Ellicottville Historical Society

Ellicottville Historical Society The Society & Museum has been around since 1956. Help add to the knowledge by posting pictures, stories and questions about the area. Admission is FREE.
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Closed during the winter. Open June through September 1:00pm to 4:00pm Saturdays and Sundays. Society meetings held every second Wednesday from May through October. The Society's purpose is to study & preserve the historical record of the Town of Ellicottville and vicinities.

Operating as usual

Salamanca Press
10/11/2020
Salamanca Press

Salamanca Press

A commemorative marker recognizing Grove Hurlburt as the first permanent settler in the town of Ellicottville was unveiled Oct. 3 on part of his original property now owned by St. Paul’s Lutheran Church at 6360 Route 242 in Ellicottville.

Photo taken in front of the Ellicottville school building sometime likely in the 1930s. We are unsure what the occasion ...
10/10/2020

Photo taken in front of the Ellicottville school building sometime likely in the 1930s. We are unsure what the occasion was; it doesn't appear to be a class or band photo. Mary Jane Linsler Skeels (sister to Edward Linsler #2 in 2nd row of this photo) was able to identify the majority of the people listed.

10/06/2020
Video#3

This is the 3 rd video. Sorry my phone will not let me download these quicker.

10/05/2020
Video#2

Here is video#2 of our ceremony.

10/05/2020
Video #1

Here is a video from the ceremony that happened on Saturday.

Can't resist posting one more :)
10/04/2020

Can't resist posting one more :)

Another great shot of yesterday's plaque unveiling. These are some of the descendants of Grove Hurlburt who was honored ...
10/04/2020

Another great shot of yesterday's plaque unveiling. These are some of the descendants of Grove Hurlburt who was honored yesterday as the first to purchase land in what eventually became the town of Ellicottville. Bill O'Brien, who did so much work on this project, is on the far right. Please tag the names of the others if you know them.

Some of the behind-the-scenes work in getting ready for yesterday's events. Thanks to Bill O'Brien and Steve and Cheryl ...
10/04/2020

Some of the behind-the-scenes work in getting ready for yesterday's events. Thanks to Bill O'Brien and Steve and Cheryl Crowley!

More pictures from a wonderful event yesterday.
10/04/2020

More pictures from a wonderful event yesterday.

Several members of the Town of Ellicottville Bicentennial Committee.
10/04/2020

Several members of the Town of Ellicottville Bicentennial Committee.

Just a few shots from today’s event. Thank you to everyone for helping make this a rousing success!
10/03/2020

Just a few shots from today’s event. Thank you to everyone for helping make this a rousing success!

Thanks to Cupcaked, Inc. for the cupcakes and Ellicottville Distillery for the hand sanitizer! We’re getting ready for t...
10/03/2020

Thanks to Cupcaked, Inc. for the cupcakes and Ellicottville Distillery for the hand sanitizer! We’re getting ready for the plaque unveiling at St Paul’s at 2!

Don't forget to grab your masks and come on down to our pioneer plaque unveiling at 2pm today at St. Paul's Church. We'l...
10/03/2020

Don't forget to grab your masks and come on down to our pioneer plaque unveiling at 2pm today at St. Paul's Church. We'll be practicing good old-fashioned outdoor social distancing like these folks pictured :)

Another reason to celebrate October in Ellicottville!It was an unprecedented time here back in 1815, five years before t...
09/29/2020

Another reason to celebrate October in Ellicottville!

It was an unprecedented time here back in 1815, five years before the
town’s official formation in 1820. The date was recorded as October 6
when Grove Hurlburt purchased 150 acres, Lot 57, making him the first
purchaser of land from the Holland Land Company in the area that
eventually was established as the town of Ellicottville.

Join us as the Ellicottville Town Bicentennial committee celebrates
this historic event with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque on
Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 2:00pm. The marker is being placed on
part of the original property now owned by St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
at 6360 NY Rt. 242 in Ellicottville. The church has generously
welcomed the opportunity to help celebrate the area’s heritage in
which it has also played a part in throughout the years.

