Allegany County History Awareness Week

World War I and World War II

September 24th through September 30th

For anyone with a yearning for history, the annual Allegany County History Awareness Week is a must-do. Each year the many historical societies, museums, and libraries come together for the showcasing of an important time period of local history.

Having a week-long event of history was unchartered territory when the idea was born. This event is the only one of its kind in all of New York State, and it takes place right here in Allegany County!

The first year centered around some of America’s most talked about history of late. Allegany County is rich in prominent families’ histories, including that of Alexander Hamilton. That’s right, the very same person of the current stage performance “Hamilton”. It was the only known set of replica dueling pistols which were featured as the highlight that year. They are owned by a New York City-area banker, and they were kept under strict security as they were in our county. The very desk the originals were kept in was also part of the week. The following year it was all about the Civil War.

This year the theme is centered towards World War 1 and World War II. A couple of items intended to be on display at the main exhibits are a complete set of Norman Rockwell full-size war posters, an original painting done by Adolph Hitler which is signed using an alias, and a large war banner. The exhibits will also feature prize artifacts from the many museums and historical societies of Allegany County, as well as those from privately owned collections.

The main exhibits take place at the David A. Howe Library in Wellsville, NY, and they open with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 24th at 7:00 pm. Hours open to the public are 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Tuesday; 9:00 am to 7:00 pm on Wednesday and Thursday; 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Friday; and 10:00 am to 2:00 pm on Saturday.

Tuesday through Friday speaking presentations listed below take place downstairs in the Nancy Howe Auditorium beginning at 7:30 pm.

Tuesday Allegany County Historian Craig Braack will speak on Pearl Harbor

Wednesday Director of Programs and Education at the Eldred WWII Museum, Steven Appleby will speak.

Thursday Earl McElfresh speaks on the war in the South Pacific, featuring the PT Boats and his father’s experience.

Friday Bill Burt will speak on the contributions of the Allegany County Railroads during WWII.

Sunday the week finishes out over in Cuba at the Palmer Opera House where many first-person presentations and dramatizations of local and national World War I and World War II personalities will entertain.

Contact Us


Allegany Co. Tourism & Culture
Ph: (800) 836-1869
Ph: (585) 268-5500


Allegany Co. Chamber of Commerce
Ph: (585) 268-5500 x 5425


Allegany Co. Government


Crossroads Conference Center
Route 19 (north of exit 30, I-86)
Belmont, NY 14813