How Did BOLIVAR, NY
Get It's Name?
by Ron Taylor 3/2009
Always of interest, how did a name come about, led me to County Historian's (Craig Braack) files and his explanation about our town of Bolivar, NY which follows:
"BOLIVAR (1825): (Locally pronounced "Bah--lih--ver") This town was named for the great South American liberator Simon Bolivar. Just west of the present village of Bolivar lies the hamlet of Kossuth named for Louis (Lajos) Kossuth Governor of Hungry during its fight for independence and democracy (1848-1849). Formed from Friendship, February 15, 1825."
The recent interest about the name came from my email receipt from former Wellsville resident, Ric Main and his comments and research items follow:
"The attached article is written and researched by Clara Houck. She is now in an assisted living home. Her son is a neighbor/friend of mine. Clara was the village's first official librarian. She has authored a number of books on the area (never for profit) and is by far the most noted unofficial historian in central New York. A very, very thorough woman in her efforts.
"The date mentioned in the article regarding Bolivar is 1819 which one might question as it is generally noted that the Erie Canal was first opened 1825. It was actually done and opened in phases with some of the first parts taking place between Rome and Chittenango as proof by Mr. Clinton, to the powers in Albany, that it could be done. The flat, muck soiled valley of this area was easy, quick digging allowing Clinton to make quick progress and believers of our State's government from whom he sought funding. This was several years prior to its grand opening in 1825.
Note: Don't become confused with all the similarity of names mentioned in the articles below, of Allegany County names vs. these, of Madison County. rt