Skip to main content

To Plan A Trip

March 2023
1min read

For those interested in the Arts and Crafts movement, the best time to
visit East Aurora is the month of June, when conferences take place. Call the Greater East Aurora Chamber of Commerce (1-800-441-2881) for a schedule of events. But for lovers of small-town America, almost anytime in spring, summer, or fall would make a good time to visit (it gets cold here in winter). You might want to get a calendar of events to ensure that you miss them all—the toy fairs and car shows are fine in their way, but they alter the small-town feel of the place.

Millard Fillmore’s house is open from two to four on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. It’s a modest, two-story affair, moved from Main Street to 24 Shearer Avenue to make room for the East Aurora Theater. I found the place interesting chiefly for the dedication of its guides, all of whom tried valiantly to engage visitors in history-oriented conversation.

Vidler’s 5 & 10, on Main Street, in business since 1930, sells everything you’d expect—penny candy, toys, housewares, crafts, candles, yarn—and a few things you wouldn’t, like maple syrup and bag balm, a product local quilters use to soften rough skin. “We carry a lot of little things that people can’t get anymore,” Beverly Vidler told me. “Like if you wanted to buy just one cork.”

Toytown Museum exhibits toys made between 1930 and 1970 as well as a full run of Barbie dolls. Classic-toy lovers accompanied by children will be torn between visiting the museum and keeping their offspring away from the seductive modern-toy store on the premises.

A number of Victorian houses, operate as bed-and-breakfasts, j including Green Glen (716-655-2828) and Shepherd Hill Farm (716-652-4425). One of these or the Roycroft Inn would make a good base for visiting other architectural sites in western New York. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House is in Buffalo, a half-hour’s drive away, and Chautauqua, the headquarters of the nineteenth-century self-improvement movement, is fifty miles southwest of town. Elbert Hubbard met Alice at a meeting of the East Aurora chapter of the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle, and the Roycroft and Chautauqua drew inspiration from each other.

Head, Heart, and Hand , by Marie Via and Marjorie B. Searl, published to accompany a recent exhibition of Roycroft wares, offers a good overview of Hubbard and his enterprise. As Bees in Honey Drown , by Charles F. Hamilton, tells the story of his romance with Alice. Either would make a pleasant companion on a little journey to the home of Elbert Hubbard.

We hope you enjoy our work.

Please support this 72-year tradition of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to American Heritage.


Stories published from "October 1996"

Authored by: Stephen J. Goldfarb

A newly discovered document casts a disturbing light on exactly how Frank’s prosecutor won his case

Authored by: Frederic D. Schwarz

California’s First Illegal Aliens

Authored by: Frederic D. Schwarz

A Riot in L.A.

Authored by: Frederic D. Schwarz

Bat Man and Superman

Authored by: Frederic D. Schwarz

The Thames They Are A-Changin’

Authored by: Matthew Dallek

THIRTY YEARS AGO A HARD-FOUGHT gubernatorial campaign heralded the third great political upheaval of our century

Authored by: George F. Will

Everyone knows it was a radical decade—but not who its real radicals were

Featured Articles

Famous writers including Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, and the Alcotts turned Sleepy Hollow Cemetery into our country’s first conservation project.

Native American peoples and the lands they possessed loomed large for Washington, from his first trips westward as a surveyor to his years as President.

In his Second Inaugural Address, Abraham Lincoln embodied leading in a time of polarization, political disagreement, and differing understandings of reality.

A hundred years ago, America was rocked by riots, repression, and racial violence.

During Pres. Washington’s first term, an epidemic killed one tenth of all the inhabitants of Philadelphia, then the capital of the young United States.

Now a popular state park, the unassuming geological feature along the Illinois River has served as the site of centuries of human habitation and discovery.  

The recent discovery of the hull of the battleship Nevada recalls her dramatic action at Pearl Harbor and ultimate revenge on D-Day as the first ship to fire on the Nazis.

Our research reveals that 19 artworks in the U.S. Capitol honor men who were Confederate officers or officials. What many of them said, and did, is truly despicable.

Here is probably the most wide-ranging look at Presidential misbehavior ever published in a magazine.

When Germany unleashed its blitzkreig in 1939, the U.S. Army was only the 17th largest in the world. FDR and Marshall had to build a fighting force able to take on the Nazis, against the wishes of many in Congress.

Roast pig, boiled rockfish, and apple pie were among the dishes George and Martha enjoyed during the holiday in 1797. Here are some actual recipes.

Born during Jim Crow, Belle da Costa Greene perfected the art of "passing" while working for one of the most powerful men in America.