The Cattaraugus County Museum and Research Library is located in a historic building known simply as the Stone House. It traces the history of the county from its early beginnings to present day through rotating exhibits, interpretive displays, and a fully stocked research library. The Stone House is situated on the present campus of the Pines Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center. The museum is open from Monday through Thursday and admission is free.
The museum relocated from Little Valley to the first floor of the Stone House in 2005. It continues to offer rotating historical exhibits that have included one entitled “Wedding Gowns of Yesteryear,” one devoted to Frank Wayland Higgins, the 35th governor of New York, and numerous exhibits with a Civil War theme. It also recently welcomed the Randolph Mammoth Exhibit from its permanent home at the State Museum in Albany. It features the remains of a prehistoric mammoth discovered in Randolph, New York in 1934.
The building that currently houses the museum, the Stone House, is all that remains of the county’s Almshouse and Insane Asylum that began operations in 1833. The Stone House was constructed in 1868 and by 1885 housed 60 residents. Built by the local Napier family, the Stone House was part of a self-reliant, county-run organization in which the residents worked the nearby fields to produce the food they required. It was sold in 1957 and all the buildings were destroyed except the Stone House. Other than the removal of its gable roof and fourth-floor attic space, the Stone House remains largely as it did in 1868.
Finally, the museum offers genealogy records and sponsors Family Fun Days, Summer at the Stone House, live music, and a speaker series. Please call or visit their Facebook page for event dates and details.