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Fredonia

Fredonia is a village in Chautauqua County, New York, United States. The population was 11,230 as of the 2010 census. Fredonia is in the town of Pomfret south of Lake Erie. The village borders the city of Dunkirk and is the home of the State University of New York at Fredonia (in the northwest part of the village).Fredonia is one of only twelve villages in New York still incorporated under a charter, the other villages having incorporated or re-incorporated under the provisions of Village Law.HistoryThe area which is now Fredonia was most likely first occupied by early Mound Builders, then the Erie people (13th to 17th centuries), then the Iroquois (specifically, the Seneca). In 1791, Robert Morris purchased the Fredonia land from Massachusetts and sold it to the Holland Land Company. Parcels were sold to pioneers around 1800, and the first settlers came around 1803 or 1804.In 1821, William Hart dug the first well specifically to produce natural gas in the United States on the banks of Canadaway Creek in Fredonia. It was deep, excavated with shovels by hand, and its gas pipeline was hollowed out logs sealed with tar and rags. It supplied enough natural gas for lights in two stores, two shops and a gristmill (currently the village's fire station) by 1825. Expanding on Hart's work, the Fredonia Gas Light Company was formed in 1858, becoming the first American natural gas company. The site of the first gas well is marked by a stone monument in downtown Fredonia.
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