WOLF RUN, CATTARAUGUS COUNTY, NY


Oct. 1955: Taken form the Randolph Register-Written by Frank Carnahan
"Former Resident Recalls Wolf Run of Long Ago"

The following article on Wolf Run in the days of long ago was written by Frank Carnahan, once a resident of Wolf Run, who now lives on the RFD Route 1 of Randolph. The article was written at the request of Mrs. John Holt of Quaker Bridge, Elko Town Historian, who has placed it with other Elko records in the memorial building in Little Valley under the direction of Miss Julie Pierce, county Historian.

J. M. Bemis and company had a big saw mill about one mile from the Wolf Run Station Across the Alleghany Reservation line. They had a switch from the station to the mill, and cars were run up there to be loaded with lumber. There were sixty men on the payroll working in the mill and yard. A.A. Chandler was foreman in the mill and M.W. Carnahan was night watchman for 14 years. Eben Seekens and Charles Sample had the job of skidding the logs and peeling the bark from the hemlock.

They began peeling the bark the first of May in strips four feet long. It was laded on racks on wagons and hauled to East Randolph, Salamanca, and Olean tanneries, also some were shipped over railroad. In the winter the logs were drawn to the mill. One year 90 teams were hauling logs.

Mrs. A.A. Chandler had a grocery store and kept the Post Office. The mail came four times a day. Trains stopped at the water tank, both going and coming.

There have been 14 sawmills, 2 shingle mills, 2 lath mills and one making shingles and basket covers and bottoms for grape baskets.

At one time there were 40 families living on Wolf Run with 38 children attending school. Milk was hauled from 14 farms to Quaker Bridge with horses and wagons. D.E. Underwood had a cheese factory and Milo Young made cheese there for years.

A house boat came down the river and tied up at Wolf Run, stayiong for a week and taking pictures.

I can remember when there was a hotel across the road from the Railroad station. My father, Myron Carnahan, ran it for several years and we had a license and served meals. It was called "Hemlock Front".

I remember seeing many rafts made of logs gpoing down the river. Austin Morrison would get out logs in the winter and in the spring would tie the logs together, laying a pole across the end of 12 or 15 logs. There were holes in the pole and log and a wooden pin was driven through. They were made in sections, 12x16 or 12x12. When water was high in the springtime Austin Morrison, with a group of men, ran them to Pittsburgh, Pa. where he sold the timber and the men came back.

Among the men who went down the river was Manley Hold, who had his own rafts, George Manry, M.W. Carnahan, M.M. Fuller, Henry Morrison, and Edgar Barton. John Holt was one of the last to go down the river by raft. He went as far as Sistersville, W.Va.

J.J. Smith took the job of cutting 7000 cords of wood on Wolf Run. He brought in 50 or 60 Austrians to cut the wood. We fixed up old houses and places for these men to live in. A man named Johnson would come once a month to measure the wood. The job of hauling was let to a man named Hoffman. James McDell was forman. He had a big team. They made wood racks on the wagons, three tieres long. They would go to the top of the hill and load, putting on chains for locks. At the foot of the hill would finish the load and go to the switch. They were the first men to go on the hill with wagons after loads. We had used ranakers on boats to bring the wood down. This wood was taken to Johnsonburg, Pa. and to Red House to a chemical plant.

At one time 12 families got together. We would have a "wood bee" every Thursday, lasting all day long with 12 to 15 men and boys. We had 3 men cutting trees. A team skidded up the logs. Two men rolled them on the skidway. One man marked the logs in stove lengths. There would be 2 or 3 cross cut saws running all the time. Others would do the splitting. We would cut 18 to 20 cords. At night the women would prepare a big dinner for us. That is the way we would get our wood cut for the winter.

I remember the last logging bee we had on Wolf Run. Delos Carnahan had an all day bee. Six teams of horses and two teams of oxen were used. For dinner they had roast lamb and later there was dancing.

George Carnahan also had a logging bee. There were six yokes of oxen and six teams of horses and about 25 men. A big dinner followed. M. W. Carnahan also had a bee. He had teams form both Quaker Bridge and Wolf Run.

When Henry Hotchkiss lived on the "Stone Estate Farm" they had a three year old Holstein bull broken to drive with a harness, using the collar the wrong side up. He worked with a large horse. All summer he used to plow and drag and was driven single on a wagon to draw milk to the factory.

Delos Carnahan and George Carnahan had a large flock of sheep. They drove them two miles to the river to be washed before shearing. They would get four or five cents more for a pound if the wool was washed.

Edgar Barton had a large flock of sheep. He bought the first shearing machine in the county, but never took it out of the box. My brother Charles and I bought the machine and sheared his sheep every year. We also sheared for others.

The last road job was let at Brown Hollow filling in betweeen two hills. A.A. Chandler was highway superintendent and let the job to M.W. Carnahan and sons for $30.

In the year 1918 we went to the Seneca Pony farm in Salamanca and bought two brood mares. My brother Charles and I led them Home. A part of the bridge at Quaker Bridge was out so we led them to Red House, staying over night at the Jason Bennett home. We then went from Big Red House over the hill to Cain Hollow and home. Since, we have raised ponies every year and have taken many ribbons on them at the County Fair.

J. M. Bemis moved his saw mill to the head of Wolf Run. The job of cutting, skidding and stocking the mill was let to James Newman. We built a large barn and a boarding house. M.W. Carnahan was the night watchman of the mill.

The lumber was drawn by two teams of horses to the Wolf Run Switch where it was loaded onto cars. Later, James Newman bought a dairy, bringing the milk to factory at Quaker Bridge.

Miss Amanda Caswell was the first teacher. School was held in an old blacksmith shop build by Gideon Marsh. Nellie Saunders and Mattie Flagg were early teachers.

It would seem Charles Fuller was the first settler, follwed by Delos Carnahan and family. Eighty five thousand acres of land was known as the Stone estate. It was purchased from the Holland Land Company by Ammasis Stone.

The first caretaker of the estate was Delos Carnahan, who built the house and barns. later, J.H. Andrews, who brought his wife from Scotland, was caretaker and lived there for some time. In later years the farm was purchased by Frank Reitz. His son John Reitz and family live there at present, and are the only family remaining on Wolf Run."

The town of Elko was dissolved may years ago, I think about the time my grandparents and Father moved to Cherry Creek, Chautaugua County. There property was bought for the State park. My mother was an instructor at the Quaker Bridge Indian school, maintained by the Society of Friends. Kinzu Lake takes the beginning of Wolf Run and Quaker Bride Indian School was where the Red house Lake is. Several of the fences, house fondations and the cemetary do exist up the old Wolf Run road. Hope this can be used someplace, and that it will be of a help to someone out there hunting for information.

Thanks so much to Artha "Carnahan" Nichols
(Email: adnichol@gte.net) for providing the information on this page.



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