Visit Gowanda

History (Courtesy of the Gowanda Historical Society) The Gowanda Historical Museum is located at 3 Chestnut Street, Gowanda. Hours of operation are:  1:00PM - 4:00 PM Thursdays April through December. The name "Gowanda" is derived from the Seneca Indian phrase meaning "a valley among the hills" or "under the cliffs," referring to the village's location below the Zoar Valley gorge along Cattaraugus Creek. Occupied by various Indian tribes before the American Revolution, the westward movement of our growing nation brought the first settlers here from New England early in the 19th century. What is now Gowanda was settled in 1810 by Turner Aldrich, who bought 707 acres on both sides of the creek from the Holland Land Company. He cleared the land, built a cabin, a sawmill and a gristmill. The settlement was called Aldrich's Mills until 1823 when the name was changed to Lodi. The village was incorporated as Gowanda in 1848. Ahaz Allen settled next in 1812, erecting a cabin above Aldrich's in what is now called Hidi. The first white child born here was his daughter, Caroline, in 1813. The next year he dug a race, dammed the creek, and built a sawmill. Allen built the first frame house here in 1815 on what is now Beech Street. It burned and was torn down in 1970. Those who followed these pioneers to this beautiful valley have each left their mark, large or small, in its streets, buildings, factories, businesses and institutions. The history of Gowanda is charted through fire and flood, economic boom or bust, immigration and migration, and the inevitable march of time. Historical Notes 1820    First Bridge over Cattaraugus Creek 1820  First Post Office, Aldrich Street 1824  First School, Buffalo and Mechanic Streets 1820  First cemetery, near Seneca Street 1827  First newspaper, "Lodi Pioneer" 1835  Town of Persia formed from Perrysburg 1856  Great fire destroys downtown Gowanda 1861  Flood destroys Main Street Bridge 1861  Col. Thomas J. Parker commands 64th NY Regiment in Civil War 1867  Pine Hill Cemetery 1970  Many brick homes and stores built 1874  Railroad station opens 1881  Bank of Gowanda opens 1884  Fire Department organizes 1889  Iron bridge on Main Street opens 1889  Gowanda Cooperative Savings and Loan Association organized 1896  Gaensslen, Fisher & Co tannery located in Hidi 1898  Gowanda State Homeopathic Hospital opens 1904  Eastern Tanners Glue Co built 1912 J.N. Adam Memorial Hospital opens in Perrysburg 1926  Hollywood Theatre build by Wilhelm family 1956  New Junior-Senior high school dedicated 1963  Iron bridge replaced by modern bridge   If coming from Buffalo, head South on Route 62. If coming from Fredonia, head East on Route 39. If coming from Salamanca, head North on Route 353.

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