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Little Valley Village

Little Valley Village Hall is located at 103 Rock City Street, Little Valley NY 14755; phone: 716-938-9151.

Beginnings [1]

The Village of Little Valley is a station on the Erie Railroad, near the northwestern part of the town, about eight miles from Salamanca. It is pleasantly located on a level piece of ground, environed by high hills, which give the surroundings a picturesque appearance, and constitute this one of the most attractive places in the county. There was but a small settlement here before the railroad. In 1851, Horace Howe first platted some village lots on the small creek, where the first business-houses were erected. The same year Cyrus S. Shepard platted an addition on the east, extending down the valley; and, in 1867, John Manley platted 150 acres in the western part of the village, on which were located the county building the same year. From this time on the place has had a certain growth, and attained whatever importance now attaches to it.

There are at present [1879] about 600 inhabitants, three churches, a number of public buildings and business-houses, where an active trade is carried on. The first store in the town was kept about a mile below the village by Alfred Ayers. He occupied a small building which stood near the railroad-crossing in that locality. Shepard & Smead followed in business, and later the former alone was very extensively engaged in trade, combining real-estate speculation and stock-dealing with general merchandising. His business had assumed such extensive proportions that nearly every one in the valley suffered from his failure in 1852.

At the old Shepard stand L.L. Coleman and S.C. Green were also in trade, and the place was last occupied for this purpose by Weatherby & Brown. Horace Howe opened the first store in the village some time after 1850, in what is now known as the Densmore building. His business was extensive and embraced many kinds of traffic; opposite the store he erected a palatial mansion, which was reputed the finest in the county. Like Shepard, Howe met with reverses, and his failure seriously affected the prosperity of the place. The residence was destroyed by fire. S.S. Marsh, S.C. Green, J.S. Peabody, Chase & Bucklin, and S.B. Densmore followed as principal merchants. Among those at present most active in trade are E.N. Lee, R.H. Butterfield, S.A. Tuttle, and J.H. Mack.

Benjamin Fuller put up one of the first taverns in the place, on the site of the "Rock City Hotel." This was afterwards known as the Howe tavern, and was kept, among others, by John Hickey. The latter afterwards built a tavern near the railroad, which he kept many years, but which is now a residence. The Howe tavern was burned, and the present house was built about 1866, by J. Gano.

The "Palace Hotel" was built in 1876, by Henry Dow, and soon after became the property of S.C. Green, who very successfully conducted it until the spring of 1878, since when F.K. Alvord has been the landlord. It is a large three-story building with accommodations for 75 guests, and its appointments and conduct reflect credit on the place.

Little Valley became the county seat in 1868.

  1. Ellis, Frank, editor, History of Cattaraugues County New York, L.H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1879.
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