Little Valley (village), New York

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Little Valley, New York
The village's post office.
The village's post office.
Little Valley, New York is located in New York
Little Valley, New York
Little Valley, New York
Location within the state of New York
Coordinates: 42°14′58″N 78°47′59″W / 42.24944°N 78.79972°W / 42.24944; -78.79972Coordinates: 42°14′58″N 78°47′59″W / 42.24944°N 78.79972°W / 42.24944; -78.79972
Country United States
State New York
County Cattaraugus
Incorporated 1870
 • Mayor Norman Marsh
 • Total 1.0 sq mi (2.6 km2)
 • Land 1.0 sq mi (2.6 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 1,598 ft (487 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 1,740
 • Density 1,700/sq mi (670/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 14755
Area code(s) 716
FIPS code 36-42829
GNIS feature ID 0955720
Phone exchange 938

Little Valley is a village in Cattaraugus County, New York, USA. The population was 1,740 at the 2010 census.

The Village of Little Valley is in the northwest corner of the Town of Little Valley. Little Valley is the county seat of Cattaraugus County and also the location of the county fair (held in August in the fairgrounds north of the village). The village is north of Salamanca, New York.

The town's name is a relative comparison of two tributaries (the other being the neighboring Great Valley) of the Allegheny River.


Prior to 1868, the Village of Ellicottville was the county seat, but the presence of a railroad line in Little Valley (one that was shut down ca. 1990) prompted a move.

The Village of Little Valley was incorporated in 1876.

The Little Valley post office is the only village structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[1] Ironically, the building is one of the newer buildings in the town, constructed in 1941, and several other buildings (such as the Civil War Memorial Building in 1911 and the former Little Valley Central School building in 1921, as well as many of the houses) are significantly older than the post office.

Ira Joe Fisher, a daytime television personality and weather reporter, spent most of his childhood in Little Valley, as did Mark Memmott, a contributor to NPR.

Politics and government[edit]

The village is operated by a village board that consists of a mayor, a deputy mayor, and three trustees. All serve four-year terms, and most of the board is up for re-election on the same year, meaning that two to three years can pass without any village board seats up for election.

The mayor of Little Valley is Norman Marsh, a Republican. Marsh was re-elected through 2015 in an unopposed election on March 15, 2011. The village board consists of a deputy mayor and three other trustees.


Little Valley is located at 42°14′58″N 78°47′59″W / 42.24944°N 78.79972°W / 42.24944; -78.79972 (42.249555, -78.799775).[2]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.0 square miles (2.6 km²).None of the area is covered with water.

Little Valley Creek, a tributary of the Allegheny River, flows past the northeast side of the village. A smaller creek, Lees Hollow, flanks the Little Valley Creek on the southern side of the village.

State routes NY-242 and NY-353 converge at the village. County Routes 5 and 14 enter the village from the north.

Bus service is provided to the village by Coach USA (on its Jamestown to New York City line) and the Seneca Transit System (on its Buffalo to Highbanks line).

The Pat McGee Trail runs through Little Valley and has a major stop at a former rail depot (now a pavilion) in the village.


As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 1,130 people, 427 households, and 266 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,127.3 people per square mile (436.3/km²). There were 513 housing units at an average density of 511.8 per square mile (198.1/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 95.58% White, 1.86% Black or African American, 0.80% Native American, 0.09% from other races, and 1.68% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.77% of the population.

There were 427 households out of which 32.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.8% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.7% were non-families. 32.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the village the population was spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 31.7% from 25 to 44, 18.5% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 110.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 107.1 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $28,750, and the median income for a family was $31,875. Males had a median income of $27,500 versus $20,962 for females. The per capita income for the village was $14,458. About 11.2% of families and 15.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.7% of those under age 18 and 7.4% of those age 65 or over.

Attractions and businesses[edit]

Little Valley's main attraction is Little Valley Speedway, a half-mile dirt track used for stock car racing and demolition derbies during the summer. It is one of the most popular race tracks in the area and doubles as the Cattaraugus County Fairgrounds, the site of the annual county fair.

