Williamsville - Table of Contents

Ellicott Creek
Williamsville, NY

October 2017 photos on this page are of Ellicott Creek on the south side of Main Street

[Main Street heads west toward Clarence; Ellicott Creek flows north toward the Niagara River]

- "Williamsville, New York: Where the Past is Present," by Carolyn Shrauger, et. al., 1993, Pub. by the Village of Williamsville Historical Society, Third edition, p. 9

Useful source of Ellicott Creek history:  Historic Structure Report: Williamsville Water Mill  (online December 2017)

View south

1930s Ellicott Creek Dam.
View south across the Creek towards Island Park    ...   I
n the 1930s the raceway channel was dredged and the present dam built to alleviate the chronic spring flooding which had plagued the village.


View south

Top of the dam.

Village of Williamsville workers prepare to change the height of the dam for early winter months.

Note the height of the dam bay where they are standing

Hooking onto the bay boards

Water level has been temporarily changed

View southeast   ...   Island Park at left   ...   Island Park bridge out of sight in this photo

View towards the Island Park bridge.

View south at the tip of Island park where the Creek divides into two channels 

Island Park formed:

"Island Park was formed in 1814 when Jonas Williams built a raceway from a bend in the creek (at the south end of the park) through the low-lying "creek pasture" to his mills downstream. The raceway diverted water to power mills on the east bank of the creek until the last of them fell silent around the turn of the [twentieth] century.  During the early 1900s the swampy land, owned by the Gerald Long Brewing Company, was the site of a Village-maintained baseball diamond.  In the 1930s as part of a WPA flood control project, the raceway was dredged and the land used to fill the swampy island creating the park as we know it today." -  Carolyn Shrauger, et. al., "Williamsville, New York: Where The Past is Present," brochure published by the Village of Williamsville Historical Society, 3rd edition, pp. 44-45

"Jonas Williams sold the mills on both sides of the creek, his water rights and his remaining property on the north side of Main Street to Juba Storrs & Co., a Buffalo merchant. Storrs owned the property until 1827. As part of the purchase arrangement, Storrs was required to make modifications to the dam to lower the level of the raceway and to create a second raceway for the east side mill; these improvements had the effect of reducing flooding on the lands still owned by Williams on the south side of Main Street." - Bero Architecture P.C., 
Historic Structure Report - Williamsville Water Mill

"Created in 1929, Island Park is located at 5577 Main Street, accessed at the rear of the Village Hall. Encompassing a small 5 1⁄2 acre island created in the 1840s when a raceway was cut, Island Park contains several modern buildings and structures including a stone restroom, a large open-air pavilion building and a small in-ground wading pool." - Clinton Brown Co. Architecture,  Intensive Level Survey - Village of Williamsville   (online October 2017)

" Island Park was formed in 1841 by Jonas Williams’ raceway which diverted water to power his grist mill on the other side of Main Street. You can see the raceway door on the north bank which is still used today by the mill to grind wheat." -  Williamsville Business Association, "Historic Walking Tour," #1  (online December 2017)

The dam is located further north on the left channel   ...   A slightly different angle below:

Looking south from Island Park

View west, taken from Island Park: The original creek adjoining backyards of houses on S. Cayuga
View north, taken from Island Park

1930s dam: view north, taken from Island Park

View north, taken from Island Park   ...   Note brown fence at left, detail below:

The beginning of the stone raceway built by Jonas Williams that powered the Williamsville Water Mill.

Page by Chuck LaChiusa in 2017
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