Southtowns
Southtowns
Left to right from top: View of Lake Erie from Hamburg, Aurora Town Hall, Dairy Cows in Collins Center, U.S. Post Office in Gowanda, Bills Stadium, Springville station

Location of the Southtowns in Erie County.

   Northtowns & Reservations

   Seldom Considered Southtowns

   Often Considered Southtowns
   Always Considered Southtowns

Country United States
State New York
CountyErie County
Largest VillageHamburg

The Southtowns (also known as the Buffalo Southtowns, the South Towns, or Southtown) is a region of Western New York, United States, that lies within the snowbelt or ski country. It includes the southern suburbs of Buffalo, New York. This is the common name for the southern part of Erie County, New York.

Its most notable resident was United States President Millard Fillmore, whose former home is a National Historic Landmark.[1] The region has numerous historic landmarks, especially in Springville and East Aurora.[2]

Details

According to a telephone directory that formerly published specific editions for the area, this region includes Aurora, Blasdell, East Aurora, Elma, Hamburg, and Orchard Park.[5] Several other towns in the snowbelt south of Buffalo are also considered part of the Southtowns. According to one source the entire southern part of Erie County, West Seneca, Elma, Marilla, and southward are part of the Buffalo Southtowns.[1] This region is the northwesternmost foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The New York State Department of Transportation's Scenic Byways Advisory Board created Western New York's first Scenic Byway, WNY Southtowns Scenic Byway, which travels through the townships of Orchard Park, Boston, Concord, Colden and Aurora, the three villages of Orchard Park, Springville and East Aurora and several rural hamlets including the hamlets of Boston and Colden.[6] (In 2016, the Southtowns Scenic Byway was extended into Ashford, a town in Cattaraugus County and not generally counted in the Southtowns proper.)[7] The National Weather Service defines the Southtowns (forecast zone NYZ085, "Southern Erie County") as anything south of U.S. Route 20A. The region includes the northeastern half of the village of Gowanda, but not the southwestern half.

The Buffalo metro area also includes a "Northtown" region north of the city. Some sources divide the entire Buffalo Suburban region into the Southtowns and the Northtowns.[8]

Ski country runs through the Southtowns,[9] as does the Niagara Frontier,[10] both of which continue southwestward from the region along Lake Erie's shoreline; the Niagara Frontier continues north into Buffalo toward Niagara Falls while ski country goes eastward toward Bristol Mountain. The region is bounded to the south by the Cattaraugus Creek and Cattaraugus County to the south, Chautauqua County to the southwest, to the east by Wyoming County, and to the west by Lake Erie.

The Southtowns, particularly the more southerly towns closer to the Cattaraugus Creek, are very rural in nature and are similar to the Southern Tier; the northern Southtowns (beginning at approximately Orchard Park and Hamburg) begin to take on a more suburban feel.

Attractions

East Aurora, the home of Fisher-Price, has earned the nickname as "Toy Town, U.S.A."[11] According to the New York State Department of Economic Development's New York State Tourism organization publications produced by the Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau, attractions in the Southtowns include, Toy Town Museum, Elbert Hubbard-Roycroft Museum, National Historic Landmark Millard Fillmore House, the Frank Lloyd Wright and the Graycliff Estate.[12] Frommer's also mentions the Kazoo Museum, Eden as an attraction.[13]

The National Register of Historic Places includes the following Southtowns venues among its Erie County listings: United States Post Office-Angola, First Church of Evans Complex, Graycliff, Millard Fillmore House, Roycroft Campus, George and Gladys Scheidemantel House, Kleis Site, Gamel Hexadecagon Barn, Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh Railway Station (Orchard, New York), Johnson-Jolls Complex, Old Sardinia Town Hall, Rider-Hopkins Farm and Olmsted Camp, The Baptist Church of Springville, Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh Railroad Station (Springville, New York), Citizens National Bank, East Main-Mechanic Streets Historic District, Scobey Power Plant and Dam, US Post Office-Springville, and Eaton Site.[2]

Other highly attended attractions in the region include Highmark Stadium,[14] the home of the National Football League's Buffalo Bills, Chestnut Ridge Park,[15] and Buffalo Raceway.[16] Since 1868, Erie County Fair has been held annually in Hamburg.[17] Until the 1980s one of the region's largest employers was Bethlehem Steel.

Millard Fillmore (left) and Jack Kemp are associated with the Southtowns

Media

One broadcast station is explicitly licensed to the Southtowns: MeTV affiliate WBBZ-TV in Springville. The station does not operate from within the southtowns; WBBZ is based in Clarence. Full-service AM radio station WSPQ was licensed to and operated from Springville during its 31-year existence but shut down in 2017. WNYB, a religious station licensed to Jamestown, had its studios in Orchard Park until its owner TCT dropped all local programming.

