A Visit to Cattaraugus County

Last week I made a trip home to New York State to visit my aunt and uncle at their beautiful residence on Lake Ontario. While I was there, I suggested a trip to Cattaraugus County and they were up for it, too, so off we went!

Our primary target was the city of Olean, where many in our family lived out their lives. We drove the scenic route from eastern Monroe County via Rte 98 through Albion, Batavia and Attica. We approached Olean on Rte 16 so that we could stop by the Pleasant Valley Cemetery to visit the resting places of George & Laura Feister and William & Delia Tidd. (Elsworth & Valeta Mosman also rest in the PVC.) We were able to locate George & Laura, but despite spending perhaps an hour searching we could not locate William & Delia.

Once into Olean, we located the former residence of Elsworth & Valeta Mosman near the hospital. Then on into the heart of town on N. Union Street to find a place for lunch. We opted for the Beef and Barrel, where we enjoyed a delicious, reviving meal and friendly service.

Next on the agenda was a visit to the Cattaraugus County Museum and Research Center in Machias. The museum is located in the Stone House, a structure erected in 1868 as the an alms house. While my aunt and uncle toured the museum exhibits, I conversed with the county historian about my research and the of records available at the museum.

Cattaraugus County Historical Museum and Research Library

While there wasn’t time for me to delve into a detailed study of the research center’s holdings, or come away with any new information about individuals in my family tree, the visit gave me an introduction to the resources avialable. No doubt, I’ll be in touch with the historian in the future as I seek to fill in the gaps in my family’s history.

I will certainly be back to Cattaraugus County again, armed with a longer list of places to see!

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