Chautauqua County Courthouse is located at 3 North Erie Street, Mayville, New York 14757; phone: 716‑753‑7111.
The first settlement was made at the mouth of Cattaraugus Creek in 1797 by Amos Sottle. After making some improvements, he left, and returned in 1801 with men named Sidney and Captain Rosencrantz. The town of Chautauqua was formed in 1804. County lands were included in the Holland Purchase. In 1835 the Holland Land Company sold their outstanding contracts and unsold lands to Trumbull Cary & Co. of Batavia; the new proprietors imposed such conditions upon the extension of contracts that the settlers rose en masse and demolished the land office at Mayville and burned the records in the public highway. In 1838 the interests of the company were transferred to Duer, Morrison & Seward and the troubles were satisfactorily settled.
According to the Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association, Chautauqua County and the North East area in Erie County PA comprise the bulk of the largest Concord grape growing region in the world, containing more than 30 thousand vineyard acres. The Chautauqua Lake Erie Wine Trail, had 21 area wineries as members as of summer, 2009.
The county is also noted for the Chautauqua Community and its summer programs of lecturers, meetings, classes in painting and arts and crafts, its music school, and its concerts and theater performances. The community sits along the western shore of the 17-1/2 mile long Lake Chautauqua.
The northern border includes 50 miles of Lake Erie shoreline.