by Mary Fox

The Ellicottville Historical Society works diligently all year long to bring you virtually free lecture programs and to preserve Ellicottville’s history at the village museum. They also produce an educational brochure for a self-guided walking tour of Ellicottville.

At the June 11 meeting of the Ellicottville Historical Society, the group elected officers for the year. Dawn Westfield was elected its new president, Ellen Frank as vice president, Sue Parsons as secretary and Judy Brown as treasurer. Dawn and the other officers of the Historical Society are looking forward to continuing to preserve and bring to the public an appreciation of the long and fascinating history of Ellicottville.

Historical Society programs are open to anyone wishing to attend. A small dues fee of $5 will give you a year’s membership that helps defray the cost of the programs and other events during the May-through-October season.

Upcoming programs scheduled for this season are:

July 9 – Kathleen Crocker and Jane Currie, “Behind the Scenes, Writing for the Arcadia Press”

August 13 – Oliver Hazard, “My grandfather’s farm in Napoli and Interesting Stories of My Family’s Past”

September 10 – Author Mason Winfield, “Talking Animals and the Medicine people, the Iroquois and the Supernatural”

October 8 – Mark Ward, “History of the Local Fire Companies”

A free Historical Society Self-Guided Walking Tour brochure is available at the Ellicottville Historical Museum, which is open 2–4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday through September, or at the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce office and some stores. Pick one up and enjoy a stroll into the past in the Ellicottville Historic District, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. The guide takes you to homes, buildings and churches and provides interesting information about the diverse architecture and stories about the people who lived here in the past.

See the Greek Revival-style house on West Washington Street built around 1850 by Delos Sill, a newspaper publisher who was a leader in the Whig Party and an intimate friend of Millard Fillmore.

Find the Federal Period first frame home, constructed in 1817, built by Baker Leonard for the Holland Land Company.

Learn interesting facts about buildings on the Town Square and along the business district of Washington Street.

Take time to imagine what life was like in these homes in the early days of Ellicottville’s settlement.

See the United Church of Ellicottville built with locally produced bricks in 1852.

At 44 East Jefferson St. is the house built in 1835 by George Senare, whose hotel stood on the present site of the M&T Bank.

At 34 Jefferson St., you’ll find a quaint little yellow house with a welcoming porch built in1840 for Allen D. Scott, a lawyer and Surrogate Court judge. He was instrumental in bringing the Rochester and State Line Railroad through Ellicottville in 1877.

These are just a few of the many historic homes in Ellicottville’s Historic District.

Start anywhere on the numbered route. Even if you don’t take a stroll, there are a myriad of historical information about Ellicottville to enjoy.