Tonawanda-Kenmore Historical Society

Tonawanda-Kenmore Historical Society A volunteer run 501(c)3 museum preserving the history of the Kenmore Tonawanda area. Open to the public the first Sunday of every month May-October from 2-4 PM. Historic presentations the Third Tues of March-June and September-December 7:15 PM
St. Peter's German Evangelical Church was built in 1849 by settlers from the Alsace Lorraine region of France/Germany. On their way here they settled in the Mohawk valley for a short period and are often referred to as the Mohawk Settlers. Largely, their owned farms in the Military/Ensminger/Knoche Road area. The bricks of the church were made from clay at Ive's Pond and carried by oxcart to the church site. Laborers from cholera-ridden Buffalo were glad to get away to get work in the clean air of Tonawanda. The church land was donated by Philip Knoche and various financers, including Johannes (John) Pirson, lent funds. The last religious service occurred in June 1967 with only 8 members remaining. Several years of legal work led to the Town acquiring the building in 1970. The Tonawanda-Kenmore Historical Society museum, 100 Knoche Road, Town of Tonawanda, held its Grand Opening on March 21, 1976, a highlight of the Bicentennial Year. 500 visitors came to the museum the first week. We thank the Town for maintaining the building and grounds, the Kenmore Garden Club for beautifully landscaping each year, and the tireless efforts of the Board and volunteers in maintaining the museum operations. Help us help preserve our local heritage. Become a member and volunteer! Send us a message and we will get you a membership application. Thank you!

Welcome to the Tonawanda-Kenmore Historical Society! Membership and Volunteers always welcome and encouraged. Send us a message for more information.


Hello everyone. Due to... well, you know why.... we will be postponing our upcoming Tuesday 3/17 meeting and John W. Percy's lecture on the Holland Land Company in WNY. As soon as we have an alternate date, we will let you know. Thank you. Be well. Your TKHS Board of Directors.

Do you have a relative who was a member of the Kenmore Merchant’s Association in 1936?  Tell us about it!!

Do you have a relative who was a member of the Kenmore Merchant’s Association in 1936? Tell us about it!!

Members of Kenmore Merchants’ Association. 1936.

Members of Kenmore Merchants’ Association. 1936.

The centerfold page of the Town of Tonawanda 1836-1936 Centennial Program booklet.

The centerfold page of the Town of Tonawanda 1836-1936 Centennial Program booklet.


Did you know that our area was once called "Village of Niagara"? In the Spring of 1823, construction of the Erie Canal had reached the mouth of Tonawanda Creek. During that same year, a group of Buffalonians, headed by Albert H. Tracy and Charles Townsend, bought land and laid out a village to accommodate the increasing numbers of people engaged in building the new canal in that area. This "Village of Niagara", as it was called for a short time, was the first community to develop in what would become "Tonawanda Village" and then Town of Tonawanda. By 1825, the village consisted of twelve buildings. The first mention of the name "Tonawanda" rather than "Niagara" was when Palmer Cleveland was appointed postmaster of "Tonawanda" in one of those 12 buildings on November 29, 1825. Info excerpted from: "Tonawanda, The Way It Was: A History of the Town of Tonawanda from 1805-1903". John W. Percy


Knoche Road was a dirt country lane when this above photo was taken.


This coming Tuesday we will have our first presentation of the year. Rich Szczepaniec will present the differences between how it was like to be in Vietnam as a soldier in 1969 and then again as a tourist in 2015. The event starts at 7:15pm and is free.

Town Supervisor Caruana presenting the award to John Percy.

Town Supervisor Caruana presenting the award to John Percy.

Retired historian, John Percy, receiving an award for his many years of service to our Town. Newly elected Town Historia...

Retired historian, John Percy, receiving an award for his many years of service to our Town. Newly elected Town Historian, Ed Amadczyk, there to support him.


Well folks, we're finally open again! Come by this Saturday for an open house from 1pm-5pm.


Come by tomorrow for aviatrix Amelia Earhart! She will be there to tell stories from her travels. The vent starts at 7:15pm and is free!


