Allegany State Park

History along the Finger Lakes Trail - Allegany Region

Allegany State Park

Salamanca, New York 14779, United States

Created By: Diane Lebo Wallace


Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and established in 1921, Allegany is the largest in the New York State Parks system. Its 65,000 acres features primitive forested valleys, un-glaciated landscape, fall foliage, wildlife and extensive recreational facilities.

Until 1797, Western New York was the domain of the Seneca Indians. Quaker missionaries first arrived in the area in 1798 at the invitation of Seneca Chief Cornplanter. In 1803 the Quakers purchased land and established a farm at Tunesassa, later known as Quaker Run. They first established a formal school in this area around 1816 and established the Friends Boarding School for Indian Children in 1848.

Lumbering and its associated industries were the primary occupations of the first settlers in the park. The 1860’s saw the beginning of the second most important industry in this region -- oil and gas. In 1865 Job Moses completed the first commercial oil well in New York State on lands that are now part of Allegany State Park (near Limestone).

The Kinzua Dam, located south of the Finger Lakes Trail and the New York-Pennsylvania border, was constructed in 1965 on the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania. It was originally proposed to help mitigate flooding in Pittsburgh, 200 miles downriver, but the 27-mile reservoir that formed behind it inundated vast tracts of the Seneca Indians’ ancestral lands, forcing their removal in breach of the United States’ oldest treaty then in effect. A 2017 documentary, "Lake of Betrayal", recounts the Seneca Nation's fight against the dam to protect their sovereignty.

FLT Map M1

This point of interest is part of the tour: History along the Finger Lakes Trail - Allegany Region


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