The Village of Little Valley also has:

  • One full-service grocery store (Brooks Market, formerly an A&P until 1971) that also serves as pizza and sub shop
  • One Crosby's convenience store. Crosby's operated the former Dairyland on the western side of town before closing that location and buying the former Uni-Mart in the center of town.
  • A local Do It Best franchise, Vail Hardware. Prior to Vail ownership taking over in the 1990s, Merow (Brothers) Hardware was a Servistar franchise.
  • Hughes Hotel, a tavern
  • A laundromat
  • Rock City Chrysler-Dodge automobile dealership
  • John's Collision, a towing service, automobile repair company and auto racing team
  • Mager Mountain Alpacas/So Soft Gift Shop, an alpaca farm and gift shop
  • A public outdoor pool, the only one of its kind in the area
  • An ice skating rink, built on Lyle Underwood Pond, and weight room
  • A school building, built in 1921, that served as the Little Valley Central School District's lone campus. In 2000, Little Valley Central School was annexed to Cattaraugus Central School, which renamed itself Cattaraugus-Little Valley Central School as a result; as part of the merger, the Cattaraugus board of education signed an agreement to keep Little Valley open. A referendum put forth by the school on December 5, 2006 to close the building and consolidate all school operations in Cattaraugus was rejected, largely due to backlash in Little Valley. Nonetheless, the school board of education voted to close the building in 2012 without voter approval, a decision that is (as of June 2012) being appealed to the New York State Education Department. A playground and former practice field is also owned and maintained by the school.
  • Little Valley Volunteer Fire Department Inc. Formed on July 13, 1888 as Citizen Hose Company #1.
  • Four churches; a United Methodist, a Congregational and a King James Only Baptist in the center of town and a Wesleyan Church on the western border. The Baptist church (Grace Bible Baptist) also operates Grace Christian Academy, a private K-12 school, from its Little Valley campus.
  • The Pat McGee Trail, a pedestrian walkway and cornerstone of Cattaraugus County's trail system, running 12 miles along an abandoned railbed from Cattaraugus to Salamanca and named after the late state senator Patricia McGee. A handful of snowmobile trails also converge upon the village thanks to its central location in the county.
  • A local bank, the Cattaraugus County Bank, which is headquartered in the village and has several branches in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and southern Erie Counties.
  • Brywood Spa and Salon/Coffee Talk Creamery, a salon and ice cream shop/breakfast café in the village
  • Golden Pin Lanes, a private, 1970s-vintage, four-lane bowling alley
  • In 2001 a Chamber of Commerce was started. It is known as the Little Valley Area Chamber of Commerce. They host different events: "Cheers to Little Valley," and sponsor "Christmas on Main St."
  • Two radio stations, classic hits WGWE (105.9) and weather radio WWG32 (162.425), are licensed to the village. WWG32 is based in Cheektowaga, while WGWE has its headquarters in Salamanca. WGWE's tower is located about a mile south of the village atop Fourth Street.

Despite the village's small size, it was, for a time, the home of a conglomerate. Pirshlo, Inc., owned by Lloyd and Rebecca Long, owned and operated the Uni-Mart, the laundromat, a tanning booth by the name of Island Tan, a weekly newspaper known as the County-Chronicle and several apartments for rent. Lloyd Long was arrested in November 2007 (and later convicted in July 2008) after it was discovered he had been hiding Pirshlo's ownership of two supposedly Seneca-owned Uni-Marts in Salamanca and evading taxes on tobacco in the process.[4] The laundromat, tanning booth, apartments and Uni-Mart have been sold off to other companies while the newspaper has been shut down.

Bush Industries had a factory on the western side of the village for many years; said plant was closed in February 2008. Half of the approximately 100 workers were offered jobs in the main plant in Jamestown, but those jobs would be cut entirely after only six months. The factory was reopened under the name "Innovative Wood Solutions," a locally owned company that relocated from a more dilapidated plant (since demolished) in Randolph, shortly after Bush's departure from Little Valley; that company also ceased operations in 2013.

Historically, the village is well known for its numerous knife businesses, including Cattaraugus Cutlery Company, W. R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co., and their many spin-offs, that resided in the village in the early part of the 20th century. None of the cutlery businesses remain in Little Valley, although many are still in business elsewhere. The Cattaraugus Cutlery building (closed in 1963) still stands in Little Valley, although it is partially collapsed and in unusable condition.

Another abandoned factory sits on the north side of town at the end of Second Street. It was most recently used by Salamanca Area Beverage Company, a distributor of Miller Brewing Company products. Salamanca Beverage sold out to another distributor in November 2011 and moved out of the village; the building is currently being maintained by Snowbrook Water, a much smaller scale bottled water distributor.

The county museum was housed in a building constructed in 1911 as a memorial built to mark the semicentennial of the Civil War, across the street from the county center. The museum moved to a facility in Machias in 2004 and has been sitting vacant since the departure of the county board of elections in 2013.

Three weekly newspapers have operated out of Little Valley; the first was the Cattaraugus Republican (founded 1867, originally based in Ellicottville, but later acquired by the Salamanca Press), the second was the Little Valley Hub (operated from 1881 to 1964), and the most recent was the "County Chronicle," which printed from 1992 to 2007, with some of the earlier years being based in Salamanca.


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ Turano, Sharon. Long Pleads Guilty: Salamanca Man May Serve Jail Time. The Post-Journal. 15 July 2008.

External links[edit]