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Summerscape on Loon Lake By Tim McCarthy

The Canisteo Valley Historical Society in Arkport is reaching a longtime goal

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President Larry Jones has some very big news!!

From the CVHS,

IT HAS BEEN 150 YEARS!  150 years since a distinguished group of men from the Upper Canisteo Valley, mostly from Arkport and Hornellsville (later called Hornell) met with a common interest.  The year was 1874.  The gentlemen had the foresight to establish a framework for a legacy that is valued today.   Even though area settlements were less than 100 years old, they decided that it was worthy of serious discussion to honor and preserve the area’s young history.  They decided to form a historical society for the Valley.   The group established Articles of Association in which they chose the name “The Canisteo Valley Historical Society”, and the Articles were filed in the Office of the Secretary of State in 1875. 

The Society has had its active and inactive periods, and in the last 17 active years has built the membership to include people from Arkport, Hornell, and many hamlets nearby.  Membership is well represented across New York State, plus 27 states.

Throughout its history, however, there has never been a record of any headquarters or even an office room.  Meetings and programs have recently been held in the Arkport Village buildings.  For the past 17 years, members of the Society have been donating treasures which have been stored in the homes of officers.  Those who donated did so with the hopes and expectations that there would soon be a proper home.

That day is coming soon.  Recently, President Larry Jones has announced that the Canisteo Valley Historical Society is purchasing a house very near the four corners of Arkport.  It was originally called the Rork house and was built in the 1870s.   Since the McCarthy family owned the house for many years, the Society is calling their new home “The McCarthy House”.

There is a Capital Campaign Project taking place, and “Founders Club” members are stepping forward with financial donations to support the commitment of the Society.

olunteers are being organized to tackle the necessary physical changes to be made to the house, such as compliance with ADA requirements or general minor improvements and repairs.  It is expected that the first floor of the home will be organized for displays and rotating historical exhibits. It will also be a space for meetings.  The second floor of the house will be used for storage of donations and collections.

After 150 years without a home, the Canisteo Valley Historical Society is at last “coming home”.       

Interested parties can donate online to the Society’s capital campaign at

Tax deductible donations can also be mailed to Canisteo Valley Historical Society – PO Box 123 – Arkport, NY  14807.

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