Senator George Borrello and Assemblyman Joseph Giglio will be on hand
to help mark this special occasion as well as other local officials
including recently re-elected Village Mayor John Burrell who has been
instrumental in planning the celebration. Local native William
O’Brien, a member of the Bicentennial Committee, has been the key
catalyst in the endeavor working hard to ensure that pioneer Grove
Hurlburt has not been forgotten in the town’s early history.

This is an outdoor event to encourage social distancing in the
unprecedented times we find ourselves in now. Masks are required.
Light refreshments are being made available by Annie Coe of Cupcaked,
Inc.

For additional information, please contact Dawn Westfall at
716-699-6201 or Steve Crowley at 716-699-3924.

Salamanca Press
08/26/2020
Salamanca Press

Salamanca Press

Charles R. Pettit, of Mooresville, N.C., is honoring his great-great-grandfather Amos Pettit and great-grandfather James Smith Johnson with Pioneer certificates as part of the town of Ellicottville's Bicentennial celebration.

From a fan of the Society, Michael Hinman: Thank you all there for everything you do. My sister and I have been working ...
07/27/2020

From a fan of the Society, Michael Hinman: Thank you all there for everything you do. My sister and I have been working on our genealogy lately, and we had an old photo of a building in Ellicottville from a century ago, and I think we had a copy of a copy, because it's dark.

But by accident, I came across a high school newsletter from 2010, and there was some history included there by Catherine Lacy. One of the photos shocked me — it was the photo of the store that I've seen several times in my own family, but it was a clear picture. Very clear, to the point we could actually see there were people standing on the porch.

We never quite knew what the photo was. We believed that my great-grandfather either had a store there he owned, or one he worked at. But what you guys published answered a lot of questions, thanks to having a clear picture AND a caption!

Come to find out that the two proprietors standing on the porch of this store were my great-grandparents, Richard P. Hinman, and his aunt, Anna. We are in the process of verifying paternal lineage all the way back to Sgt. Edward Hinman, a pilgrim who came at the end of the "second boat" era in 1650, to Boston.

But thank you so much for everything you do to not only preserve history, but share it with everyone. It's fascinating, but also helps us learn something about ourselves.

My family is deeply grateful for the work you do.

As the past tries to keep up with present-day technology, today the museum received what is probably the largest digital...
06/10/2020

As the past tries to keep up with present-day technology, today the museum received what is probably the largest digital collection thus far. One of the images included this golden oldie of the Dash garage when it was on Main/Washington Street.

Photos from Ellicottville Historical Society's post
05/25/2020

Photos from Ellicottville Historical Society's post

More children of Ellicottville with time-honored traditions.
05/25/2020

More children of Ellicottville with time-honored traditions.

Missing the time-honored tradition. These are from 2008. Please post if you have any photos from other years :)
05/25/2020

Missing the time-honored tradition. These are from 2008. Please post if you have any photos from other years :)

Ellicottville NOW / EVL Snowed-In
05/15/2020
Ellicottville NOW / EVL Snowed-In

Ellicottville NOW / EVL Snowed-In

Ellicottville Central School District has come a long way since the 1970’s and 80’s when it used to be hallways that led to trailers for classrooms. As students move on from ECS, there hasn’t ever been an outlet to keep Alumni connected. The Alumni Association decided it was time to develop a website where graduates could keep up with each other ...

04/29/2020

Thank you to the Painter family for your generous donation in memory of Lucille Harris!

04/21/2020

Thank you to Kim Woodarek for the generous memorial donation in honor of Lucille Harris! Lucille was an exceptional lady indeed!

