Erie County is a county located in western New York State, known for its rich history and scenic landscapes. Here are 7 interesting facts about Erie County in New York history.
1. The county was established in 1821
Erie County was formed on April 2nd, 1821, from portions of Niagara County. Its name was inspired by Lake Erie, one of the five Great Lakes and a significant natural feature in the area.
2. The Erie Canal ran through Erie County
The Erie Canal, which connected Albany to Buffalo, ran through Erie County for a total of 51 miles. The canal was known for its role in transforming New York into a major commercial and cultural center.
3. It was an important hub for the Underground Railroad
Erie County played a significant role in the Underground Railroad, which was a network of secret routes and safe houses used by slaves to escape to freedom before the Civil War. Many abolitionists and conductors operated in Erie County, providing safe passage and shelter for enslaved individuals.
4. Buffalo was once a major steel-making city
Buffalo was once a powerhouse of steel production, with many steel mills operating throughout the area. The industry thrived during World War II, but declined in the latter half of the 20th century due to outsourcing and foreign competition.
5. Erie County is home to the Buffalo Zoo
The Buffalo Zoo, which is located in Delaware Park, is the third oldest zoo in the United States. It was founded in 1875 and is home to over 1,000 animals from around the world.
6. The area was once home to Native American tribes
Before the arrival of Europeans, Erie County was inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Iroquois, Seneca, and Erie. These tribes had their own unique cultures and languages and were eventually displaced by European colonists.
7. The region has a rich agricultural history
Erie County has a rich agricultural history, with dairy farming, apple orchards, and vineyards being some of its major industries. Today, the area is known for producing high-quality fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.
In conclusion, Erie County has a fascinating and diverse history, from its role in the Underground Railroad to its thriving steel industry. Its rich agricultural heritage and natural beauty make it a unique and important part of the state of New York.
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