Several of the Buffalo-licensed broadcasters take advantage of the region's higher topography and have placed their broadcast towers there so that they can reach both the Buffalo region and the Southern Tier. One of the more notable examples is the WIVB tower, which is located in Colden.

The Buffalo News is the primary daily newspaper in the region. Many of the Southtowns communities were served by weekly newspapers until July 2016, when the most recent owner of those newspapers, Community Papers of Western New York, abruptly shut down.[18] Neighbor-to-Neighbor News, a company based in East Aurora, revived many of those newspapers shortly thereafter.

People

United States President Millard Fillmore resided in East Aurora,[3] where the Seymour Knox I family has held property.

The 1996 vice presidential nominee Jack Kemp represented Hamburg and nearby suburban southtowns regions in the United States House of Representatives.[19]

New York Governor Kathy Hochul graduated from Hamburg High School,[20] and was previously a Hamburg town board member.[21]

The area's current political representatives are state assemblyman David DiPietro,[22] state assemblyman Jonathan Rivera,[23] state senator Patrick Gallivan,[24] and representative Nick Langworthy.[25]

Notes

  1. ^ a b Smyczynski, Christine A. (2005). "Southern Erie County - "The Southtowns"". Western New York: From Niagara Falls and Southern Ontario to the Western Edge of the Finger Lakes. The Countryman Press. p. 136. ISBN 0-88150-655-9.
  2. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  3. ^ a b "Fillmore, Millard, House". National Park Service. Archived from the original on April 30, 2009. Retrieved April 15, 2009.
  4. ^ "Roycroft Campus". National Park Service. Archived from the original on September 11, 2009. Retrieved April 15, 2009.
  5. ^ Polk 1994 Buffalo South Towns New York Directory. R. L. Polk & Co.
  6. ^ "Welcome to the WNY Southtowns Scenic Byway". WNY Southtowns Scenic Byway Steering Committee. November 1, 2007. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
  7. ^ Reporter, Rick Miller, County. "Byway extended into Cattaraugus County". The Salamanca Press.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ "YMCA Buffalo Niagara: Branch Locations". YMCA Buffalo Niagara. Retrieved April 9, 2009.
  9. ^ Buffalo Spree list of "ski country" restaurants and resorts
  10. ^ "Niagara River - the Old Niagara Frontier". Archived from the original on August 21, 2008. Retrieved September 3, 2009.
  11. ^ "East Aurora". Fodor's. Fodor's Travel. Archived from the original on March 4, 2009. Retrieved April 8, 2009.
  12. ^ Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau. Experience Fun History and Nature in the Southtowns of Buffalo Niagara. New York State Tourism.
  13. ^ "Kazoo Museum". Frommer's. Wiley Publishing, Inc. Retrieved April 8, 2009.
  14. ^ "Ralph Wilson Stadium: Driving Directions". Buffalo Bills. Archived from the original on March 31, 2009. Retrieved April 8, 2009.
  15. ^ "Chestnut Ridge Park". Chestnut Ridge Park and Campground. 2005. Retrieved April 8, 2009.
  16. ^ "Buffalo Raceway: Directions". Buffalo Raceway. Retrieved April 8, 2009.
  17. ^ Eberle, Scott and Joseph A. Grande (1987). A Pictorial History of Buffalo and Erie County (1013 of 2000 ed.). The Donning Company. p. 48. ISBN 0-89865-609-5.
  18. ^ "Community Papers of WNY folds, closes Sun weeklies - City & Region - the Buffalo News". Archived from the original on August 22, 2016. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  19. ^ May, Clifford D. (December 20, 1988). "Man in the News; Theorist With a Heart; Jack French Kemp". The New York Times. Retrieved April 8, 2009.
  20. ^ "Hamburg High School staff look back at Hochul's journey". spectrumlocalnews.com. Retrieved November 16, 2023.
  21. ^ "Kathy Hochul for New York Governor". Kathy Hochul for New York Governor. Retrieved November 16, 2023.
  22. ^ "David DiPietro - Assembly District 147 |Assembly Member Directory | New York State Assembly". nyassembly.gov. Retrieved June 16, 2024.
  23. ^ "Jonathan Rivera - Assembly District 149 |Assembly Member Directory | New York State Assembly". nyassembly.gov. Retrieved June 16, 2024.
  24. ^ "Our District | NYSenate.gov". www.nysenate.gov. Retrieved June 16, 2024.
  25. ^ "New York's 23rd Congressional District - NY-23 Representatives & District Map". GovTrack.us. Retrieved June 16, 2024.