Allegany County, New York

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Allegany County, New York
Map of New York highlighting Allegany County
Location in the state of New York
Map of USA NY
New York's location in the U.S.
Founded 1806
Seat Belmont
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,034 sq mi (2,678 km²)

4 sq mi (10 km²), 0.41%
 - (2000)
 - Density

49/sq mi (19/km²)

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 Allegany (Allegheny) River. Its county seat is Belmont.

History Edit

When counties were established in New York State in 1683, the present Allegany County was part of Albany County. This was an enormous county, including the northern part of New York State as well as all of the present State of Vermont and, in theory, extending westward to the Pacific Ocean. This county was reduced in size on July 3, 1766 by the creation of Cumberland County, and further on March 16, 1770 by the creation of Gloucester County, both containing territory now in Vermont.

On March 12, 1772, what was left of Albany County was split into three parts, one remaining under the name Albany County. One of the other pieces, Tryon County, contained the western portion (and thus, since no western boundary was specified, theoretically still extended west to the Pacific). The eastern boundary of Tryon County was approximately five miles west of the present city of Schenectady, and the county included the western part of the Adirondack Mountains and the area west of the West Branch of the Delaware River. The area then designated as Tryon County now includes 37 counties of New York State. The county was named for William Tryon, colonial governor of New York.

In the years prior to 1776, most of the Loyalists in Tryon County fled to Canada. In 1784, following the peace treaty that ended the American Revolutionary War, the name of Tryon County was changed to Montgomery County in honor of the general, Richard Montgomery, who had captured several places in Canada and died attempting to capture the city of Quebec, replacing the name of the hated British governor.

Ontario County was split off from Montgomery County in 1789. In turn, Genesee County was split off from Ontario County in 1802.

Allegany County was formed in 1806, split off from Genesee County.

From 1812 to 1816, Cattaraugus County was incorporated into Allegany. From 1814 to 1817, some of the county records of Cattaraugus County were kept in Belmont.

The southern part of the county lies within the oil field where petroleum was first discovered in the USA, at Titusville. Names such as Wellsville and Petrolia (as well as Olean in neighboring Cattaraugus County) indicate areas where oil was formerly extracted. Oil has played out, but natural gas is still an important Allegany County resource. Bolivar was named in honor of Simón Bolívar, the South American masonic Anti-Spanish agitator.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,679 km² (1,034 sq mi). 2,668 km² (1,030 sq mi) of it is land and 11 km² (4 sq mi) of it (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 Allegany (Allegheny) River, as its name would suggest; that river actually runs through the adjacent Cattaraugus County). However a small part of the County in the western and southwestern parts does contribute to the Allegheny River Watershed. That watershed eventually contributes to the Ohio and then Mississippi River Watershed. The Eastern part of the County contributes to the Canisteo River Watershed which then proceeds into the Susquehanna River basin eventually proceeding all the way to the Chesapaeke Bay. A very small part of the county in the northwest contributes to the Cattaraugus Creek watershed which flows to Lake Erie, one of the Great Lakes. The majority of the County contributes to the Genesee River, a north flowing river that starts in Pennsylvania in Potter County and proceeds north through Letchworth Park over three large waterfalls. Then moving into the relatively flatlands near Avon and on to Rochester, NY. In Rochester the river flow over three more large waterfalls and then into Lake Ontario. In all Allegany County contributes water to the North Atlantic Ocean via the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River; to the mid Atlantic Ocean through the Susquehanna River and also to the Gulf of Mexico through the Allegheny River/Mississippi River.

The County is entirely within the Allegheny Plateau (note spelling variation), a dissected plateau along the western side of the Appalachian Mountains. The highest hills in the southern part of the county are in excess of 2,000 feet in elevation, and the terrain slopes generally to the northward. The high hills are composed of rocks of Mississippian and Pennsylvanian age, and the lower elevations to the northward are of Devonian age. The Genesee River, passing downward exposes many segments of the geologic column wherever it cuts through rock layers. 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 of rain. There was memorable flooding in Wellsville, Belmont, Belfast and other valley communities of the county. The Genesee River is extremely popular with canoists (as it was a favored route for Native Americans) and the river abounds in smallmouth bass, trout and panfish.

Adjacent counties Edit


As of the census² of 2000, there were 49,927 people, 18,009 households, and 12,192 families residing in the county. The population density was 19/km² (48/sq mi). There were 24,505 housing units at an average density of 9/km² (24/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 97.03% White, 0.72% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.72% Asian, 0.37% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. 0.91% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 22.3% were of German, 16.6% English, 13.8% Irish, 11.9% American and 7.0% Italian ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 18,009 households out of which 31.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.20% were married couples living together, 9.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.30% were non-families. 26.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.40% under the age of 18, 15.50% from 18 to 24, 23.90% from 25 to 44, 22.20% from 45 to 64, and 14.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 99.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,106, and the median income for a family was $38,580. Males had a median income of $30,401 versus $21,466 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,975. About 10.50% of families and 15.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.20% of those under age 18 and 7.50% of those age 65 or over.

Additional information about Allegany County Edit

The spelling Allegany County is used in Maryland as well as in New York; Pennsylvania spells a similarly-named county Allegheny County which is where the City of Pittsburgh exists, while Virginia and North Carolina spell theirs Alleghany County.

While fishing in the Genesee and other area streams is excellent, Wiscoy Creek in the northern part of the county (also in Wyoming County)is one of the most famous trout streams in the area, drawing fishermen from across northeastern USA. Both wild and stocked brown trout are to be found in various stretches of this stream.

Educational institutions Edit

Higher education facilities include: Alfred University, Alfred State College, Houghton College.

External links Edit

Coordinates: 42°15′N 78°01′W / 42.25, -78.02

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Allegany County, New York. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

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