Chautauqua County was formed in 1801 after splitting off from Genesee County. Located along the New York-Pennsylvania border it is New York's most western county. Chautauqua Lake, a beautiful resort and recreational area, is located in the center of the county. Lake Erie makes up the northern border, giving Chautauqua County miles of beautiful waterside vacation and residential living opportunities. Chautauqua County offers beautiful lakeside real estate, wineries, trails, and harvest festivals.
Chautauqua Lake, the county's namesake, is twenty miles long and is 1,308 feet above sea level. Mayville, the county seat, is located at one end of the lake while Jamestown is located at the other. The lake is significant in both the history and tourist economy of the region. Click here for a Historic Overview of Chautauqua Lake.
Cattaraugus County was formed in 1808 and was split off from nearby Genesee County. The first settlement was in Olean and the original county seat was Ellicottville. After 1860 the county seat was moved to Little Valley. Olean remains the largest city in the county and is the major business center for Cattaraugus County.
Cattaraugus County is in the southwestern part of New York, immediately north of the Pennsylvania state line. The southern part of Cattaraugus County is the only area of western New York that was not covered by glaciers from the last ice age, making the terrain more rugged than neighboring areas that have peaks rounded and valleys filed by the glacier. The northern border of Cattaraugus County is formed by Cattaraugus Creek. Cattaraugus County is known for its beauty as well as being an in-demand vacation destination.