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Sheridan Historical Society

Chartered by the New York State Board of Regents in 2000, the Sheridan Historical Society is a private, non-for-profit educational corporation working to promote a greater knowledge of and appreciation for the history of Sheridan, New York.  In keeping with its mission, the society's activities include: encouraging original local history research, collecting Sheridan-related artifacts and memorabilia, sponsoring exhibits and educational programming, and supporting the preservation and marketing of historic sites in the town. 

Meetings are held at 7:00 PM the last Monday of each month in the society building located at 2702 Route 20 at the intersection of Route 20 and County Route 79 (Center Road).  New members are welcome.

Sheridan has much history.  Society members are pleased to share its legacy with those interested during seasonal open hours or by appointment.  Call for current dates and times.  The society publishes its newsletter -"Now and Then", twice a year.

716-672-2201 or 716-673-1822
Sheridan Historical Society, PO Box 95, Sheridan NY 14135


A Glimpse of Sheridan, New York
The land which ultimately became the Town of Sheridan was initially inhabited by Native Americans.  The Treaty of Big Tree, signed in 1979 moved the Seneca Indians to the Cattaraugus Reservation and opened the area to speculators, followed quickly by settlers from the east.  On August 1804, Francis Webber, William Webber, and Hezadiah Stebbins made purchases of land in Township 6, Range 11 from the Holland Land Company.  In subsequent years, many more settlers followed.  In 1827, the town was formed legally by taking 32 lots from the town of Pomfret and 35 lots from the town of Hanover.  Early publications about the credit Nathaniel Gray, though thought a great admirer of the poet, playwright, and politician, Richard Brainsley Sheridan, with promoting the name.

Agriculture became the major industry in the town.  For many years Sheridan was known for its production of fruits and vegetables, especially grapes.  The raising of sheep, cattle, and horses was another profitable venture in the 1800s.

Situated on the shores of Lake Erie, Sheridan was home to at least 26 ship captains who sailed the Great Lakes in the 1800s and early 1900s.  The first to be noted, Capt. Zephaniah Perkins was well respected.  In 1815 Haven Brigham built a 40-ton schooner called the Kingbird, for Capt. Perkins.

Sheridan is still primarily agricultural with several fresh fruit and vegetable stands, vineyards and wineries, greenhouses producing seasonal flowers and plants.  It is also the home of several small businesses, with some larger corporations on Progress Drive.  The Chautauqua County Airport at Dunkirk is in the Town of Sheridan as is the lovely retirement home St. Columban's-on-the-Lake.

2773 Route 20
PO Box 116
Sheridan, NY 14135