About Us


Who We Are

The Town of Newfane Historical Society, Inc. was established to educate the public on the history of Newfane and Olcott in Niagara County, and its place in the history of New York and the United States. It's an all volunteer organization that formed in 1975 and is a non-profit educational society. We maintain two historical locations: The Van Horn Mansion and Country Village, along with an extensive collection of archives and artifacts.

Our Mission

The society's mission, drawn from its certificate of incorporation, is as follows; The Town of Newfane Historical Society exists to:

  • Collect, preserve, and maintain artifacts, relics, books, papers, and other articles touching the past history of the Town of Newfane, and the customs and modes of the inhabitants thereof;
  • To exhibit such historical data to the public;
  • To designate places of historic interest in the Town of Newfane with appropriate markers or monuments;
  • To acquire historical sites in the Town of Newfane for the purpose of preservation and maintenance of such sites; and
  • To perpetuate the memory of those inhabitants of the Town of Newfane who, by their labor and heroism, have made substantial contributions to the history of the Town of Newfane.
Structure and Funding

The Newfane Historical Society is a non-profit organization that depends on gifts, fundraising and volunteers to serve the communities of Newfane and Olcott. Donations help support the society’s educational programs, special projects, and general operations. The Society also publishes a quarterly newsletter, called 'Apple Blossom Times'. It receives its main funding through membership dues.



2023 Executive Board

President: Janice Wiegley
Vice President: Melissa Schaeffer
Recording Secretary: Kristine DeGlopper-Banks
Corresponding Secretary: Janet Capen
Treasurer: David Steggles

Trustees: Vicki Banks, Bill Clark, Steve Goodman, Jill Heck, Kevin Luckman, Chuck Manhardt, Mary Ann Miller, Bill Neidlinger, Rich Leader, Mindi Schaeffer, Rose Schaeffer, George Updegraph, Virginia Womelsdorf



Frequently Asked Questions

Can't find the answer you need here? Please send us a message using the form at the bottom of this page.

Q: What are your upcoming events?

Visit our website Calendar .

Q: How do I become a member? What are the benefits of being a member?

Please visit our Membership section.

Q: How can I donate something to the society?

Please visit our Donation section for options.

Q: Who do I contact with research questions?

Please send us an email and include what you're researching (i.e. your family, the local area, a local family, etc.). We will try to get you in touch with someone who may be able to help you. Please note: we are limited in our records and cannot guarantee finding the answers you're seeking. Also it will take time for a response.

Q: Can you appraise an artifact?

No, sorry we do not have anyone on staff that could give you pricing information.

Q: Can you repair historical items?

No, although we may have connections to someone who can. Feel free to contact us with details.

Q: Can I rent part of your facility for an event?

Both the Van Horn Mansion and our Country Village are available for private event rentals.



Newsletter Archive

Society members receive 4 newsletters in the mail annually. If you are not currently receiving them, your membership may have expired or we may not have current mailing information. To renew your membership, click here.

"What the next generation will value most is not what we owned, but the evidence of who we were and the tales of how we loved."
-Ellen Goodman, writer