The Town of East Otto was formed from Otto in 1854. A portion each was annexed
to Otto, from Ellicottville and Ashford, in 1858 and 1866 respectively. Its
northern and northeastern boundaries are irregular, following the Cattaraugus and
Connoisarauley Creeks. One can see Lake Erie, more than 20 miles away, from some
of the hilltops.
First settlement was made in 1816 in what was known as East Otto village (Otto
Corners), and situated southwest of the center of the Town. Early pioneers
felled the forest and opened the land to fruitful farms. The principal interest
was agricultural with hay, oats, corn, potatoes and apples, production of butter
and cheese. In 1862, Otto Corners contained 3 churches and 17 dwellings.
The first store and sawmill in the Town of East Otto was built in 1824.
In the 1890's, the East Otto village, surrounded by a farming community, housed 2
general merchandise stores (i.e. J & D Laing); hardware, stoves, and tin store
(Mason's); a furniture and undertaking (Philbrick); a drug store, a harness and
horse furnishings store, 2 carriage shops (i . e. S R Sikes); 2 blacksmiths, a
cheese factory (Grampp); a cheese box factory, sawmill and grist mill
(Hawkins); an inn (Hammond House), and a cemetery.
Plato, a small hamlet (named in honor of the Greek philosopher, Plato) in the
southeast corner of the Town, saw the establishment of a post office in 1832 .
Aspiring to become a city, this hamlet once housed a cheese factory, a blacksmith
shop, a store and a school.
The population of East Otto in 1870 was 1,164; 1890 was 1,288; and in 1990 was
1,003. Today the Town of East Otto is reported to have several commercial entities
including a restaurant, a corner delis and a post office. In addition, there
are several cottage industries, such as Brookside Studio located on County Road 13. The "ultimate in recreation and vacations" is yours to enjoy at Rainbow Lake - a four season resort.
Source: Cattaraugus County Book 1808-1995/96