Town of Newfane
Map Site 28: 18 Mile Creek

So named because it is 18 miles from the mouth of the Niagara River. British marched from Fort Niagara to the Creek along the Lake Road to burn Van Horn’s Mill.


Van Horn’s Mill probably looked something like this.

From Fort Niagara, the British sent out raiding parties along the Lake Ontario shoreline to destroy homes on the Lake Road. A story is related of a British cruiser on the Lake that was pursuing an American boat loaded with salt. At Honeoye Creek in Newfane, the boat entered the creek to escape the cruiser. Some nearby residents fired upon the cruiser and the fire was returned. The American boat continued along the creek which ran parallel to the shore. Hidden by a steep ravine and trees the boat escaped any damage. The cruiser finally gave up and left the area. Years later, farmers plowing their fields turned up cannon balls and grape shot. The British arrived at Kempville (Olcott) on Christmas Day, 1813. Their objective was to burn the Van Horn grist mill to deprive the survivors of the raids a place to grind wheat into flour. On the way to the mill, the British came upon the home of Joseph Pease along the creek. Mr. Pease had left to help defend the frontier and Mrs. Pease was left to defend their home. When the British arrived, she begged them not to destroy her home but they only allowed her to remove some personal possessions. Then she mentioned the barrels of brandy that were still in the house. The soldiers very dutifully removed the barrels and began to help themselves to the contents. After a while they forgot about burning Mrs. Pease’s house and even released her teenage son whom they had taken prisoner. They further allowed the son to remove several barrels of processed flour from the mill before they torched it.

A typical mill operation of the early 19th century.

 



 

 

© 2013 NCHS & J.Christian Krull