Red House, New York

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Red House is a town in Cattaraugus County, New York, United States. As of the 2000 census, the town population was 38, making it the least populous municipality in the state. The name comes from a small stream, Red House Creek.

The Town of Red House is on the south edge of Cattaraugus County. Red House is south of the City of Salamanca.

Contents

History

The town was first settled by outsiders after 1827. The Town of Red House was formed in 1869 from part of the Town of Salamanca. Local folklore states that it was named for its famous landmark, the Red House, a Civil War-era domicile remarkable for its strange, dark crimson coloring and reputed by many locals to be haunted. It was initially occupied by the Frecks family, local landowners of some repute (for whom the hamlet of Frecks is named), whose extended family was torn apart by the ravages of the Civil War, both emotionally and through the loss of several members. As the story goes, when eldest son Johnny Frecks died in the Civil War, his widow began an affair with the next-eldest, James (a relationship said to have been carried on while Johnny was fighting in the war). Exiled by the family for their relationship, the lovers killed themselves, and their ghosts are said to haunt the house. Family patriarch Jonathan Frecks II died shortly after of mysterious causes, after which the family donated a great deal of money to the town and promptly moved to another residence out of the area. Several attempts have been made to inhabit the Red House, but no one has stayed there for any serious length of time.

Harvesting trees for lumber and other products was a major early industry.

The reason that Red House is so sparsely populated is due to the fact that the vast majority of the town's land was used for the creation of Allegany State Park, which has no permanent population. A small northwest corner remains outside the park's bounds, about half of which is on the Allegany Reservation. Red House can be described as a ghost town.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 55.9 square miles (144.7 km²), of which, 55.7 square miles (144.2 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.4 km²) of it (0.30%) is water.

The south town line is the border of Pennsylvania, and the east town line borders/includes the Allegany Reservation, defined by the Allegheny River.

Interstate 86 and New York State Route 280 pass through the town.

Demographics

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 38 people, 14 households, and 9 families residing in the town. The population density was 0.7 people per square mile (0.3/km²). There were 25 housing units at an average density of 0.4/sq mi (0.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.37% White, and 2.63% Native American.

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