Five Activities for the History Buff in East Aurora

October 19, 2022
Written by
Don Vidler
East Aurora 1930

History awaits once you arrive in this quaint, collectible village known as East Aurora in Erie County, New York. Located southeast of Buffalo, the historical East Aurora was founded in 1804.

Being home to one of our former presidents, Millard Fillmore, and the famous American writer, Elbert Hubbard, East Aurora has served as a staple in American history. The village embodies the arts, history and the culture of where it all began. 

Although there are way more than hour historical activities to do in East Aurora, here’s the must-do’s for the ultimate history buff. 

Millard Fillmore’s House
  1. Millard Fillmore’s House

Millard Fillmore was the 13th President of the United States. He was in office from 1850 to 1853, and East Aurora is where he resided with his family before being elected into office. It’s a true honor to have this historical landmark in our town, but what makes it even more unique is that Fillmore built this home himself. It’s one of the only two homes in the U.S. that was actually built by the hand of a U.S. President. 

It’s recommended to book your tour in advance! If you choose to do the private tour, it’s a much more in-depth experience. Some visitors have shared that they were able to play Millard Fillmore’s actual piano! How cool? Click here to learn more!

Elbert Hubbard Roycroft Museum 
  1. Elbert Hubbard Roycroft Museum 

When you walk into the Elbert Hubbard Roycroft Museum, it’s like you’ve stepped back in time. Elbert Hubbard was a famous American writer, philosopher, orator, publisher and not only the founder of the Roycroft. When he established the Roycroft Campus, Hubbard was considered the founder of the American Arts & Crafts movement. It wasn’t just the most successful Arts and Crafts movement – it was the original and it all began in East Aurora!

The museum is only open from the beginning of June to the end of October. You can schedule a tour from 1-4 pm on Wednesday, Saturday or Sunday. You can also book a “special” tour by calling the office in advance. Learn more about admission details here. 

The Aurora History Museum 
  1. The Aurora History Museum 

Most history buffs love learning all there is to know about the town they’re staying in. If that sounds like you, then you’d appreciate The Aurora History Museum. This museum features Native American artifacts from Aurora and items belonging to community’s earliest settlers.

It gives a deeper understanding of how East Aurora came about, and the best part is admission is FREE! The Museum is open Wednesdays from 1-4 pm or you can book an appointment in advance by calling their office or visiting the website. Click here to learn more!

East Aurora Ghost Walk
  1. East Aurora Ghost Walk 

Who doesn’t love a spooky ghost walk? As Halloween approaches, there’s no better way to spend the fall then learning the myths and tales of the deceased villagers of East Aurora! 

Since 1997, Mason Winfield, Owner of East Aurora Ghost Walk, has been telling stories of the haunted village sites. The stories are historic, engaging, and a little creepy… but never harming! No talking to spirits, here. To learn more about scheduling your Ghost Walk, click here!

vidlers exterior line
  1. Vidler’s

Finish off your historical trip by visiting us here at Vidler’s 5 & 10. Opening in 1930, we have grown to be the largest remaining variety store in the US spanning 4 buildings! We have something old and something new, without a doubt! Our friendly staff is always happy to talk about the long history of Vidler’s here in beautiful East Aurora. 

History Buff Approved? 

We think so. East Aurora wouldn’t be half as charming if it wasn’t for the roots that were laid here previously. We honor our ancestors and love sharing the admirable and “spooky” memories of our village’s past! We hope to see you soon!

Image References:

Millard Fillmore House

Roycroft Museum

Aurora History Museum

Ghost Walks


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