Town of Cambria
Map Site 17: Howell’s Tavern

Residents fleeing Lewiston stopped here on their journey east along the Ridge Road. Built in 1810.

The name of Howell’s Tavern may not be familiar to many people, although many in Niagara County have passed the venerable building on Ridge Road in the Town of Cambria. Situated on the banks of Twelve-Mile Creek, 7/10 of a mile west of Streeter’s Corners (intersection of routes 104 and 425), the structure was originally built between 1808 and 1810 by William Howell on land he traded from Joseph Hewitt. Hewitt had purchased the land from Phillip Beach who had bought it from the Holland Land Company in 1801. Howell built a sawmill behind the house where the then swift moving creek powered the mill. The tavern was a popular and necessary stop along the Ridge Road for travelers and new settlers moving into the area. In 1810 it was a stop on DeWitt Clinton’s tour of New York State. During the War of 1812 Howell’s became a place of refuge for people fleeing the British Army. A number of these men, along with some Tuscarora Indians, took a stand just west of the tavern, stopping the British advance. For a dozen years after the war, the Tavern did a steady business as more settlers and travelers poured into a peaceful, prosperous Niagara County.

The year 1825 was a turning point in the history of the county and Howell’s Tavern. In October the Erie Canal opened, which meant people could now travel faster and cheaper across New York State. Places such as Howell’s would gradually fade from the scene or revert to private homes. A memorable moment occurred on June 6, 1825 when General Lafayette stopped there on his way to Lockport. The Howell’s had a young daughter, Harriet, about ten years old, whom the old general took a liking to. When the other gentlemen retired to the bar to get their refreshments, Lafayette chose to stay and have lemonade with Harriet. The Howell family owned the home/tavern for seventy years. It is now a well-maintained two family home. Harriet later married Nathaniel Cook whose family home was just east of Howells.


 

 

© 2013 NCHS & J.Christian Krull