04/18/2020

Hurd Maternity Hospital, Ellicottville, NY: In the Olean Times Herald paper for January 30, 1971, reporter and columnist Lucille Taylor wrote about a “Maternity Hospital” in Ellicottville during the 1930s run by registered nurse, Mrs. Josie Zeltwanger who was consulted for the article. The maternity service took place in Mrs. Zeltwanger’s own home and was licensed by the state. She was in business for about ten years with more than 200 infants delivered. State rules and regulations eventually became so strict that she decided to close in 1941. Mrs. Zeltwanger devoted the two downstairs bedrooms of her small two-story home to the hospital. “In those days, mother and baby stayed ten days, so she always had someone to look after.” She did the nursing care herself but hired others to take care of the washing and cleaning.
According to this article, Mrs. Zeltwanger had been a nurse for fifty years. She was trained at Sisters Hospital in Buffalo and was once employed at Salamanca Hospital. Following the closing of the maternity hospital, she held the position of school nurse in Ellicottville for fourteen years, retiring in 1963. Her maiden name was Widger and she was the aunt of then well-known Salamanca pediatrician, Dr. David Widger.
The article erroneously stated the maternity hospital was on Washington Street. In reality, the location was 41 Elizabeth Street. Elizabeth Street was the address given in several of the birth announcements published through the years in the Ellicottville Post and 41 Elizabeth Street was given in Mrs. Josie Zeltwanger’s obituary published in the Olean Times Herald on January 3, 1978. That was the day Mrs. Zeltwanger passed away at the Cattaraugus County Nursing Home in Olean. The obituary confirmed she was a graduate of Sisters Charity Hospital, School of Nursing in Buffalo. The obituary indicated she operated the maternity home in Ellicottville from 1928-1948, was on the nursing staff at Salamanca Hospital for several years and was the school nurse at Ellicottville Central from 1950 to 1962.
A search was completed of local newspaper digital scans at Fultonhistory.com using the search terms “Hurd Maternity” Ellicottville. The earliest found birth announcement that named the Hurd Maternity Hospital or Home (as it was variously called) was published in the Ellicottville Post 12 November 1930, although an “old times” column article from 2 May 1950 shared an announcement from 20 years prior. The last published birth announcement found was on 20 May 1942.
Josie S. Widger was born 19 December 1889 in Woodhull [Steuben County], New York to John and Hattie (Stone) Widger. During the 1910 census, she was living with her parents and siblings on South Main Street in the town of Troupsburg. Her father was listed as a farmer. She and her 18-year-old sister Mattie were schoolteachers. Her other siblings included Glenn P., Everett J., Elwyn M., and Celestia G. Troupsburg is where Josie married Charles B. Hurd on 7 February 1911. Her occupation on her marriage license also listed her as a schoolteacher.
Charles and Josie Hurd had made their home in Ellicottville and vicinity since about 1925 according to Charles’ obituary published in the Ellicottville Post on 8 September 1943. Josie’s parents and siblings also relocated to the Ellicottville area. After Charles Hurd’s death, Josie married Charles Zeltwanger on September 30, 1945 in Troupsburg. Mr. Zeltwanger also predeceased Josie in 1967 and was buried with his first wife Jennie Hurd in Canisteo. Josie had one known son, John (“Jack”) Hurd born June 6, 1923, who also died in Canisteo in 1967 leaving a wife, a son and a daughter. Josie is buried in Sunset Hill Cemetery in Ellicottville. She left two brothers, Glenn P. and Jack Widger as well as a sister Gwendolyn Keeley, two grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

04/13/2020

What an awesome birthday present, we just hit 600 likes! Thanks everyone!

The proper social distance way to say Happy birthday, Ellicottville! 🎉🎉
04/13/2020

The proper social distance way to say Happy birthday, Ellicottville! 🎉🎉

04/13/2020
Wishing Ellicottville A Happy 200th!

A little present to help celebrate the town of Ellicottville's 200th birthday in a unique and creative way during these times of social distancing! Many thanks to Spencer Timkey and the bicentennial planning committee for the wonderful work they did on putting this together!

Folks, our bicentennial cancellation stamp is available for hand-stamping beginning tomorrow, Monday, April 13, 2020 at ...
04/12/2020

Folks, our bicentennial cancellation stamp is available for hand-stamping beginning tomorrow, Monday, April 13, 2020 at the Ellicottville Post Office. You have to request the hand-stamped cancellation specifically. Due to the current social distancing restrictions, this will continue to be available throughout at least July. Thanks to the highly talented artist, Barbara Fox for her creation of the design.

