Ellicottville, so named in honor of Joseph Ellicott, an agent of the Holland Land Company, was formed from Ischua in 1820. A portion of Ashford and East Otto were taken in 1824, and 1858 respectively.
The first land contract issued by the Holland Land Company on lands in
Ellicottville was in 1813. The first log home in the Town was built in 1815, followed
by the first log home in the Village in 1815, and the first frame house and tavern were built in 1817. Development that followed included a
a blacksmith shop (1817), a store (1818), a land office (Holland
Land Company - 1818), and a sawmill in 1821.
The organization of the County and the designation of Ellicottville as the County
Seat (previously Olean) occurred in 1817. The County Seat building, completed in
1820, burned in 1829 and was replaced with a brick structure.
The completion of the County Building saw rapid growth in the Village. The Village
was incorporated in 1837 and was to first to be dignified with a village
Other development within and around the Village included a hotel (Mansion House
- 1820, also known as the Huntley House), the first school house (1820) on Bryant Hill Rd., post office
(1822), first church (1837), tannery 1827, sawmill (1828), paper (Republican -
1835 - later known as the Cattaraugus County Union -1854), Ellicottville Female
Seminary (1835), insurance company (Cattaraugus County Mutual Insurance Company
1837), feed mill (Maple Grove Mills), telegraph (1848), Ellicottville Union
School and Academy (1865), Union Fair Grounds of Ellicottville (1867).
In the 1870's, Ellicottville contained 4 churches, 2 hotels, a post office, a
school house, a bank, a land office, 4 dry good and grocery stores, 10 groceries,
2 drug stores, a hardware store, harness shop, shoe store, 2 cabinet shops, 2
furniture stores, 7 blacksmith shops, 2 tailor shops, a printing office, jewelry
store, 3 millinery stores, grist mill, steam sawmill, 3 shoemakers, foundry,
carriage shop, sign and carriage painter, market railroad station, 8 lawyers, 4
Several organizations began to appear in Ellicottville among which were
Cattaraugus County Anti-Slavery Society (1836), Independent Bachelors (1848),
Ellicottville Lodge No. 307 (1853), Star Union No. 22 (1879), Bryant Hill Lodge
No. 808 (1890).
On May 11, 1890 a fire devastated Ellicottville, destroying many businesses on the North side of Washington St. About a year later, the opposite side of the same street was the scene of a large fire.
Most reconstruction was of brick .
Ellicottville has transformed from the County Seat to a logging/ mill community to
a major tourism center, home of Holiday Valley and Holimont (the largest
private family ski area in North America), Ellicottville attracts an average
of 650,000 visitors annually.
Source: Cattaraugus County Book 1808-1995/96 and Mary Elizabeth Dunbar, Town Historian