Cattaraugus County

US States / N / New York / Cattaraugus County

Cattaraugus County is named for a Seneca word meaning “bad smelling banks” referring to the odor of natural gas which leaked from local rock formations. 


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Erie County and Wyoming County

E – Alleghany County

S – McKean County, Pennsylvania and Warren County, Pennsylvania 

W – Chautauqua County


Created:  March 11, 1808                       Map of New York highlighting Cattaraugus County

County Seat:

Ellicottville   1817 – 1868

Little Valley  1868 – present


County Courthouse – Little Valley


Location:  303 Court Street / 8th Street

Built:  1964 – 1967

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Nilstein, Witter, Davis & Hamilton

Contractor:  Siegfried Construction Company Inc.


Description:  The building faces southwest and is a three story buff colored brick and concrete structure. The rectangular shaped building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Little Valley. The central entrance on the southwest front has a small canopy over the first story entrance with a white colored stone section above with the county crest. White colored horizontal bands run between the windows and along the flat roof line.


Old County Courthouse –  Ellicottville 




Location:  1 West Washington Street / Jefferson Street

Built:  1829

Style:  Federal

Architect:  William Stillwell, Andrew Mead and Abner Chase

Contractor:  William Stillwell, Andrew Mead and Abner Chase


Description:  The building faces south and is a two story red colored brick structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Ellicottville. The south front has a central entrance with arched window above on the second story. The roof has Dutch gables along the roof line. The building has a limestone foundation. On the roof is an hexagonal white colored octagonal wood cupola. The building served as the first courthouse until 1868 and is now the City Hall.


History:  The county was formed in 1808 and annexed to Niagara County and in 1812, annexed to Allegany County for judicial purposes. Ellicottville was named as the county seat when the county was organized in 1817. The first courthouse was a log structure erected in 1817 to 1818. The courthouse burned in 1829. The second courthouse was constructed in 1829. In 1868 and is still standing. The county seat was moved to Little Valley. The third courthouse was designed by Horatio Nelson White and constructed by Porter Welch in 1968. The fourth and present courthouse was constructed in 1964 to 1967.




County Courthouse – Little Valley






















Old County Courthouse – Ellicottville













Photos taken 2010 and 2011