Welcome! You have just entered the webpage of a rural, smalltown community approximately 65 straight miles south-southeast of Buffalo and 2 miles from the southern New York State border in Cattaraugus County. It is nestled between various rolling hills in the "Enchanted Mountains" and is drained by the Allegheny River. The area is part of the Allegheny Plateau and upper fringe of "Appalachia" as defined by the federal government in the 1960's. Various cultural events include the annual "Heritage Days" summer festival that brings the community into a variety of activities and sales as well as the community's sporting events. The motto of Portville is the "village of colonial beauty."
Portville is home to a variety of unique places to visit. Travel up Lillibridge road to find the Pfeiffer Nature Center, home of a nature observatory with trees in excess of 200 years old. Travel north up 305 and just outside Portville you'll encounter probably the only place in the country that produces maple syrup, sells wholesale maple products, has a giftshop, and offers rustic dining under one roof at Sprague's Maple Farms. Or take a walk to the Chestnut Hill Cemetary to observe one of the most beautiful cemetaries around. Come explore this community!
Autumn foilage in upstate NY
The winter months are brisk and the summer months are warm and mild. Snow falls fairly consistently during winters and it may accummulate in substantial depths. The summer precipitation is moderate. The weather is ideal in Portville, NY for those who prefer 4 distinct seasons!
Click on the photo below to take a little tour of Portville!
* Check out the Times Herald Article from 4/17/02 on the Pfeiffer Nature Center's enthusiastic volunteers here *
* Read the Times Herald Article from 7/02/03 about Matt Wray, who served in Iraq as a marine, here *
The town of Portville was formed from Olean, April 27, 1837. It lies on the southeast corner of the county. The surface is a hilly upland, with the summits being 500-600 feet above the valleys. The Village of Portville is approximately 1,430 ft in elevation. The Allegheny River enters the town upon the southern border, flows north to near the center, and then northwest to the west border. It receives as tributaries the Oswayo, Dodges and Haskel Creeks. Lumbering is the chief pursuit.
Portville is on the Allegheny. In 1863, it contained 2 churches, 2 sawmills, and a gristmill. It had a population of 287.
Mill Grove, south of Portville, is also on the Allegheny. In 1863, it contained 2 sawmills, and a gristmill and 18 dwellings.
The first settlement was made in 1805, by James Green, on Haskell Creek in the north part of town. The first child born was Hannah Green, daughter of James Green on April 28, 1807. The first marriage was between Jonathon Dodge and Eunice Atherton, in 1809. David Heusten was the first person to die, killed by the spring of a tree while getting out spars, in early 1807.
The first school was taught by Anna Carpenter, near Portville Village. Lyman Rice kept the first inn, in 1822 and Allen Rice the first store in 1823. The first gristmill was located on Dodges Creek, started by Samuel King. The first sawmill, on Haskell Creek, was erected by James Green and Alpheus Dodge in 1807. The first church was formed in 1824.
Portville and surrounding area
The Village of Portville is 0.81 square miles in area and had 1,136 residents in 1980, 1,040 residents in 1990, and 1,024 residents in 2000. The Town of Portville is 36.05 square miles in area and had 3,952 residents in 2000. More information may be obtained from the US Census Bureau website; Click here
The community school is a Class C sized public school whose superintendent is Mr. Peter Tigh. The home of the maroon and white panthers has recently surpassed all western NY schools in cost effectiveness (our acedemic performance to cost per child ratio is quite high). A quote from the Olean Times Herald reveals the outstanding academic achievements Portville school has accomplished for many years:
"Portville is one of four area school districts to have 100 percent of sixth-grade students read at the minimum level. The district scored above the state average in all four categories. At the third-grade level, Portville scored just below the state average in the four categories.
We have an outstanding staff that concentrates on the needs of students, and we have an administration that is very supportive of the staff, said Abe Kaufstein, [former] Portville superintendent. Basically, it's a team effort.
Mr. Kaufstein gave credit for the sixth-grade scores to the district's elementary school teachers.
The one constant in Portville's program is the emphasis on reading comprehension, Mr. Kaufstein said.
Comprehension is the key, along with critical thinking, he said. Our teachers spend lot of time focusing on those.
Quotes in "Times Herald" article from January 22, 2001 on former Portville School Superintendent:
New superintendent vows to work hard for Portville Central
I will learn with everyone. I don't know it all, he said. I listen to what people want to do and help them do it, from students to teachers to the custodians. I'm a problem solver; I look for opportunities and challenges.
School superintendent is a unique position because that person is the educational leader of a whole community, he said. Besides ensuring everything is in place for children to learn, he said, a superintendent is also a motivator and leader in the community.
A 1965 Bolivar High School graduate, Dr. Day said he was excited for the chance to return to his hometown area because he sees exciting things happening. Local projects including plans to build a larger Jamestown Community College campus, Dresser-Rand Co. and the state investing millions of dollars in Dresser's Olean plant, and Adelphia cable company proposing large-scale development in Buffalo show the area's economic strength is growing, he said.
