Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village

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Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village
Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village is located in New York
Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village
Location within New York
Location Amherst, New York USA
Coordinates 43°05′03″N 78°43′42″W / 43.084192°N 78.728332°W / 43.084192; -78.728332Coordinates: 43°05′03″N 78°43′42″W / 43.084192°N 78.728332°W / 43.084192; -78.728332
Type Open-air museum
Collection size 12 historic buildings, over 50,000 objects
Director Herbert Schmidt III
Nearest car park On site (no charge)
Website www.amherstmuseum.org
The Hoover House, one of Amherst Museum's historic buildings.

Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village, formerly called the Amherst Museum, is an open-air museum located in Amherst, New York. The Museum is dedicated to preserving the history the Town of Amherst, the Village of Williamsville and the Niagara Frontier. A 35-acre (140,000 m2) site, the Museum includes 12 historic buildings moved from their original site, including homes, one-room schoolhouses, a barbershop, and a church; a main exhibit building; a collections storage facility; the Niederlander Research Library; and, the Country Store.

An educational institution, Amherst Museum was chartered by the State of New York. Formed as a department of the Town of Amherst, the museum was privatized in January 2011. The name changed in 2012.[1]


The Museum's collection contains over 50,000 objects. These include furniture, clothing, photographs, maps, ledgers, quilts and wedding gowns.

Collection materials are housed in two places within the Museum, the Archives Room and the Anscombe Collections Storage Building, built in 2000. Collections materials are exhibited on a rotating basis.

Living history[edit]

Cooks hard at work in the kitchen at Elliott House.

The Museum's docents and volunteers provide a living history experience for visitors. Cooks work on the cast-iron 19th-century stove in Elliott House. The stove was specially cast for the Museum from an original mold produced by a local ironworks.

Volunteers receive training on historic cooking through the Museum. Youth interpreters cannot use the stove until they are over 18, but younger volunteers learn how to "help out in the kitchen", much as young people did in the 19th century.

Next door, members of the New York Regional Blacksmiths demonstrate on a working forge. The Blacksmiths hold a training school each year in late July and early August, as well as a "Hammer-In" event in August.

Other costumed interpreters, including weavers, quilters, cabinetmakers, craftsmen and women, and dancers appear at events and festivals. All Amherst Museum interpreters and docents are volunteers.


There are four guilds within the Museum membership:

  • Quilters Guild
  • Lace Guild
  • Victorian Dance Society
  • Weavers Guild of Buffalo

The Museum also affiliates with many different community organizations, including the Amherst Diversity Coalition, the Women's Interclub Council, the Western New York Library Resources Council, the Amherst Symphony, and the Williamsville Rotary.


The Museum features a variety of special events throughout the year, ranging from small guild-affiliated shows to large outdoor festivals. The Scottish Festival and Highland Games, first held in 1985, feature pipe bands, clans and vendors, and are the only officially sanctioned Highland games in the region.

Other events include a Civil War Re-enactment, a harvest festival, a juried quilt show, and a Halloween Trick-or-Treat.


  1. ^ Weickart, Joe. "BNHV - A New Beginning". Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village. Retrieved November 6, 2012. 

External links[edit]