Last updated: 7/7/2014
Amherst, New York
Street Address
3755 Tonawanda Creek Road
Amherst, NY 14228
Mailing Address
3755 Tonawanda Creek Road
Amherst, NY 14228
phone: 716-689-1440
fax: 716-689-1409
e-mail: info@bnhv.org
web: bnhv.org
Hours
Summer Hours (May 31st - August 31st)
Tuesday - Friday9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday10:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday12:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Winter Hours (September 1st to May 30th)
Tuesday - Friday9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Closed Holidays: Closed Mondays
Museum Type(s)
Services
Gift Shop
Online Gift Shop
Special Event Rental
Group Tours
Staff
David Sherman, President
Joe Weickart, Museum Director
Jessica Johnson, Curator of Exhibit Collections
Spencer Morgan, Director of Development & Marketing
Description

Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village is an educational institution whose mission is to engage a diverse audience in the exploration of history and its influence on present-day life in the Niagara Frontier, with emphasis on the Town of Amherst. We achieve our mission through historical research and interpretation, preservation and management of our collections and historic buildings, and creative activities and events.

When you explore Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village, you’ll travel back to a time when life moved at a gentler pace... when families shared work and played together... when the proud heritage of our region was just beginning. You can experience that heritage as it comes to life on our beautiful 35-acre grounds. Tour historical homes, a rural church and one-room schoolhouses from the Buffalo Niagara region. Interact with costumed interpreters who will graciously welcome you to our quaint Village and show you what life was like in the 19th century. Visit our working blacksmith shop and watch in amazement as members of the New York State Designer Blacksmiths perform daily demonstrations.

History

Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village was originally established in 1972 as Amherst Museum. As a department of the Town of Amherst, the museum focused on the history of the Town and its impact on the Buffalo Niagara region in the 19th century.

n order to engage a broader audience and highlight the rich heritage of the entire region, Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village became a fully independent 501c3 non-profit organization on January 1, 2011, widening its focus to help visitors of all ages live the history of our region.

Artifact Collections

Lace Guild

The Lace Guild encourages interest in history, construction, identification, preservation, exhibition and advancement of the art of lace making. Meetings are held once a month. Special events and exhibitions are offered, along with an annual seminar.

Quilt Guild

Anyone interested in quilts and the art of quilting is welcome to join. They seek to further the craft and perpetuate the art of quilting by presenting related programs and events. Meetings are held once a month.

Victorian Dance Society

The Society welcomes any individual or couple interested in Victorian Dancing. The Society’s purpose is to foster an interest in the history, etiquette, preservation and teaching of Victorian Dance. Meetings are held twice a month

Weavers Guild of Buffalo

The Weavers Guild is open to anyone with an interest in weaving, spinning or other fiber related craft. The “weaving year” begins in September and lasts through June, and during that time, the guild meet twice a month—one morning and one evening meeting—for organized programs, lectures and workshops.

NYS Designer Blacksmiths

The New York State Designer Blacksmiths (NYSDB) is a group of individuals who share a common interest in the craft and art of blacksmithing. The group seeks to bring the craft and art of blacksmithing to the public, establish training programs and provide information about blacksmithing. Meetings are held monthly

Facilities

Transit Road Church, c. 1854

Originally located on Transit Road near Muegel Road, this typical country church served the German-speaking Lutheran residents of East Amherst, NY, until the 1960s. As inscribed above its door, it originally served as the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church. With the exception of the altar window, all the stained glass windows and the first four pews in the church are the originals. The altar window is a modern adaptation created by Frohe Art Glass—the very firm that created the original windows

Dann Road House, 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, Dann Road House was never enlarged. Originally located near Dann and Smith Roads on property owned by the Lapp family, the house was likely rented to a poor tenant farmer or farmhand. Currently, this house features Building Amherst—an exhibit on historic building construction techniques.

Bigelow House, c. 1865

Originally located near New and Smith Roads, this house was built between 1840 and 1857 by Henry Bigelow, one of Amherst’s early residents. The house was constructed in the “saltbox” style, named for the distinctive pitched roof that slopes from the two-story front to the single story in the back which resembled a wooden lidded box in which salt was once kept. While not common in this area, the saltbox style was prevalent in Bigelow’s New England birthplace. The interior is furnished to reflect the most probable use of the house at that time—the home of Bigelow’s farm manager.

