Carrollton, named in honor of Guy Carrolton Irvine one of the original proprietors
of that part of the County, was created from Great Valley in 1842. A
portion of the Seneca Nation of Indian Reservation (Allegany) extends through
portions of the Town. The Allegany River, its principal stream, crosses in the
northern portion of the Town, with tributaries known as Chipmunk (Trout) and
Tunegawant (Tuna) Creek.
Early settlers came not to farm but for the fine timber (1814) which was floated
down the Allegany to be manufactured. First sawmill, for lumber and shingles,
was built in 1828. A number of sawmills (i.e. Nichols & Co.) sprung up along the
Tuna in the Limestone area. A handle factory (M. Babcock & Son), constructed in
1874, shipped primarily to the European market. A planing mill was built at Vandalia
in 1871 (Roy, Stone & Co.). The Vandalia Chemical - Works (a tannin extract company)
was built in 1874, was preceded by the Limestone Tannery in 1858.
In early times, the main means of communication was by boat, canoes or scows on
the Allegany and Tuna Creek. In 1831 a ferry was built across the Allegany, near
the mouth of Tuna, along with a tavern. A bridge built in 1849, near the mouth of
Chipmonk, was replaced by a bridge built in 1868 below the mouth of Tuna.
Tuna Creek, the Town's chief area of oil development, was once lined with derricks.
Search for oil began in 1864. By the end of 1878, 250 wells had been
drilled, with 225 paying producers. Many oil interests (i.e. Harsh & Schreiber,
Consolidated Land and Petroleum Company) began putting down successful wells.
First settlement in this area was in 1828. Tuna Valley is where t he principal
settlement took place.
The Erie Railroad, running parallel to and on the north side of the Allegany,
had a depot at Vandalia and a station at Carrollton Junction. The Erie, (also
known as the Bradford Branch of the Erie), intended for transporting coal, continued
south from Carrollton Junction to Bradford on the east side of Tuna, with
a depot at Limestone and Irvine Mills. The Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburg Railroad
paralleled the Erie south to Bradford with a depot at Carrollton and Lime stone.
Besides the station at Carrollton, there was a station at Limestone and
Irvine's Mills .
Transport of oil to the refinery and consumer by rail had been found to be
insufficient and unsatisfactory. Transporting by pipeline had been employed.
First pipeline station was established in 1875 by the United PipeLine Company (at
the NY/PA line), followed by a second at Irvine Mills (1878).
The first lumber interests caused Irvine Mills to be the oldest hamlet in the
Town . It was once the site of 2 lumber mills, handle factory, store, tavern and
way station on the Bradford Railroad.
Vandalia, a hamlet within the Seneca Nation of Indian Reservation, was a switch
location for the Erie Railroad. Several lumber mills, hemlock extract works,
several shops, store, tavern, and a public house were sited here. The Vandalia
post office opened in 1867.
The hamlet of Carrollton, located on the Reservation, owes its existence to being
the junction of the Erie and the Bradford Railroad. However, travel to the oil
regions of the Town resulted in the establishment of 3 public houses, large depot
building, telegraph & express office, post office and a oil pump station, a
church, and a kindling wood factory.
The Hamlet of Fullersburgh was located on the east side of Tuna Creek, while the
Hamlet of Limestone was located on the west side of the Creek. Historically, no
limestone rock exists in this locality. Upon exhumation of some skeletons in
prehistoric mounds which bones crumbled when exposed to air producing a white
dust, a remark was made that the bones were like limestone. Hence, Limestone
Hamlet, which contained 2 stores (i.e . Tuna Valley Store), and a public house
New Ireland, in the west part of Carrollton, was settled in the 1850's by natives
of County Clare, Ireland. Many fled Ireland during the potato famine (1841-1845)
in hopes of a better life in America. Following work on the Erie Railroad and
Genesee Canal, 12 Irish families settled in Carrollton.
Business interests were diverted to the east side of Tuna Creek with the location
of the railroad and a tannery there. The Hamlet of Fullersburgh and the Hamlet
of Limestone (west side of Tuna Creek) became Limestone. The Village of Limestone
was incorporated in 1877. The Village began to grow, containing 2 stores
(i.e. Barry & Shafer), a "lock-up" and public pound (1878), hardware store
(1876), 2 drug stores ( i .e. Nichols & Paton), a tavern (1862), several public
houses (i.e. Eagle House, Limestone House, Tunegawant House ), a bank (1877), 3
doctors, an attorney, 3 schools (i.e . Limestone Union Free School 1871 changed to
the Limestone Academy and Union School 1878), 4 churches (one of which was The
First Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Carrollton (1877).
Cattaraugus County Book 1808-1995/96