Blacksmiths, Timber, Sawmills & Nails in Allegany County, NY
This subject area of the website was a thought I had when I originally started the website April 2003. It is intended to cover some of the area of Timber history that was the first major industry of Allegany County after Agriculture.
All of the items mentioned in the heading have a relationship to Timber. The Allegany County Towns were originally covered with woodlands that went from one side of the county to the other. Hardwoods as well as softwoods were abundant and virgin when the first white man set foot upon the county's soil. The major timbering started about the 1820s and reached a climax far before the 1880 start of the Oil Boom in the county.
The hillsides of the county were nearly "scalped" of their timber during the middle of the 1800s. Knowing that the Town of Alma was nearly one solid mass of Hemlock forest in the lower half, the timber mills setup in the Alma/Honeoye/Mash valley and proceeded to harvest the huge trees for their timber value to be shipped throughout the world.
In Wellsville, tanneries were started which could use the huge quantity of hemlock bark supply which was abundant from the Alma forests. Wellsville's growth until oil time, was mainly dependent upon the tanneries and their supply of jobs for the residents of the community.
Related closely to the timber industry was the ancillary profession of Blacksmith, which had a correlation to nails and sawmills. Many of the nails were made by Blacksmiths and the sawmills demanded that someone work the metal tools and repair the machinery and to this task was called the local Blacksmith. The oxen and horses of the area were all shoed by the Blacksmith to support the timber industry as well as the agricultural community of the county.
And so it was. These subjects had many tales and interesting stories related to their rich history of our county. This area is totally dedicated to these subject areas and I entertain anyone to send submittals to be printed here.
Be patient as the area is developed since research is still on-going.......