Elko (Quaker Bridge)
Latitude / Longitude:
42° 3′ 25.2 N, 78° 52′ 51.6 W
Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Elko was a town in Cattaraugus County, New York, that existed from 1890 to 1965.
It was forcibly evacuated in 1965 due to the construction of the Kinzua Dam on the Allegheny River in Warren County, Pennsylvania, one of the largest dams in the United States east of the Mississippi. The dam was authorized by the United States Congress as a flood control measure in the Flood Control Acts of 1936 and 1938, and was built by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers beginning in 1960. Other benefits from the dam include drought control, hydroelectric power production, and recreation.
Elko was forcibly evacuated in spring 1965 as part of the Kinzua Dam construction. In September of that year, the remaining residents voted 13–1 to dissolve the town and give its remaining equipment and land to the neighboring town of Coldspring. The landmark Quaker Bridge was demolished and replaced with one several miles upstream, near Steamburg, when the Southern Tier Expressway was built, and the highways serving Elko were all reconfigured to eliminate most of the town’s infrastructure.
As of the 1940 United States Census, the most recent for which census data for the town is available online, 125 people were resident in Elko. Elko was one of the first areas in Cattaraugus County to be settled by Europeans. The Quakers, with the blessing of Seneca diplomat Cornplanter, established a mission on the Allegany Indian Reservation beginning in 1798.