Located near the Confluence at the end of the orange blazed trail out of the Valentine Flats' parking lot.
The story reads, from the 1893 History of Cattaraugus County:
In 1817 Jacob Balcom with a family of sons and daughters came to Hidi and the next year moved onto the land now known as Darby flats (now Valentine Flats), two miles above on Cattaraugus Creek, where the south branch empties into the main stream. There were evidences that civilization had preceded them, as they found apple trees growing there planted by unknown hands years before. Some of those trees yet remain standing and have acquired a growth of nine feet in circumference around the trunk. The road into Otto via Little's mills was cut through the breakers by Ahaz Allen in 1830. Prior to that time there was a path from Darby flats after fording the south branch up the breakers, where pedestrians in the early settlement found their way into East Otto and Ashford. In the fall of 1826 Thomas Dutton, a resident of Lodi (now Gowanda), passing this way with the view of going to Ashford, was drowned. The next spring his remains were found among the flood wood at the head of a small island some 100 rods below. The coroner, Ahaz Allen, held an inquest on the body, but the remains were so badly decomposed that it was impossible to determine whether he came to his death by violence or by accidental drowning. When he left Lodi he had $400 on his person and a silver watch, and as neither money nor watch were found with him it was the prevailing opinion that he met his death by the hand of some unknown assassin. He was buried on the upper end of the flats near the south branch where a rude stone slab marks the spot where his ashes repose, and where picnickers (sic) from the village resort every year and hold high carnival. The Balcoms sold out to Nathaniel Whitcomb and moved west in 1834.
History of Cattaraugus County
(Town of Persia)
This page last updated
October 21, 2008