out of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.0% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.5% were non-families. 20.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 2.99.

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