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We st e r n Ne w Yo r k S o u t h t ow n s S c e n i c B y wa y

Beauty By Way of the By way THE GENESIS OF A W E S T E R N N E W YO R K S C E N I C

B Y WAY


Interpretive sign installed summer 2013, Chestnut Ridge Park, Erie County


WEST SENECA 16

90 ORCHARD PARK

US

219

20A

Quake r Rd

JohnsonJolls House

Village of Orchard Park Chestnut Ridge Rd

240

Casino Jewettville

e dg Ri

West Falls

North Boston sto

Co u

Bo

COLDEN

240

Rd tate nS

BOSTON

y t

West Falls Dam Site Emery Park and Veterans Memorial

n

Bo st o

n

Rd

16

Griffins Mills

Chestnut Ridge Park

391

47

AURORA Mill Rd

O. P. Train Depot

Sinking Ponds

Village of East Aurora

Quaker Meeting House Knox Farm State Park

277

20

ELMA

US

400

Patchin

Colden

Veterans Park

Er i e

Boston Boston Town Hall

CONCORD

US

219

Sprague Brook Park

Sp rin

Park Entrance Area

gv

ille

NORTH COLLINS

Bo

ston

SARDINIA

Rd

Genesee Rd

240

Concord Community Park

Concord Town Hall

COLLINS

Village Park 39

39 LEGEND: Interpretive Sign Locations

Village of Springville

County Bureau of Forestry Lands

Main St.

Scoby Dam Park

N

Scenic Byway Route

Z

r oa

Va

lley

Cattaraugus County

0

Miles 1.5

3


F o r e w o r d

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his booklet represents a culmination of the efforts of the past twelve years to imagine, develop, create, and market a one-of-a-kind Scenic Byway that would promote the scenery, culture and history of the Southtowns area of Buffalo. It represents some of the best Western New York has to offer. It was back in 2002 that initial thoughts of developing the Scenic Byway began. Robert (Bob) Lennartz imagined a designation for US Route 219, from Orchard Park to Springville, which would forever exemplify its natural beauty, and protect it as a treasured resource. With the encouragement of his wife, Mary, he took the idea and began to explore ways in which this could happen. Research, numerous community meetings, and work in conjunction with the New York State Scenic Byway Program led to the development of the ultimate route that engages much of US 219, and includes two other loops that encompass the host towns and villages. Grants obtained allowed a Corridor Management Plan and Nomination Study to be undertaken by the University at Buffalo-Urban Design Project, under the leadership of Elizabeth (Betty) Cheteny.

Local leaders Senator Dale Volker and Legislator John Mills strongly supported the development of this Scenic Byway. Support from each encompassing town, village, and Erie County led to the State Scenic Byways Advisory Board approval of the Western New York Southtowns Scenic Byway in 2008. Soon after, the WNYSSB became its overseeing not-for-profit organization. As part of the State Byway Program, the New York State Department of Transportation let a contract to install byway route signage in 2012. Efforts by the new Byway organization led to the receipt of an interpretive sign program grant, locally administered by the Village of East Aurora. The initial sites selected for this program, and marked with interpretive signs, are included in this booklet. The reader is encouraged to visit these sites, as they represent a slice of what the Southtowns has to offer. We are forever grateful to all of our supporters, be they public, private, or individual, for helping us make the Western New York Southtowns Scenic Byway a reality. We look forward to a long and successful partnership together. This is the genesis of what is yet to come.

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Excerpted from the June 16, 2007 edition of the Citizen newspaper

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Pleasure boats and canoes entertained visitors at Donner’s Creekside Park, which was located at the southern edge of the Village of East Aurora.


Town of Aurora West Falls Dam Site and Veterans Memorial

Cazenovia creek has played a vital role in the industry and natural beauty of the town of aurora and the southtowns. AURORA 240

Jewettville

Mill

Rd

47 16

Griffins Mills

The branches of Cazenovia Creek connect the Village of East Aurora to the unique rural hamlets throughout the Town of Aurora. The creek and its tributaries provided power for the lumber, grain and woolen mills that electrified the community’s economy.

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The hamlets along this section of the WNY Southtowns Scenic Byway developed as a direct result of the creek. The Presbyterian Church in Griffins Mills served as a stop on the Underground Railroad and played a major role in the Abolitionist Movement. Emery Park

o

West Falls

West Falls Dam Site and Veterans Memorial

While the mills that once dotted it are gone, the beauty of Cazenovia Creek remains. The sound of waterfalls can still be heard at several points along the path of the Creek, and the banks light up with color during fall foliage season each year.

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View from an east drive down West Tillen Road in Boston.


