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Chautauqua County, located in western New York, is home to a rich and fascinating history that spans centuries. Here are seven interesting facts about this historic county:

1. It was named after Lake Chautauqua: The county is named after Chautauqua Lake, which is the largest lake in the county. The word "Chautauqua" is believed to have originated from the Native American word meaning "bag tied in the middle," referring to the shape of the lake.

2. It was once home to Fredonia Village: From 1820 to 1891, what is now Fredonia was its own independent village within the county. It was named after Alfred the Great's ancient seat in England.

3. It played a significant role in the Underground Railroad: Chautauqua County was a hub of anti-slavery activity in the mid-19th century. The county was home to many abolitionist activists, including Augustus Wattles, who helped to shelter runaway slaves as part of the Underground Railroad.

4. It was home to a thriving grape-growing industry: Chautauqua County was once the largest grape-growing region in the world. The Concord grape, which was developed in the county in the mid-19th century, became a staple of the American diet and is still used today in grape juice and jelly.

5. It was the birthplace of the women's suffrage movement: In 1848, the first women's rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, N.Y. However, Chautauqua County also played a significant role in the women's suffrage movement. In 1891, the New York State Woman Suffrage Association held its annual convention in Mayville, N.Y., which was the first time the Association had held its convention outside of New York City.

6. It was a center for innovation in the early 20th century: During the early 1900s, Chautauqua County was a hub of innovation. The county was home to several companies that were leading the way in new technologies, including the Jamestown Metal Products Company, which was a pioneer in the development of modern aluminum cookware.

7. It is home to the Chautauqua Institution: The Chautauqua Institution, which was founded in 1874, is a renowned education and cultural center located on the shore of Chautauqua Lake. The Institution features lectures, performances, and other cultural events throughout the summer months, and it attracts visitors from all over the world.

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