Keeping to the theme of Halloween, we will be hosting a presentation on cemetery symbolism this Tuesday at 7:15pm. It's free and we'd love to see you!

Western Door Paranormal (WDP)

Here's a little sneak peak at some of our spooky history.

Short video about the ken-ton historical society........


Today is a very special day for patrons Heidi and Kevin Krow as they will tie the knot today! Bells will be ringing!


Hey all historians,
The museum will be opened this Saturday from 12-5pm for all to come! All of our events and parking is free!

Photos from Tonawanda-Kenmore Historical Society's post

Photos from Tonawanda-Kenmore Historical Society's post

Museum pics

Museum pics


Greetings historians!
Our next event of our spring semester will be held on April 22nd. The presentation will discuss the early days of TV and radio that came out of Tonawanda. The meeting will be held at 7:15 PM at our museum located at 100 Knoche Rd. See you soon!

Tonawanda-Kenmore Historical Society's cover photo

Tonawanda-Kenmore Historical Society's cover photo


100 Knoche Rd
Tonawanda, NY

Opening Hours

Saturday 12:00 - 17:00




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Our Story

Welcome to the Tonawanda-Kenmore Historical Society! Our museum is open on select dates, and staffed by volunteers. 2020 Open Houses are the First Sunday of May through October from 2-4 PM. See you at 100 Knoche Road!

We also have historical presentations planned on the Third Tuesday in March-June and September-December beginning at 7:15 PM. Also in the museum at 100 Knoche Road.

Plenty of parking, handicap accessible and always FREE.

Donations will always be graciously and gratefully accepted.

Nearby museums

Other Tonawanda museums

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Tonight Wednesday March 11th, 2020 at 730 PM there will be a lecture entitled The Great Horse Healer Dr. John T. Claris East Buffalo Veterinary Hospital Largest in USA 1882-1926. The hospital was located on Clinton and Adams Streets with an East Buffalo Branch located near the stockyards. Come discover the amazing life of Dr. Claris prominent citizen of Buffalo when horses were mans' noblest asset. His medicines were good for man or beast. There will be Dr Claris memorabilia 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.
I offer the following lectures: They include great power points & a large display of memorabilia if your society needs a speaker. East Buffalo Meatpacking & Stockyards, Buffalo Breweries, Dr Claris East Buffalo Veterinary Hospital Largest in USA 1882-1926, Time capsule in your Backyard : Excavation of Privies, American Advertising Pot Lids, Occupational Shaving Mugs, WNY Private Die Medicine Tax Stamps Peter Jablonski (716)440-7985
Would you happen to have any pictures of the plane at Kenney Field, old Conway field when the cockpit was open? Thank you!
I have several lectures lectures your society may be interested in 1. Time Capsule in your Backyard: 19th Century Outhouse Artifacts 2. Antique Roadshow: Members and Public bring in items for appraisal 3. Buffalo Brewing 4.Patent Medicine Tax Stamps Of WNY 5. Buffalo Meatpacking & Stockyard Industry
Does anyone know what this is from? It is in Niawanda park between the bathrooms and band stand. It is really interesting and looks like it came out of the river....
This evening at 7 PM I am giving a lecture on Quack Patent Medicine Tax Stamps in WNY Especially Merchants Gargling Oil of Lockport NY. Lecture is at St Peters Episcopal Church Hall Longmeadow and Callodine in Amherst. Free to public and Free refreshments.
I have a question about the history of Sheridan Dr. I sent an email note to Ed A., town historian on April 21, 2018. If haven’t heard if the note has been receive. what is the best email address to use?
Buffalo Brewing History Lecture & Display Niagara Frontier Relic Hunters (Metal Detecting Club) 7PM Sunday Evening Nov 19th Zion Church 15 Koenig Cir, Tonawanda, NY 14150
Annual Buffalo Family History Fair is just 9 days away! Please join us Sat Oct 28 9am-5pm at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 1424 Maple Rd, Williamsvile, NY 14221. Class for beginners and experienced researchers. Variety of topics and learning stations. Ages 11 and up are invited to attend. No registration required. No admission fee. Free parking at the Church and at the elementary school next door. Please visit our website for more information. We look forward to seeing you there!The 17th