Gowanda, New York: Wikis


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—  Village  —
Location of village within Erie County
Gowanda is located in New York
Location within the state of New York
Coordinates: 42°27′48″N 78°56′11″W / 42.46333°N 78.93639°W / 42.46333; -78.93639
Country United States
State New York
Counties Cattaraugus, Erie
 - Total 1.6 sq mi (4.2 km2)
 - Land 1.6 sq mi (4.2 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 761 ft (232 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 2,842
 - Density 1,772.3/sq mi (684.3/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 14070
Area code(s) 716
FIPS code 36-29630
GNIS feature ID 0951430

Gowanda is a village in New York in the United States and lies partly in Erie County and partly in Cattaraugus County. The population was 2,842 at the 2000 census. The name is a local native term meaning "almost surrounded by hills" or "beautiful place among the hills. The Erie County portion of Gowanda is part of the BuffaloNiagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area, while the Cattaraugus County portion is part of the Olean Micropolitan Statistical Area.

The Village of Gowanda is partly in the Town of Collins in Erie County and the Town of Persia in Cattaraugus County.

Gowanda Airport (D59) is a general aviation grass strip, located northwest of the village. Located in Gowanda, Zoar Valley features over 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) of wilderness, hiking trails and waterfalls.


Correctional Facilities

Formerly the Gowanda Psychiatric Center, the Gowanda Correctional Facility, which opened in 1994, and the Collins Correctional Facility, which opened in 1982, are adjacent to the village. They are medium security prisons and overlook the village below. Gowanda Correctional facility houses over 1100 inmates and feature one of the largest sex offender counseling programs of the New York State prison systems. Collins Correctional houses less than 800.


Gowanda is home to Gowanda Middle School, Gowanda High School, Gowanda Elementary School, Gowanda Christian Academy, and St. Joseph's Roman Catholic School which are all primary and/or secondary schools. A private college has been proposed which would be located between Mill Street and Perry Street. The proposal would also revitalize the now defunct train tracks which are located at the base of Pine Hill. The proposed rail service would run regularly and connect Gowanda to Buffalo.


The village was settled around 1810 and was originally called "Aldrich Mills." The village later adopted the name "Lodi," which was in conflict with another community in New York, so that name was dropped when the village was incorporated.

The Village of Gowanda was first incorporated in 1848 and was re-incorporated in 1878 under a new state regulation and extended its territory to absorb the nearby hamlet of Hidi.

Most of the village in Erie County was destroyed by a fire in 1856, and another fire in 1875 burned many businesses in the Cattaraugus part.

Notable events

Featured in AAA's travel guide, Gowanda features the Hollywood Happening. It was previously called the Harley Happening but was changed after much controversy in the Gowanda Pennysaver. It lasts from Friday to Sunday, usually the first weekend in June. Main Street of Gowanda is shut down for the event which provides parking for the numerous motorcycles and many beer tents are available. Many local Western New York rock, country and blues bands are featured. There are many food and merchandise vendors who sponsor and participate in the event. Attendance of the 2008 Hollywood Happening was estimated to be around 22,000 people for the entire weekend.

The annual Pioneer Days Festival is held every year in the heart of Gowanda. There are fireworks, period dress, parades, rides, games and food vendors. It is typically held at the end of May.

The Heritage Harvest Festival is held every year in the fall with many local business and private home owners opening up their homes for historical tours. A scarecrow contest is also held where local businesses compete in building scarecrows. Gowanda also features Pine Hill Cemetery tours which are free and open to the public. The events usually last 2 hours and are held every weekend during the month of October at midnight. The tours include period reenactments of those buried in the cemetery and detailed stories of their lives.

Parts of the 1987 comedy movie "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles", starring Steve Martin and John Candy, were filmed at the Gowanda Train Depot, as well as the Olympia Diner on Main Street.

In August 2009 a great flood occurred in Gowanda and devastated much of the town. Houses and cars were washed away. During the flood, Gowanda’s water reservoir was completely destroyed leaving the town without water. It has been estimated that it will take a year to rebuild the reservoir. There were two fatalities directly caused from the flooding. President Barack Obama has since declared it a disaster. FEMA has been tapped to assist the town in rebuilding.


Gowanda is located at 42°27′48″N 78°56′11″W / 42.46333°N 78.93639°W / 42.46333; -78.93639 (42.463197, -78.936350)[1].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.2 km²), of which, 1.6 square miles (4.1 km²) of it is land and 0.62% is water.

The village is split by Cattaraugus Creek, the dividing boundary between Erie and Cattaraugus counties with the northern part of the village in Erie County and the southern in Carragaugus.

The village is located on US Route 62 as well as County Road 4 (Broadway Road), NY-39, and NY-438.

The Cattaraugus Reservation is to the west of the village.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 2,842 people, 1,161 households, and 667 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,772.3 people per square mile (685.8/km²). There were 1,277 housing units at an average density of 796.4/sq mi (308.2/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 62.47%% White, 0.49% African American, 41.54% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.21% from other races, and 1.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.41% of the population.

There were 1,161 households out of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.1% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.5% were non-families. 36.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the village the population was spread out with 23.5% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 26.0% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 23.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 89.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.5 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $29,565, and the median income for a family was $39,094. Males had a median income of $32,279 versus $25,281 for females. The per capita income for the village was $16,323. About 9.5% of families and 14.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.2% of those under age 18 and 9.5% of those age 65 or over.

Communities and locations in Gowanda

  • Chung Hu Park – A memorial park dedicated to the late Dr. Chung Hu who was influential in the town's planning and building process.
  • Gowanda Correctional Facility – A NYS Medium Security prison located right next to Collins Correctional Facility separated by Middle Road. Middle Road is the border between the town of Collins and the village of Gowanda.
  • Riverside Park – located along the Cattaraugus Creek in the heart of Gowanda which was revitialized into a historic park area.
  • Zoar Valley – A scenic valley formed by Cattaraugus Creek.


  1. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  

External links

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