Town of Boston The Heart of Boston

Bo st o

Boston’s heart is in its rich history, and in the many colors that light up its hills, welcoming nature lovers from all over. n

e dg Ri

Rd

West Falls

North Boston n sto Bo te R Sta

240

COLDEN

d

BOSTON

Patchin Colden

Boston

Boston Town Hall

The history of the Boston Hills is as colorful as it’s beautiful scenery. A discovery that has benefitted all mankind originated in North Boston in 1843. That year, a traveler staying there became quite ill and died. Many of the surrounding neighbors also became ill. The physician sent to investigate, Dr. Austin Flint, concluded that the traveler’s disease had infiltrated a local well. Dr. Flint’s discovery that contagious disease was spread through drinking water was groundbreaking, and was the beginning of true investigative medicine.

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Ellen Beach Yaw could sing like the birds she heard in the Boston Valley. She later became a world-famous soprano, singing in famous opera houses in London and Paris. She was one of the first performers to record her voice with Thomas Edison. In 1824 the Thayer brothers conspired to kill John Love and collect on his loans to other Boston residents. His original grave marker from this infamous incident is on display at the Boston Historical Society Museum.

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Buffum Inn


Town of Colden History & Historical Landmarks

Originally named buffum mills, colden was renamed after the post office was moved to the buffum inn. Bo

Rd ate n St s to

BOSTON

240

COLDEN

Patchin

Veterans Park

277 US

219

Boston

Colden

9

Rd

ville

ton

ing

Bos

Spr

Richard Buffum, the town’s first settler, built the first Grist mill here in 1814 and named this area Buffum Mills. Nearby, take note of Cazenovia Creek. The elevation of the creek and the need for water for grist and saw mills played an important role in establishing a settlement here. Buffum also established the Buffum Inn, a lodging house that housed a post office as well and held many community meetings.

Approximately two miles from here is the hamlet of Glenwood. This hamlet was formed around 1835 when land was purchased from the Holland Land Company. Small businesses soon developed including a tannery, a store and post office. Today, enjoy Glenwood’s sun-kissed hills for skiing and year-round activities at Sprague Brook Park.

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Soldiers Monument and Godard Memorial Hall, circa 1903


Town of Concord Godard Memorial Hall

r

Godard hall’s rich history includes three appearances by presidential candidate william jennings bryan. 219

ville ing Spr Rd ton Bos

US

39

Village of Springville Scoby Dam Park

240

Concord Town Hall 39

Godard Memorial Hall is located in the middle of the Village of Springville’s historic district. The building faces two historic properties: Fiddler’s Green Park and the WPA-era Springville Post Office Building.

Main St.

The building was originally one and a half stories in height, but was significantly modified in 1935 to create a building façade with a colonial revival influenced style.

11

Today, this beautiful old structure houses various town offices and hosts many public meetings and events. The building’s parking lot is shared with the Springville Center for the Arts and a few steps from the property is the Lucy Bensley Center, which is now utilized by the Concord Historical Society as a genealogy library.

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Scoby Dam


Town of Concord Home of Outdoor Recreation and Scenic Wonders

Concord: erie county’s gateway to the allegheny mountains

CONCORD US

219

Sp rin

B ille gv

ost

on Rd

Genesee Rd

Concord Community Park was the home of the Springville Baseball Club from 1952 to 1982 when the Park was donated to the Town. Pop Warner, one of the early players and coaches of football, lived Sprague nearby. The Holland Land Company’s first road built Brook Park to promote settlement from New England was the Cattaraugus-Genesee Road constructed circa 1810. SARDINIA The road remains a scenic drive through rolling hills and valleys. 240

Concord Community Park

39

Village of Springville Scoby Dam Park

39 Main St.

13

A short journey south takes you to Cattaraugus Creek and Zoar Valley, which boasts a 2,847 acre State Multiuse Area, and an 8.4 mile canyon with 20 waterfalls. Scoby Hill Road will take you to Scoby Dam Park on Cattaraugus Creek. This area is an Erie County Park known for steelhead fishing and white water sports.

As you drive, bike, or hike through Concord, you experience the natural beauty of the hilltops, waterways, and valleys that attracted our earliest settlers. Enjoy the scenic wonders of Erie County’s gateway to the Allegheny Mountains.

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Mountain biking trails in Sprague Brook Park


Erie County Sprague Brook Park, Town of Concord

Be it for day use or for overnight camping adventure, the park is a southern erie county treasure.

CONCORD in B ille

219

Sp r

gv

US

Sprague Brook Park

240

Park Entrance area

os t

on Rd

SARDINIA

Sprague Book Park’s terrain is gently sloping throughout, with some severe topography in the park’s northeast section. Three ponds add to the park’s beauty and usefulness for park users and wildlife enhancement. Numerous trails traverse the forested areas, and the park is also a popular destination for winter activities, such as sledding and cross-country skiing.

