The Town of Dayton is on the western border of the Enchanted Mountains of Cattaraugus County. The Village of South Dayton is located within the town.
Two popular movies were partially filmed in South Dayton; "The Natural" in 1984 starring, Robert Redford, Robert Duvall and Glenn Close and "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" in 1987 starring Steve Martin, John Candy and Laila Robins.
The first settlers arrived around 1810, believing they were settling in Chautauqua County. The Town of Dayton was founded in 1835, formed from the Town of Perrysburg.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 36.0 square miles, of which, 35.8 square miles of it is land and 0.3 square miles of it (0.78%) is water.
New York State Route 353 and US Route 62 pass through the town.
Dayton, New York is a village on the original main line of the Erie Railroad, half way between Salamanca and Dunkirk. It was from Dayton on May 15, 1851 that passengers on the first train to traverse the entire length of the Erie caught their first glimpse of Lake Erie in the distance.
It is at Dayton that the Buffalo & Southwestern Railroad, on its way from Buffalo to Jamestown, crossed under the tracks of the Erie. For some unknown reason, the B&SW chose to tunnel through the fill supporting the Erie tracks rather than build a bridge for the Erie rails.
Dayton is served today by the New York and Lake Erie Railroad, a small freight and excursion line headquartered in Gowanda, New York, which occasionally runs excursion trains.
Come view items from 1865 onward. Everything in the museum is from the local area. Items to see include washing machines, family libraries, graduation pins, history of the railyards and more.You can find genealogical information from this area as well.
It's a full 56-page comprehensive guide, highlighting the activities and attractions in our County and it's FREE!!
View the visitor's guide online
request that the Enchanted Mountains guide
be snail mailed to you for FREE!
CATTARAUGUS, from a Seneca Indian word meaning “bad smelling banks,” referring to the odor of natural gas leaking from rock seams. http://www.dos.ny.gov/info/pdfs/countynames.pdf
The word "Cattaraugus" means "foul-smelling river bank." This name is a result of the natural gas that oozes from the river mud. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cattaraugus_Creek.
In our opinion, only some of the river banks are bad smelling. Come on over and visit a creek in Cattaraugus County and tell us what you think.