The Town of Amherst, located in Erie County, New York, is a 54-square mile suburban community north of the City of Buffalo. Today Amherst includes the Village of Williamsville and the hamlets of Eggertsville, Getzville, Snyder, Swormville, and East Amherst.
You can find the Hardy Family Photo Collection at the Niederlander Library and Archives of Amherst Museum, along with 35 acres of exhibits, historic buildings, and public programs, open all year round ("Town of Amherst, Erie County, New York Historical Activity Book," 1997).
The Jacob Hardy farm was located at 2050 North French Road in Amherst, NY, across the street from the Dettmer farm. The Philip Hardy farm was on Campbell Boulevard, near Schoelles. While only a handful of working farms remain in operation in Amherst today, the northern section of the town was once entirely agricultural. These photographs are from an album belonging to the donor, Marguerite Hardy. Mrs. Hardy allowed Amherst Museum to scan the album contents and then to accession the digital scans.
The time period for the photo collection is roughly 1913-1947, with the bulk of the photos taken in the 1940s. The black and white images show seasonal views of people, structures, machines, animals, and landscapes commonly associated with agriculture and farming of the period. There are also images of several family members who served in the U.S. Armed Services in WWII and of an elementary school class of roughly the same period.
The images will be especially useful to anyone interested in the history of the Town of Amherst, history of agriculture, lifestyles of American farm families (and women), WWII home front, postwar changes in American families and landscapes, and history of rural schools. Many artifacts and documentary materials in the Amherst Museum relate to these topics as well, and could be used to provide more depth to the Hardy Family Photographs.
Many towns and villages in Erie County and the surrounding counties of Western New York hold collections of a similar nature. Family photo albums and scrapbooks are preserved to document not only genealogies and family histories, but more general social and cultural aspects of life in this region at any given period of time. You can contact the Documentary Heritage Program Regional Archivist for information on locating similar collections in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, and Orleans Counties.
Collection owner: Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village & Museum at Amherst (formerly Amherst Museum)