History of the Hurd House, The Elma Town Museum
It was in 1846 when Clark W. Hurd built his home in a settlement that would be known later as Elma, NY. Mr. Hurd became an important figure in the founding of our great community. In March of 1857 a spirited meeting was held in his home to form the Town of Elma. This is believed to be the first Town meeting. It was here that the first officials of the Town were decided, and later elected, P.B. Lathrop being the first Town Supervisor. Clark W. Hurd lived to be 87 years old and died on January 6, 1894. The home was used by the Hurd family until the death of Harriet Hurd Rowley in 1913. Mrs Rowley bequeathed it to the Elma United Methodist Church for use as a parsonage. For many years it housed 12 pastors and their families. A new parsonage was built on Rice Road and because the church could no longer maintain the house it would have to be demolished.
In 1983 newly elected Historical Society President, Ken Schaff, received a call from Past President Mae Charlotte Yacobush informing him that the church could no longer afford the home and planned to tear it down. "This was not just another house. It's the most historically significant house in the Town of Elma” said Mr. Schaff. Long hours and a vision for a Museum were an earmark of the project that took four years to complete working with local government officials, State officials and New York Gov. Mario Cuomo.
In 1984 Governor Cuomo approved and signed Senate Bill No.7428-A authorizing the Town of Elma to sell or lease land dedicated for Park purposes to the Historical Society for the purpose of a Town Museum.
On May 6,1985 Walter S. Hartloff & Sons moved the house 700 yards North up Bowen Rd. Rainy cold weather made the task a tricky one. On September 18, 1988, on a warm sunny day, the Clark W. Hurd house was dedicated to the residents of Elma and given to the community to serve as a museum for generations to come. In November of that year the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society awarded the Daniel B. Niedelander Award to the Elma Historical Society for it's four year task of the moving and renovation of The Hurd House into the Elma Town Museum. When you enter the museum you will be in the parlor looking into the dinning area. Here you will see historic photos of the families that formed our great community. Furnishing in this area are from the 1800's and most of the items once belonged to a resident of Elma. It's this area that the first town meeting was held in 1857. The museum is a great place to enjoy some of the artifacts that date back 4,000 years from the area. In our library you can do research on our founding fathers. The Museum Library is a great place to start researching residents who once live here.