LITTLE VALLEY – A flood of emails and letters have tied up many of the 21 Cattaraugus County legislators since the announcement of plans to raze the Cattaraugus County Memorial and Historical Building, which stands empty, across Court Street from the County Center.
The building, dedicated on Sept. 7, 1914, has stood as a memorial to the Civil War Veterans of Cattaraugus County, and is revered by many descendents of the New York 154th Volunteer Infantry. It housed the Cattaraugus County Historical Museum for several years, until it started to fall into disrepair.
Many writers have insisted that the building be preserved, and have been quite vehement in their correspondence, according to Legislator Linda Edstrom, R-Olean.
One of the possibilities for the site could be erecting of a monument at the location of the building, once it is razed.
“I am hesitant on a memorial at that location,” Legislator Susan Labuhn, D-Salamanca, said. “I would hate to put up a monument out there and have to move it in the future, should we need that land for future development. We really should put it someplace to not have to move it again.”
One idea under consideration is moving the relics of the building to the Stone House, the former poorhouse for the county, located on the campus of The Pines of Machias, one of the two county-operated nursing homes.
Repairs to the Stone House are under consideration and a resolution will be in front of the full Legislature on Nov. 13.
A $5,000 contract for engineering of the repairs would include construction of a memorial on the Machias location.
“It’s kind of ironic,” said Legislator William Aiello, R-Olean, “that next week, we honor all the veterans of this country and we are here, talking about destroying something that was built to the memory of so many of them.”