Enjoy the history our community has to offer by visiting our Museum Complex, which includes: the Hurd House Museum, the Hurd & Briggs (working) Sawmill, and the newly-enlarged Farm Barn, located at 3011 Bowen Road in the Town of Elma New York.
It was in 1846 when Clark W. Hurd built his home in a settlement that would later known as Elma. Mr. Hurd would become an important figure in the founding of our great community. In March of 1857 a spirited meeting was held in his home to form the Town of Elma. It was in this home where Elma's first town officials were decided. P.B. Lathrop being the first Town Supervisor. Clark W. Hurd lived to be 87 years and died on January 6, 1894. The home was used by the Hurd family until the death of Harriet Hurd Rowley in 1913. Mrs. Rowley bequeathed it to the Elma United Methodist Church for use as a Parsonage. For many years it housed 12 pastors and their families. A new parsonage was built on Rice Road in the town, and in 1983 the church could no longer maintain the home. It would need to be demolished.
Newly elected Elma Historical President Ken Schaff received a call from Town Historian May Charlotte Yacobush informing him that the church had planned to demolish the historic home. "This was not just another house. It's the most historically significant house in Town of Elma" Said Mr. Schaff. Long hours and a vision of a Town Museum were the earmark of the project that took four years to complete.
The Elma United Methodist Church offered to sell the home to the Elma Historical Society for the sum of $1.00 on the condition it was moved from church property. The only location would be Jackman Park 700 yards north. The problem with that was, the land was donated by Warren Jackman in the early 1900's to be used for park purposes only. It would take an act of the New York State Assembly and Senate to pass a bill and send it to Gov. Cuomo for his signature to allow the society to move the Hurd House to Jackman Park. Working with local government officials, Assemblyman, Vincent Graber; Senator, Dale Volker, and Gov. Mario Cuomo, to secure Jackman Park as the site for the Hurd House. In April 1984, Gov. Mario Cuomo approved and signed Senate Bill No. 7428-A allowing the Town of Elma to sell or lease to the Elma Historical Society Jackman Park for the purpose of a Town Museum.
On May 6, 1985 Walter S. Harthoff & Sons move the house 700 yards north up Bowen Road to Jackman Park. Rainy cold weather made the task a tricky one that took over 10 hours. On September 18, 1988, on a warm sunny day, the Clark W. Hurd house was formally dedicated to the residents of Elma and ceremoniously turned over to the Town of Elma to serve as a Town Museum for generations to come.
The Museum today is a great place to enjoy artifacts that date back 4,000 years from our area. The museum Library is the place to research our founding fathers, and residents who once lived here.