Did you know that Grand Island once had the largest sawmill in the United States? Or that Wolf Clan Chief Ely Parker penned the final draft of the Confederate surrender document at Appomattox, signed by Robert E. Lee? How about that those cool roll-up doors on the back of UPS trucks come from the Town of Newstead? These are just some of the fascinating tidbits to be found in Erie County, 1821-2021: A Bicentennial Profile, being released by Western New York Heritage this month.
This 80-page, one-of-a-kind legacy publication features brief, individual profiles of each of Erie County’s towns, cities and Native territories. Special “at a glance” sections provide readers with a quick reference to each community, while brief narratives and evocative images — many never before published — highlight the events, people and places that make each unique.
The publication features an historical introduction by County Historian C. Douglas Kohler, plus websites and other resources throughout the county are included to inspire further exploration during the bicentennial year and beyond.
“This publication has been a collaboration between Western New York Heritage and historical entities from around the county, and we have been thrilled to work with so many people who share our passion for this region’s rich heritage,” said Executive Director Doug DeCroix. “We are also extremely grateful to the Baird Foundation and Erie County for their generous support of this project. Without the support of organizations like these, projects like this would not be possible.”
Erie County, 1821-2021: A Bicentennial Profile is scheduled for release in late July. Copies may be purchased for $10 at wnyheritage.org or by calling Western New York Heritage at 893-4011. Plans also call for the publication to be available throughout the county at commemorative events, historic sites and other outlets.
Western New York Heritage is the nonprofit publisher of Western New York Heritage magazine, the award-winning, illustrated quarterly dedicated to the art, architecture and history of Western New York. For more information or to become a subscriber, please visit wnyheritage.org.