Map Site 28: 18 Mile Creek
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.
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.