Village of Arkport Historical Society

Arkport Historical Society

Upcoming Events

There will be a meeting of the Canisteo Valley Historical Society/Arkport Historical Society on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at the Arkport Village Hall Community Room, 1 p.m.

Steuben County History Awareness Week:

The theme for the history week is History of Transportation in Steuben County. It was planned for October 5 – October 9, 2021 for “in-person exhibits”, but this has been changed to a virtual format. We will update with links to enjoy the wide variety of topics.

The Programs for the History Week have been postponed until the Spring of 2022. We will update these plans, as well.

Other events:

At this time, there has been no rescheduling of any afternoon program, the Historic Walking Tour of Arkport, or the program on Mark Twain.


Also known as the Canisteo Valley Historical Society, The Canisteo Valley Historical Society is now also accessible on the Web! Access Facebook and/or the website by entering The Canisteo Valley Historical Society or Arkport Historical Society. Stay Tuned for Upcoming Events.

Join Arkport (Canisteo Valley) Historical Society! Only $10 per year per person. ($15 per couple!) If you are a fan or resident of “Good of Old Arkport” come to one of our meetings and meet old friends and new people! We share old photos, talk about old times, have very interesting speakers, and a whole lot more! Meetings are the first Tuesday of various months in the village community center. For more information, call Nancy Glover @ 295-7418 or email the webmaster on last page!

Or Drop a Check in the Mail made out to: Canisteo Valley Historical Society PO Box 123 Arkport, NY 14807

Make sure to include your full name, address and phone number along with your email address if you have one!

Brief History of Arkport

Founded in 1797 by Christopher Hurlbut, Arkport began as a thriving agricultural center. Each spring when the waters were high, area farmers shipped crops, livestock, potash, timber and other items down the Canisteo River to Baltimore on “arks” built of local tall pine trees and other lumber. At the time the Canisteo River flowed from the hills of Bishopville down to the valley just north of Arkport and through the village where the current Marsh Ditch now flows. The arks were loaded behind the current houses on State Route 36 in fields called the ark yards. This practice continued for several years until the time (around 1825) the Erie Canal was built and it became more cost effective to ship goods via the canal. Hence the name Christopher Hurlbut gave his little town: “Ark-Port”!

Soon after, the railroad was built and began service around 1851. The river bed of the Canisteo River was moved to its present site along the western hill. The first railroads were independent companies; The Attica & Hornellsville followed by the Buffalo & Corning which later became a part of the great “Erie”, a name synonymous with railroaders for the next century.

In the later half of the 19th Century, farmers began draining the swampy marsh just north of the village and converted it to extremely fertile muck land. These several hundred acres of rich farm land brought many many families to the area of who’s decedents still call Arkport home.

The village was incorporated around 1913 and has experienced many changes over the years. Many of the names of families have remained in Arkport over the years, a testimony of people choosing to live the good life of small town living in rural America. Current population (as of the 2000 census) stands at 832 living in approximately 350 homes.

P.O. Box 123, Arkport, New York 14807