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Businesses and Industries

A number of small manufacturing establishments existed along Depot Street in the nineteenth century. These included the Voorhis planing mill, a site later taken over by the Canisteo Sash & Door Company in 1885. These were located at the site of the present Canisteo trailer park (which replaced a waste materials company that occupied the site after the factory’s closure). The Henry Carter and Son foundry, founded in 1873, manufactured steam engines and many other metal products. In 1890, it employed 10 men.

The Tucker button factory was also located on Depot Street. In 1908 the factory was occupied by the Thomas Spring & Gear Company, which manufactured shock absorbers for Ford cars, using an invention patented by Charles L. Thomas of Canisteo.

Other manufacturers included a thread factory, located on a street west of NY 248 and south of NY 36; a small sawmill, on Third St.; and Scott’s Dairy, a milk processor, located on Depot St. near the rail line. Scott’s had a small ice cream shop on the north side of West Main St. The Canisteo Theater, which closed in the 1950s, was a brick building on the west side of Greenwood St., demolished around 2000.

The only significant industry in Canisteo today is the Wells Bros. sign factory, which began operations in 1955 from a leased building, now (2015) abandoned, on Fifth Street; in 1967 it moved to its present (2015) building at 92 Depot St.

The former Erie Railroad began operations in 1851. The line passed to the east of Canisteo, and passenger service was provided, though ending in the 1940s. While it operated, a trolley connected the depot with the center of the village. From 1892 until the 1920s Canisteo was linked to Hornell by trolley. It was replaced by bus service, although there have been gaps when no public transportation was available. From 1896 to 1936, the New York & Pennsylvania Railroad (not to be confused with the Western New York and Pennsylvania Railway) started at the depot and ran south toward Rexville. Around 1900, the Erie Railroad had 10 passenger trains each day, the New York and Pennsylvania had 3, and the trolley had 20.