Farming and Industrial Development Ice harvesting on the county's lakes provided employment for farmers in the winter months. This ice was stored in large warehouses, and straw provided insulation to keep it intact even during the summer. Chautauqua County ice, known to be clean and pure, was shipped by rail to Pittsburgh, Buffalo and other markets. Saw Mill. Courtesy: Fenton History Center, Jamestown, N.Y. Grapes were first raised in the county in 1818. Today, Chautauqua County has more farms and produces more grapes that any other county in New York. Successful grape production occurs on the narrow strip of low elevation land bordering Lake Erie. Dr, Charles Welch moved his production of unfermented grape juice to Westfield to be in the heart of Concord grape country. Grape Harvesting. Courtesy: Chautauqua County Historical Society, Westfield, N.Y. Farming and Industrial DevelopmentSaw Mill Courtesy: Fenton History Center, Jamestown, N.Y. Early Chautauqua County settlers cleared timber in order to raise crops and erect dwellings. The felled timber was then used for potash, pearl ash and black salts which were shipped on flat boats, also made from the area's lumber. Ash and salts were shipped from CHautauqua Lake to Pittsburgh, Pa. and as far New
Orleans, La. Jamestown, known as "The Rapids" provided water-power for the saw mills and woolen mills. After the Civil War, Sweidish immigrants began settling in Jamestown to work in the thriving woodworking industry. Italian immigrants began arriving at the turn of the twentieth century and quickly found work in the fruit and vegetable canneries that packaged produce grown in Chautauqua County's rich soil. Many immigrants also found work in the brickyards, furniture factories and mills in Jamestown.