Historic Summaries

Lavocat House c.1840

The original section of this farmhouse, formerly located on New Road between Millersport Highway and Tonawanda Creek Road, was built with a technique known as nogging construction. With exterior walls comprised of layers of brick between wood framing, this technique provided strength and insulation. Summaries description The home is used for weaving demonstrations during events.

Williamsville School #9 c.1880

This schoolhouse, originally located at New and Smith Roads, was used as a school until the early 1950s. It is an example of late 19th-century vernacular schoolhouse architecture with bonneted windows in the Italianate style. Over the entrance door is a rondel with remnants of the original lettering identifying the school. Except for the double desks in the front, the furnishings are not original to the school, although they are from the late 19th century.

Blacksmith Shop 1899 Replica

The blacksmith provided one of the most important services in the community. He was able to make or repair nearly everything that was made of iron. While many blacksmith shops were larger, this replica shop is typical of the smaller, one-man smiths found on farms. Demonstrations are performed by members of the New York State Designer Blacksmith organization.

Elliott House c.1851

Built in 1851 at the corner of Garrison Road and Park Drive in Williamsville, this house was occupied by George W. Elliott, a “ploughmaker,” his wife, two daughters, and son until 1855, when it was sold to satisfy Elliott’s creditors. The re-created kitchen wing contains a replica 1850 cooking stove used for cooking demonstrations. Note the Greek Revival doorway with leaded glass sidelights.

Barbershop c.1908

Originally located on Transit Road in Swormville, this building was constructed c.1890. It was used as a barbershop and photography studio by Frank Reikart from c.1900-1942. The exterior and interior paint colors match the original colors of the building. Note the fancy gingerbread facade and porch.

Sweethome Common School #15 c.1847

This small one-room schoolhouse was originally located on Sweet Home Road, near Tonawanda Creek Road. Built in 1847 for $125, it was used as a school until 1948. The furnishings are all reproductions, except for the “sand table” used to practice letters, and reflect the typical rural school before the Civil War. The Sweet Home Schoolhouse is sponsored by the Amherst Women’s Interclub Council.

Hoover House c.1875-1880

The Hoover House was originally constructed in 1835 and was located at the northwest intersection of Dodge and Glen Oaks Roads on a 125-acre farm, this house was owned by George Hoover from c.1854-1883. Hoover was a farmer and salesman and eventually started an insurance company known as Erie and Niagara Insurance Association. Summaries example As was typical of many houses in Amherst, the original small structure was enlarged several times as the family grew and prospered. In addition to farming, Mr. Hoover successfully sold farm machinery from the office wing. This house is a fine example of Victorian vernacular Italianate architecture, with its bonneted windows, bracketing and porch details. The Hoover House is sponsored by Erie and Niagara Insurance Association.

Schmitt Log House c.1838

This log house, originally located in what was known as the “French Settlement” area near Ellicott Creek Road and Niagara Falls Boulevard, was constructed of hand-hewn logs by the Schmitt family upon arriving in Amherst from Alsace-Lorraine.This house, intended as a permanent structure with clapboard exterior, two first rooms and an attic loft, is typical of the many log houses built in Amherst by German settlers. It is interpreted c.1843, when occupied by Henry Smith, his wife, six young children, Henry’s mother-in-law, and possibly a farmhand.

Rubeck House c.1840

Built c.1840, this small plank house is typical of the first small structures often built by the earliest residents of Western New York. Unlike most other homes of this type, this structure was never enlarged with major additions. It was located near Dann and Smith Roads on property owned by the Lapp family and appears to have been rented by a relatively poor tenant farmer or farmhand. The house features an exhibit of 19th century building techniques.

Bigelow House c.1860-1865

This style of house is more commonly found in New England. The house, originally located near New and Smith Roads in East Amherst, was built between 1840-1857 by Henry Bigelow, one of Amherst’s early residents, whose family prospered in Williamsville throughout the 19th century. By the 1860s, the Bigelow’s Ransom Creek Farm and this house had been inherited by a son, Harry Foster Bigelow, a noted horticulturist, pond builder, and garden fountain designer. Many of his fountain styles are drawn from Roman fountain influences. The interior has been refurbished to reflect the possible occupation of the house by Bigelow’s farm manager and his family between 1860-65.

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church c.1854

Constructed in 1854, this typical country church served the German-speaking Lutheran residents of East Amherst until the 1960s. It was originally located on Transit Road near Muegel Road. All the stained glass windows, except for the altar window, are original, as are the first six pews. The altar window is a modern adaptation created by Frohe Art Glass, the same firm that made the other windows in the 19th century. The inscription over the door translates: “Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church.” Note the gold crown at the top of the steeple.