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SCIO — A committee is gearing up to celebrate the town of Scio’s 200th anniversary, and while the big celebration won’t take place until summer, events are happening now to support the effort.

The town was first settled in 1805 by Joseph Knight of Oneida County, who fought in the Revolutionary War. Knight’s Creek is named for him. It is written in “Beer’s History of Allegany County” that “Mr. Knight was obliged to cut his way through into the town and the passage he opened most of the way from Belmont was the first road in the town for some time.”

The original Scio township extended from Angelica to the Pennsylvania line. The town line between Scio and Amity was first located where Sciota Street is today. When the town of Ward was established, it took over land from Scio and Amity; so Amity deeded to Scio three-fourths of a mile on Scio’s northern line, which established the town line. Some of its original territory was lost during the formation of the towns of Amity, Wellsville and Willing.

Beer’s reads, “In 1808 this section of Allegany County was a primitive forest. Then came Silas Bellamy, who settled 100 acres which included most of the site of the present village of Scio. Later Mr. Bellamy sold 50 acres to Barnabas York, who built a tavern which stood on Main Street. Mr. York sold his tavern to Mr. Francis Blood, a man of means and ability. He kept the tavern for years. The corners nearby became known as ‘Blood Corners.’ Across from Mr. Blood’s tavern was a store and a short distance up the Vandermark Road was a blacksmith shop.

“In 1832, most of the business centered around Benjamin Silas Palmer’s house and mill. At the Palmer house travelers were furnished food and lodging. Elections and town meetings were also held there until 1840.

“The railroad station was located here in 1849, and it became a great shipping point for vast quantities of lumber.

“When the first settlers came here, this area was covered with beautiful pine forests. Lumbering was the first important industry. There were two mills on the Vandermark and seven on Knight’s Creek. Because of the many mills on Knight’s Creek, the road became very muddy or dusty; so the mill owners built a plank road from Scio to Allentown. Most of the lumber was shipped to New York.

“In 1855 Scio had a population of about 496 and was the largest town in the county. It was very much larger than Wellsville at this time. Tanneries were built in Wellsville which caused that village to grow. On account of the growth of Wellsville and other causes the prosperity of Scio declined so that in 1896 it was a quiet little village with a two-room school of about 100 pupils.”

Like many towns Scio’s early buildings were destroyed by fire.

“Scio was formed from Angelica on January 31, 1823. A part of Amity was taken off in 1830, a part of Willing in 1851, and a part of Wellsville in 1855; and 2.5 square miles were taken off and annexed to Wellsville in 1868.

“Before getting its final name it was called Bloods Corner or Bloods and then later Riddleville. Of all the place name origins in the County, Scio has probably generated the greatest amount of controversy and interest. The most commonly held belief is based on the construction of the Erie Railroad through the county from 1849 to 1851.

“Construction of the line was done by section with the area around Scio called “Section 10” on maps and blueprints of the time. Some believe this area was abbreviated to Sc.10 and the corruption of “Scio” resulted.

“However, historically Scio was formed-by that name in 1823, many years before the railroad arrived.

“Historically in 1820 the Turks massacred a Christian settlement on the Island of Scio in the Aegean Sea in 1820. The murders so horrified the Western World that noted orator Daniel Webster toured the nation giving speeches about the atrocity. Scio’s founding fathers honored the massacred Christians by naming their town for them on Jan. 31st 1823.”

Scio will be celebrating its Bicentennial year from Aug. 10-13 with events including a car and tractor show, village-wide yard sales, street dances, musical concerts, a king and queen contest, games, a parade, and by acknowledging the youngest and oldest residents. The celebration will end with a community-wide picnic.

However, the party gets going Jan. 31st, when Scio residents will celebrate the town’s official birthday.

The public is invited to the birthday party from 6 to 8 p.m. at the library which will feature music, food, a basket raffle (which is ongoing now at the library) and a presentation by Historian, Craig Braack. Tickets will be drawn for the raffle at 6:45 p.m. that night.

The Bicentennial committee is also offering commemorative t-shirts for sale. Go to the committee’s website at: or its Facebook page.

Much of the information for this article was taken from Beer’s History of Allegany County and from the Allegany County Historical Society website.