Town of Newfane
Map Site 27: Site of Van Horn’s Mill

Only grist mill between Niagara and Genesee Rivers. Burned by the British on Christmas Day 1813.

James Van Horn came to what is now the Town of Newfane in 1812. He took over the building of grist and saw mills from Levi Ellis and the tiny settlement became known as “Van Horn’s Mills.” The British targeted these particular mills because they believed they were put into service to aid the U.S. government and military. James Van Horn returned to Newfane in 1817 and rebuilt the mills and in 1823 built the impressive brick residence that still stands today. The mills were again destroyed by fire in 1839, rebuilt again and then finally torn down in 1894. They were located on Eighteen Mile Creek approximately below where the old railroad bridge now crosses.

The Van Horn Mansion was built in 1823 by James Van Horn. It is located on the Lockport-Olcott Road in the hamlet of Burt. The home remained in the Van Horn family until 1910. For the next forty years different families owned the property. In 1949 it was turned into the Green Acres Restaurant until 1959. It was then converted into apartments. In 1987 the property was acquired by the Newfane Historical Society which has restored it back to its 19th century appearance. It is open on Sunday afternoons from 2 to 4 p.m. for tours.



© 2013 NCHS & J.Christian Krull