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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Amherst in Erie County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Bigelow House

c. 1860s

 
 
Bigelow House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 8, 2015
1. Bigelow House Marker
Inscription.
[photo] Bigelow House on its original site.

The saltbox style of the Bigelow House originated in New England and was not commonly found in this area. Originally located near New and Smith Roads in East Amherst, this house was built by Henry Bigelow, one of Amherst's more prosperous early residents, who was originally from Vermont.

It is likely that the left side of the house was built in the 1840s, while the right side dates to the 1850s. The two parts are clearly visible when viewing the front of the house. There are interior details that also indicate construction from two time periods.

By the 1860s, Biglow's Ransom Creek farm and this house had been inherited by a son, Harry Foster Bigelow, a noted horticulturalist who lived in Williamsville. We do not believe that anyone from the Bigelow family ever lived in this house. Most likely, it was occupied by the farm manager or tenants.

The interior has been furnished to reflect the possible occupation of the house by Harry Bigelow's farm manager and his family during the 1860s. The house and furnishings reflect the changes in technology and availability of goods that a middle-class rural family would have had at that time.

Although we do not know how all the rooms in this house were originally utilized, the arrangement chosen by the Museum is
North Side image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 8, 2015
2. North Side
based on research and common mid-19th-century floor plans. The room on the left depicts a bedroom used by the parents, possibly shared with an infant or very young child. The parlor would have served as the gathering place or the family during evenings when chores were done. In the rear of the house is the kitchen, a sub-kitchen or workroom, and a storage area. Two stairways lead to separate second floor areas. It is probable that the older children slept in the portion that is over the parlor, while the section over the kitchen may have housed farm laborers or been used for storage.

This house was moved to the Amherst Museum in 1975 when the original site was acquired for the Ransom Oaks development.
 
Erected by Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village; marker sponsor: Windsor Ridge Associates.
 
Location. 43° 4.962′ N, 78° 43.781′ W. Marker is in Amherst, New York, in Erie County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Tonawanda Creek Road and New Road. Touch for map. Marker is on the grounds of the Buffalo Niagara Heritage Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3755 Tonawanda Creek Road, Buffalo NY 14228, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Transit Road Church (within shouting distance of
Rear image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 8, 2015
3. Rear
this marker); Sweet Home Common School No.15 (within shouting distance of this marker); Williamsville School No.9 (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Erie Canal at Amherst (approx. 0.2 miles away); Grand Erie Canal (approx. 0.3 miles away); Pendleton (approx. 0.3 miles away); Controlling Water in the Erie Canal (approx. 3.5 miles away); Town of Clarence - Swormville (approx. 3.5 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Amherst.
 
Also see . . .  Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village. (Submitted on May 20, 2015, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 
South Side image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 8, 2015
4. South Side
Bigelow House & Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 8, 2015
5. Bigelow House & Marker
Bigelow House Display image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 8, 2015
6. Bigelow House Display
Inside the main exhibition building. The information/map panel reads: This house stood on the southeast corner of New and Smith Roads. Before beind donated by the Ransom oaks Development Corporation this house sat vacant for several years.

In 1973, it was moved across Smith Road to the Museum's original site. The house's modest size and saltbox style (unusual for this area) made it of interest to the Museum. It moved to the Museum's current home in the 1980s.

In 2000, we completed interior renovations, bringing this house back to the 1860s, reflecting how rural Amherst residents lived during the Civil War Era.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 20, 2015, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 205 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 20, 2015, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.
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