Smith Log House, c. 1843

Originally located in what was known as the “French Settlement” area near Ellicott Creek Road and Niagara Falls Boulevard, this log house was constructed of hand-hewn logs. Built by the Schmitt (Smith) family upon arriving in Amherst, NY, from Alsace-Lorraine. It was occupied by Henry Smith, his wife, his mother-in-law, six young children and possibly a farmhand. This home, with only two first floor rooms and an attic loft, is typical of the many log houses built in Amherst by German settlers.

Hoover House, c. 1875-1880

Owned by George Hoover from 1854 to 1883, this house was originally located at the northwest intersection of Dodge and Glen Oaks Roads. A successful businessman, Mr. Hoover sold farm machinery from the office wing of the house. The home was later owned by Adam Schworm for whom the hamlet of Swormsville, NY, was later named.

Sweet Home Common School #15, 1847

This one-room schoolhouse was originally located on Sweet Home Road near Tonawanda Creek Road. Built in 1847 for $125, this small structure served as a school for more than a century until 1948. The building retains many of its original elements, including an original sand table which was used to practice letters. The furnishings are all reproductions based on those that were in the schoolhouse originally. The original records of the planning, construction, furnishing and operation of the school are part of the BNHV archives.

Barbershop, c. 1898

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

Elliott House, 1851

Built in 1851 at the corner of Garrison Road and Park Drive in Williamsville, NY, this house was occupied by plough maker George W. Elliott, his wife, two daughters and son until 1855. The re-created kitchen wing contains a replica 1850 cooking stove, which is used today for demonstrations.

Blacksmith Shop, 1899 replica

The blacksmith provided one of the most important services in the community, making or repairing nearly everything that was made of iron. While many blacksmith shops were larger, this replica is typical of the smaller, one-man shops found on farms. Members of the New York State Designer Blacksmiths perform demonstrations for visitors.

Williamsville School #9, c. 1880

This one-room schoolhouse was originally located at New and Smith Roads. The building was used as a school until the early 1950s and is an excellent example of late 19th-century schoolhouse architecture. The double desks in the front of the schoolhouse are original furnishings. All others are from the late 19th century. Look for the recently restored rondel over the door identifying the school.

Lavocat House, c. 1840

This house was located on New Road in Amherst, NY, between Millersport Highway and Tonawanda Creek Road. The original section of the farmhouse was constructed with a technique called “nogging,” which utilized rough brick masonry used to fill in the open spaces of the wooden frame. This type of construction helped prevent fires from spreading and made temperature changes less rapid, keeping the house more comfortable. Stop by the newer kitchen wing for weaving demonstrations.

Bandstand

During outdoor events, the Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village Bandstand is the spot for dancing, entertainment, musical performances by the Amherst Symphony, and more. It’s also where you’ll find the emcees at our Scottish Festival games.

ADA

Wheelchair Accessible

Parking

Restrooms

Services

A unique venue for meetings and events

Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village offers a variety of indoor and outdoor facilities for hosting corporate meetings, seminars, parties and celebrations of all kinds. All facilities rentals include admission to all exhibits for each guest, tables/chairs, and audio accessibility

Group Tours

Large Group Tours of our historic buildings and 35-acre campus are guided by a costumed interpreter. Various interactive demonstrations will be featured in the buildings. The tour is approximately two hours. Please see our website for details.

Educational Tours

Outdoor Educational Tours include a guided tour of our ten historic buildings and our 35-acre campus. The tour is approximately two hours long and includes a 30-minute sessions in both our interactive Erie Canal Room and our Pioneer Kitchen. Maximum of 3 classes or 60 children per day

Gift Shop

Online Gift Shop

Special Event Rental

Group Tours

This information, including business hours, addresses and contact information is provided for general reference purposes only. No representation is made or warranty is given as to its content or the reliability thereof. User assumes all risk of use. Stories USA, Inc. and its content suppliers assume no responsibility for any loss or delay resulting from such use. Please call ahead to verify the dates, the location and directions.
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