15

Genesee Rd

The park is one the largest Erie County parks and is the only facility in the system offering overnight camping. Located in the rural, well-forested towns of Concord and Sardinia, Sprague Brook Park centers around 130 campsites in three large camping areas. While some active recreation is offered, the park’s emphasis is on passive recreation throughout its vast open spaces and woodlands.

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View of Sinking Ponds in early spring with ice on pond.


Village of East Aurora Sinking Ponds Archaeological Site

ECA

ELMA

US

16

400

CHARD RK

Sinking ponds site was home to native americans for thousands of years prior to the establishment of the village of east aurora by euro-american settlers.

Sinking Ponds

Sinking Ponds represents one of the most significant Meadowood-type sites with profound implications for our region and the understanding of cultural developments throughout North America. Meadowood people are believed to be among the first to use many of the plant foods that would later become domesticated and grown as crops.

Village of East Aurora

20A

Quak er R d

e of rd Park

Mill

Rd

AURORA 47

40

Jewettville

16

Griffins Mills

hestnut dge Park

Emery Park

West Falls

240

17

The remains of a Meadowood house, numerous stone tools, a carved soapstone bowl, and some of the earliest fired-clay pottery known in the region have been recovered here. The site contains buried features like storage pits and hearths indicating where people lived. Researchers have conducted extensive work at the site, establishing some of what we know today about the Meadowood culture.

COLDEN

hin Colden

Boston

S

19

CONCORD Sp rin

Sprague Brook Park

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1916-1917 Main House: Architects Meade and Hamilton


Knox Farm State Park New York State Historic Park, Town of Aurora

The park’s 633 acres are comprised of grasslands, woodlands, ponds and wetlands. Visitors can see historic buildings, wildlife and on occasion, horses and other farm animals. Knox Farm State Park in East Aurora is the former country estate of Buffalo’s renowned Knox family. Over the years, the family purchased several surrounding farms and combined them to create their summer estate. The landscapes were originally designed by Ellen Biddle Shipman, known as the “Dean of Women Landscape Designers” in the 1930s. It was eventually sold to New York State and became a state park.

US

400

16

Knox Farm State Park

Village of East Aurora

20A Quaker Rd

47 Rd

AURORA Mill

240

16

Griffins Mills

ark

Emery Park West Falls

19

The New York State Preservation League included Knox Farm State Park in its list of the Empire State’s most threatened, historic resources for 2012–2013. That designation is a testament to the historic value of the buildings in the park. The Friends of Knox Farm State Park, Inc. mission is to promote, support, preserve and protect the recreational facilities, natural habitats, permanent green space and historic and cultural resources of Knox Farm State Park.

240

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Quaker Meetinghouse


Town of Orchard Park Quaker Meetinghouse

The quaker meetinghouse was the first house of worship of any denomination in erie county. ORCHARD PARK 20

277 US

16

Quaker Meeting House

219

20A

In 1804, Quaker David Eddy of Danby, Vermont, came to settle, followed by his extended family. Agrarian Quakers preferred life in quiet communities which were detached from what they termed the “corrupting influences” of the larger world. In 1817 the congregation built Orchard Park’s picturesque Quaker Meetinghouse and established a cemetery.

Quake r

Rd

Village of Orchard Park

21

Chestnut Ridge Rd

47

240

Jewettville

Chestnut Ridge Park

The first local library was established in this building by the Quakers with the charge that curators “lend them to such families as they shall find to be most in need, having a particular regard to women Friends.” Later, Friends built a school on this property. Griffins Mills

This historic Meetinghouse has serenely witnessed ten generations, including unparalleled activity during the eras of the Underground Railroad and Women’s Suffrage movement. All the while, the Meetinghouse has exhibited the inherent message of simplicity, peace, integrity, community and equality as a witness to Quaker religious belief.

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Dr. Jolls, owner of the home from 1902-1963, made house calls as part of his practice.


Village of Orchard Park Johnson-Jolls House

The house today stands as a tribute to an important part of orchard park’s history.

20

20A

Village of Orchard Park

Quake r

Rd

AURORA

JohnsonJolls House

Chestnut Ridge Park

un

Chestnut Ridge Rd

240

Enamored by Italianate architecture, Ambrose Johnson, a successful dry-goods store owner, built this gracious home in 1870. After the death of her parents, daughter Ava Johnson rented the house to Dr. Willard Burton Jolls and his wife. In 1902, Dr. Jolls purchased the home, first using the front hall and south front room as his waiting room and office, but eventually creating an office in the rear. He served as beloved country doctor for some 65 years, during which time he delivered more than 1,200 babies amongst his other duties.

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t

Having no children, Dr. Jolls and his wife left their house to long-time friend and housekeeper Millie M. Michelfelder, whose estate subsequently sold it to the Town of Orchard Park in 1979. In 1996 the entire house became a museum and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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A steam passenger train has arrived at the station


Village of Orchard Park Orchard Park Railroad Depot and Steinwach Town Park The century-old orchard park railroad depot has been preserved for the next century to enjoy.

