An Engaging Past, An Exciting Present
The rich history of the Town of Aurora and Village of East Aurora remains an integral part of the present-day character of the township. The Town of Aurora was founded in 1818, fourteen years after the first settler, Jabez Warren, obtained a contract from the Holland Land Company for 1,443 acres and made it his family's home in 1804. The town is thirty-six square miles with a current population of approximately 14,000, including the Village of East Aurora (population 6,673), the hamlets of Jewittville, Griffins Mills, West Falls and a portion of South Wales. West Falls is the largest of the hamlets, with a population of 2,258.
The Town of Aurora, located just 25 miles from downtown Buffalo and 45 minutes from Niagara Falls, has been home to interesting individuals, grassroots movements and international companies, including U.S. President Millard Fillmore, the Roycroft Arts & Crafts movement and Fisher-Price Toys.
A walk down the village of East Aurora's bustling Main Street is, in some ways, a step back in time with a variety of specialty shops, restaurants, churches, municipal buildings and carefully preserved homes. Main Street is home to various local businesses and attractions, including an old-fashioned five and dime store, an ice cream parlor and a big-screen theatre with a classic neon marquee.
Local museums and national historic sites provide direct links to East Aurora's dynamic past. The Millard Fillmore House on Shearer Avenue was built by Fillmore, the nation's 13th president, when he was a country lawyer in East Aurora. The 1825 structure has been restored to that period and features some original Fillmore furniture of the era, as well as items from Fillmore's presidential years.
Founded in 1895, the Roycroft Campus on South Grove Street grew to be a leading international Arts & Crafts center under the leadership of Elbert Hubbard (statue at left is on the Main Street School Campus). The Roycroft Inn is completely restored and is open to the public for dining and accommodations. The Elbert Hubbard Museum on Oakwood Avenue features an extensive collection of Roycroft books and Arts & Crafts pieces.
The birthplace of Fisher-Price Toys, East Aurora is a community that is passionate about children. Fisher-Price's international headquarters are located on Girard Avenue in the Village. A community foundation operates the ToyTown USA museum, located on the Fisher-Price campus. The annual ToyFest celebration draws children of all ages to the community every summer. A community group also operates Explore & More...a children's museum.
Sinking Ponds Nature Preserve, located on the Pine Street Extension at the outskirts of the village, offers hiking trails and a natural habitat for migrating geese and other animals. Centrally located on Prospect Avenue, Hamlin Park hosts many village celebrations and concerts and is the home of the Aurora Players community theater company.
The West Falls area boasts several sites of historic interest, including Griffins Mills Presbyterian Church (left), the town's oldest church and a stop on the Underground Railroad. The central hamlet area is home to an independent community library (above right), the West Falls Fire Department, West Falls Conservation Club, a park for children, a veteran's memorial park, fine dining and other small businesses.
The Town of Aurora area is a community that is firmly rooted in its past and keenly aware of the qualities that it a great place to shop, work and live. The Greater East Aurora Chamber of Commerce offers additional information on things to do, places to go, shopping, dining and lodging, as well as upcoming events in the Town of Aurora