Ellicottville Historical Society's cover photo
04/12/2020

Ellicottville Historical Society's cover photo

The Buffalo Rochester and Pittsburgh Railway Company
04/10/2020

The Buffalo Rochester and Pittsburgh Railway Company

Address

2 Washington St
Ellicottville, NY
14731

Telephone

(716) 699-8415

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Our Story

The Ellicottville Historical Society & Museum started in September of 1956 and was formed for the purpose of studying & preserving the historical record of the Ellicottville and vicinities. The Society first opened a display center in rooms at the Ellicottville Town Hall. Early on, it found a place in other buildings but eventually settled in the one-story brick building across the street, originally built for the county clerk’s office. The building has been used for many varied purposes over the years. Although most people assume it was once a one-room school house, that is not the case. Can you guess the reason for the bell on the roof, then?

The museum is closed during the winter, but open on weekends (Saturday and Sunday) between the months of June through September from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Admission is FREE, but donations are gratefully accepted. The Historical Society holds meetings every second Wednesday evening from May through October on various historical topics. Individual membership is $15 per year, ask for a brochure. Our mailing address is P.O. Box 485, Ellicottville, NY 14731. Please consider joining to help continue to fulfill our mission of studying and preserving our local history for generations to come.

We are a small volunteer organization and make every effort to answer questions individually as time permits but cannot undertake extensive research requests. A general question posted publicly to this page will open the topic up to more people who may potentially have the answer you are looking for.

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Comments

I was wondering if you are having another ‘Ghost Tour’ this year??
So sorry that your 200th anniversary celebrations have been cancelled because of Covid. I remember the Sesqui-Centennial celebrations in the Fifties and they were great fun, with kangaroo courts on Main Street, a parade, and fun at the fairgrounds. Here's to your delayed celebration, next year!
Does anyone know anything about Underground Railroad activities in Ellicottville during the Civil War?
I was reading the post about Roy Dash's Garage so I did a search of Ellicottville Post and found several articles for your reading pleasure. I started a new post as it's easier to add large numbers of photos. Click on each one to read more.
Hello All, about 16 years ago I mailed to the E'ville Historical Society some letters I discovered in a barn near Ashford Junction. There were a series of them to & from members of the Wallace family. Just curious if the Museum-Society has used the letters or attached any other information regarding the property in E'ville? just curious - peace out...
Sharing this article from 1978, compiled by my Uncle John Ploetz Eric & Kim now live at the homestead where my Grandfather Albert & Marie (Hanewinkel) Ploetz Dairy Farm originated in 1920's
As you know, the museum normally does not open for the season until June. If this changes, we will note that here. Currently we are unable to provide in-person research assistance to the public until further notice. Thanks for your understanding.
Hello. I'm writing to you with my 92-year- old mother, Joanna Johnston Sweeney. "My grandfather (shown in this photo) was William Byron Johnston, MD. He was a lifelong resident of Ellicottville. He was married to Katharine Lydia Ward Johnston. They had 2 children, my father, Sidney Baldwin Johnston and Cornelia Ward Beatzhold. I believe he was born in 1852. I'd love to know when he died. Thank you."
Hey Ellicottville Historians: I'm looking for pictures of the Arlington Hotel on the corner of Monroe Street and Maybee Alley. It was built in 1890.
On Wednesday January 8th, 2020 at 730 PM there will be a lecture on utilitarian stoneware made in early Buffalo entitled History & Mystery: The Early Potteries of The Queen City by David Potter & Peter Jablonski . Decorated stoneware jugs and crocks will be on display. The meeting will take place at St Peters Episcopal Church Hall on Callodine and Longmeadow in Amherst. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served, courtesy of The Greater Buffalo Bottle Collectors Association. The club will have their general meeting preceding the program at 7 pm . For more info, please contact Peter Jablonski at 440-7985. Appreciatively, Peter Jablonski President Greater Buffalo Bottle Collectors Association
I was wondering if anyone found any info on John Hurlburt grandson Frederick Hicks. I can only find 3 of John's daughter's Louisa or Lucy, Hannah, and Britania. There is a Clinton Hicks in 1860 census married to a Martha and in the cemetery there's a Clinton Hicks and a Mary H. So I'm not sure who Frederick parents are. Frederick is my great great grand father.
I want to know if anyone is willing to help me figure out my great great grandfather's Frederick Hicks father who was from this area. I think his father is Clinton Hicks but have no solid proof. I think some how Frederick ties into John Hurlburt because in 1865 census he is listed as his grandson, but still no solid proof. If someone can contact me that wants to help I would really appreciate it.