20

20A

Rd

AURORA

240

Chestnut Ridge Park

un

Chestnut Ridge Rd

O.P. Train Depot

Village of Orchard Park

Quake r

Harry Yates, a local businessman and philanthropist, would often visit his farms and entertain clients and friends in the country. He needed a depot that would meet his needs. The depot was a stepping-off place for young soldiers leaving for and veterans returning from World War I and World War II. Honeymooners left for Niagara Falls and beyond. Commuters made their way to Buffalo via four trains a day. The railroad was the commercial hub of the community.

25

t

Regular freight operations ended in the late 1970s, and the depot is now owned by the Western New York Railway Historical Society. It is on both the National Register of Historic Places and the New York State Historic Register. It’s currently undergoing extensive interior and exterior restoration.

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In the winter, the hill turns into a wonderland where families enjoy sledding and tobogganing.


Erie County Chestnut Ridge Park, Town of Orchard Park

Chestnut ridge park is a four seasons destination offering multiple activities for visitors. ORCHARD PARK

277

20

20A

Village of Orchard Park Chestnut Ridge Rd

US

219

240

Casino

Jewettville

Bo st o

Chestnut Ridge Park

n

e dg Ri

Rd

North Boston

240

Chestnut Ridge Park is the largest and one of the most popular county parks. This jewel of a property includes some of the most impressive natural scenery and vintage WPA-era park structures anywhere. Located in the Town of Orchard Park, the 1,231-acre park is centrally located within the Erie County Parks system. The park surrounds Route 277, which creates an east and west side of the park. Each side offers differing views and nature perspectives. It has a vast array of structures available for family and group activities.

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The most prominent portion of the park is the large, open, grassy hillside, upon which sits the old stone park “casino� building. This hillside has been a favorite in the winter for sledding, skiing and tobogganing. Rugged terrain, deep ravines, mature woodlands, open meadows, scenic picnic areas and miles of nature trails have made Chestnut Ridge a popular getaway from the hustle and bustle of urban life.

West Falls

BOSTON

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Maple syrup production underway, early spring


Erie County Bureau of Forestry Lands, Town of Sardinia

C

Erie county forests provide for high value and diversity, consisting of 45% hardwoods, 49% conifers, and the remaining acreage in wetlands Sprague and open field/shrub land. Brook Park

CONCORD Sp r

in

gv B ille

os t

SARDINIA

on Rd Genesee Rd

240

US

219

39

Village of Springville Scoby Dam Park

County Bureau of Forestry Lands

39 Main St.

The Erie County Bureau of Forestry was established in 1927 in response to the acquisition of several thousand acres of forest and non-forest lands. Much of this area was abandoned farmland and is located in various areas of the County, mainly in Concord, Holland, and Sardinia.

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The purpose of the Bureau is to manage and protect these properties for multiple use activities including: forest management, recreation, water quality, wildlife habitat, wood products and maple syrup production.

Hiking, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, horseback riding and picnicking are some of the popular activities that the forest lands offer recreationally. The Bureau of Forestry also offers tours and demonstrations for educational opportunities for the general public, civic groups, and students of natural resources.

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The Buffalo, Rochester, and Pittsburgh Railway Depot remains a vibrant point of interest within the Village.


Village of Springville Bright Past, Brilliant Future

r

Known by early settlers as fiddlers green. e vill ing Spr Rd ton

Bos

Scoby Dam Park

Village Park 39

39

Village of Springville

240

Main St.

Springville continues to be a center of commerce, manufacturing, finance, medical services, culture, and religious worship in southern Erie County. The Buffalo, Rochester, and Pittsburgh Railway Depot and the Western House still accommodate businesses. Further west you will find Gentner’s Auction, an open-air market and livestock auction that has operated every Wednesday since 1939.

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Springville was known as Fiddler’s Green in the early 19th century because of the festive events in what is now a village park. This area houses many churches and the first high school in Erie County, Springville Griffith Institute. To the east is the Glenn “Pop” Warner Museum, which pays tribute to the football coaching legend, who pioneered use of the spiral punt, single wing formation and the three-point stance. To the south you will find Shuttleworth Park, the site of a 4.7 acre mill pond that powered the manufacturing mills. Today a scenic walking path meanders along the creek past the Springville Youth Inc. recreational grounds.

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Western New York Southtowns Scenic Byway Partners New York State Scenic Byway Program County of Erie Town of Aurora Town of Boston Town of Colden Town of Concord Town of Orchard Park Village of East Aurora Village of Orchard Park Village of Springville

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WNY Southtowns Scenic Byway booklet  

Booklet commemorating the interpretive signage along the WNY Southtowns Scenic Byway.

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