Village of Arkport Historical Society

Arkport Historical Society

Upcoming Events

The meetings for the Canisteo Valley Historical Society for 2022-23 will be: September 13, 2022, December 13 , 2022, and April 11, 2023.

Other events:

On Friday, September 16, 2022, at 4 pm, there will be a Historical Walking Tour Arkport. We will meet at the Community Room to commence the walk. It is part of the Steuben County Historical Society’s series of Walking Tours of Steuben County communities and is organized and led by Kirk House, director of the SCHS.

Steuben County History Awareness Week:

The Steuben County History Awareness Week, which has been postponed twice, is going to take place this year October 4-October 8, 2022. The theme is “History of Transportation in Steuben County” and the activities will take place at the Finger Lakes Boating Museum, 8231 Pleasant Valley Road, Hammondsport. There will be exhibits created by Town Historians and Historical Societies and there will be a wide range of topics, from horse and wagon, to railroad, to air travel, and many things in between. The Canisteo Valley Historical Society will be showing five exhibits. Members are encouraged to not only attend, but volunteer to monitor the exhibits. Every school in Steuben County is invited to bring students. Anyone visiting the exhibits may also tour the FLBM.

There will be two early evenings of guest speakers. On Thursday, October 6, 2022, William Burt will present: “Steuben County’s Railroads: The First Hundred Years,” and on Friday, October 7, 2022, Kirk House will present: “Flying High: Pioneer Women in Aviation”. Both are in the Taylor Room of the FLBM at 6 pm. The Grand Program Finale will take place on Saturday, October 8, 2022. It is a bus trip touring transportation sites around Steuben County from 10 am to 4:30 pm. People who have signed up (first come, first serve) will meet at the FLBM at 9:45. There is no charge for the trip.

To raise funds for the cost of the bus, there is a Road Trip Raffle basket. The basket will be a collection of items that would come in handy on a road trip, like maps, travel mug, snacks, first aid kit, neck pillow, tylenol, gift cards for gas and coffee, and many more! The tickets are $5 each and are available from CVHS. The drawing will be on Saturday at 4:30 at the FLBM; need not be present to win.

If people are interested in signing up for the bus trip or in supporting the event by buying raffle tickets, please contact Dorothy at If you are willing to help monitor at the exhibit, please contact Nancy at


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 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