These are little things, but you get a sense the time is right for things to take off, he said.
He said school districts will play a critical role in the area's future because when families move to a community, their first question is about how good the local schools are. He believes Portville has a reputation as a quality school, and he said he wants to make that reputation well known.
At Vestal, he helped create an honors diploma program, which he hopes to do at Portville, and build on the school's existing programs, like choir, band and theater.
I think I'm here to take Portville to the next level, create new challenges for students, the faculty and the community without costing a lot of money, he said. In my experience, kids want a challenge, and I think that's why kids leave school and go to work. I personally think school is too easy.
Portville Central school has a history of success in athletics over a period of years. In recent seasons the maroon and white panthers have gone to sectional finals in nearly all sports. It offers football, basketball, swimming, wrestling, golf, soccer, baseball, track & field, softball, and recently added a cross-country team in the Fall of 2001.
Our recent athletic accomplishments include:
* Little League Baseball NYS District 2 champs, NYS quarterfinalists- 2004 *
* Baseball Section VI Class C champs & state finalists- 1998 *
* Football Section VI Class C finalists- 1997, Champs -2003*
* Individual wrestling Section VI champs (2- 1997, 1- 1998), finalists (1- 1996, 1- 1998) *
* Wrestling Section VI Class A champs- 1996, 1997, 1998 *
* Boys soccer Section VI Class C finalists- 1997 *
* Girls soccer Section VI Class C champs & state finalists- 1996; Section VI Class C champs- 1997 *
* Boys basketball Section VI Class C-2 finalist- 1999, 2001; Section VI Class C-2 champs- 2000 *
* Girls basketball Section VI Class C champs- 1998, 1999 *
* Boys track and field Class C/D state qualifiers (1600m relay- 1997, pole vault- 1998, discus- 1999, 400m hurdles- 2000, triple jump- 2004) *
* Girls track and field Class C/D state qualifiers (1600m relay- 2000, 3200m relay- 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, Steeplechase -2004) *
* Girls Volleyball Section VI Class C finalists- 2000 *
Click on the photo to view the Portville Sports photo gallery!
Quotes in "Times Herald" article from May 12, 1999:
Portville sets tone in Expressway
"It's not hollow praise.
When Wellsville Central School's boys track coach and Expressway Conference chairman Dean Giopulos says that Portville is an outstanding team, it's not the courtesy of a coach.
It's more like the gratitude of a coach.
The Panthers took the Expressway Conference crown with 141 points surpassing Wellsville and Cuba-Rushford, both tied for second with 92 points.
'Portville has set the tone for this league ever since ... it's inception,' Giopulos said. 'They've just done a tremendous job. They really set the standard all the other teams in the league have been chasing. They raise the caliber of the league up another notch. This is as competitive a league season as we've ever had.'
Portville took three individual first places, including an unofficial meet record by Tony Hammond in the discus (141-2) along with wins by Chris Gagliardo in the high jump and 110 hurdles."
Quotes in "Times Herald" article from October 1, 2000:
"PORTVILLE It took 211 minutes and 20 seconds, but somebody finally scored against Cassadaga Valley defense.
Worse for the Cougars, their unbeaten season ended with a thud on a sunny Saturday afternoon when Portville's defense and offensive lines dictated a 28-0 WNY Division VII victory for the Panthers (3-2).
Peterson addressed Portville's two clock-killing drives.
It isn't very often when you see a high school football team drive the ball like that without making mistakes, said Peterson. And Portville did it twice today.
That's a well-disciplined team. Coach (Gary) Swetland had his kids extremely well-prepared for today and they took it right to us.
SAID SWETLAND, Our kids went out on the field today and played good old-fashioned Portville smash-mouth football.
Our boys were simply marvelous today. What can you say after your team goes out and holds a team that runs multiple set offenses and runs the ball real well the way we did today?"
Quotes in "Times Herald" article from April 13, 2002:
Big 30 Girls Track Preview
League: Cattaraugus County, Expressway Conference
Coach: Chuck Hild
Track talk: "Our new track and field facilities should help us improve and hopefully make it to the NYS Championship for a sixth straight time. We are also fortunate to have a strong competitor in each of the events."
Quotes in "Buffalo News" article from November 11, 2003:
"Football's best enter big week for playoffs, poll positions"
Portville is a first-time champion and the town is loving every moment. The 500 tickets for the Section VI final at The Ralph sold out in a day. "Portville is a magic community, and when our blood's up and the mojo's rolling, it's even more special," said 12th-year coach Gary Swetland. It may take some magic to derail Caledonia-Mumford, yet another undefeated Section V champion ranked first in the state which is coming off a 46-7 rout of Pembroke. Portville is eighth in the state.
Click here to see Expressway Conference track 2001 Times Herald article
Click here to see Portville Fan's Sportsmanship Award in the Times Herald, Feb. 2002