Fredonia is a village in Chautauqua County, New York, United States.
The Village of 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 Fredonia (in the northwest part of the village).
The area which is now Fredonia was most likely first occupied by early Mound Builders, then the Eries (13th to 17th centuries), then the Iroquois and Senecas.. 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 successful gas well in what is now the Village of Fredonia. It supplied enough natural gas for lights in two stores, two shops and a grist mill (Now currently the village's Fire Station) by 1825. Expanding on Hart's work, the Fredonia Gas Light Company was eventually 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.
The Village of Fredonia was incorporated in 1829. The original name for the area was Canadaway (from the Indian word Ganadawao, meaning among the hemlocks). The name "Fredonia" was coined by Samuel Latham Mitchill, coupling the English word "freedom" with a Latin ending. He proposed it as a replacement name for the United States. It failed in that regard, but became the name of many towns and cities.