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in Niagara County New York
The Oliphant Barn
ReUse Action is offering a complete timber frame barn kit for sale.
- Built ca. 1875-1880 by Silas Oliphant, a pioneering settler of Niagara County, New York.
- Dutch bank barn located on the Old Niagara Road, currently Ridge Road in the Town of Cambria.
- 40 feet by 60 feet.
- Beautifully crafted, hand hewn beech timbers in excellent condition. Perhaps the nicest we’ve seen.
- Kit includes beams only, labeled, catalogued and ready for reconstruction.
- We can arrange shipment anywhere in the US or Canada and can advise on or perform reconstruction.
Interested in this unique opportunity? Call 716-949-0900 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Oliphant Family
The Oliphant family name originated as Olifard in Norway, and the family line arrived in Scotland in the Ninth Century. In Colonial America, the first Oliphant was Duncan, who lived on Staten Island and worshipped at the Dutch Church. He served as Constable for the north precinct of Richmond County. Eventually, he moved the family to Hopewell in New Jersey, where he was chosen Freeholder and helped build an Anglican church. Family migration continued, to Northampton, Pennsylvania, then to Saratoga, New York, and west to Herkimer County, New York.
Peter Schofield Oliphant was born 1805 in Herkimer County, and his family resettled once again in Mississauga, Ontario Canada. He found his way back down into New York State and made his own home, first in Lockport, then he settled for good in Cambria. His children included George (b. 1833), Rachel (b. 1835), Melissa (b. 1839), Charles (b. 1841), Amanda (b. 1844), Silas (b. 1846), William (b. 1850) and Florence (b. 1854).
In 1867, when Silas was 21 years old, he married Mary E. (she was to die first, years before him in 1910). By 1900, she had borne four children, only to watch three of them pass away.
It’s likely they built the barn that was until this year standing on their property. Weather and time took their toll, however, and the barn has been carefully dismantled and is now being offered for sale as a kit by the ReUse Action green demolition company.
- 1805 Peter Schofield Olifant was born in what is now Columbia Township, Herkimer County, New York.
- 1846 Silas M. Oliphant born in Town of Cambria, Niagara County
- 1867 Silas marries Mary E.
- 1902 Peter S. Oliphant died at home of Silas
- 1908 Cambria Town atlas: Silas M. Oliphant (b. 1846, d. 1937) house and barn shown, with a schoolhouse in between (not extant)
- 1937 Silas M. Oliphant died, was buried in North Ridge Cemetery – Church Road, Niagara County
Town of Cambria History Overview
From the Town of Cambria Historian’s Office, Vernette Genter
“About 1799, lands in this territory of Western New York were opened for sale. A group of Amsterdam citizens purchased three and one-half million acres of it, and the area came to be known as the Holland Land Purchase.
Joseph Ellicott was commissioned to survey the land, lay it out in plots to be offered for sale at $2.75 per acre, to settlers who would be willing to come here to make their homes.
The first of these early pioneers was Philip Beach, who carried the mail on horseback during the late 1790’s from Canandaigua to Batavia and then on to Fort Niagara.
His route was an Indian trail, known for many years as the Old Niagara Road, and was the only access to this part of Western New York.
A portion of his route in the Town of Lockport is still known as Old Niagara Road, and as it crosses the Towns of Cambria and Lewiston, it is the Ridge Road, Million Dollar Highway, the Honeymoon Trail or Route 104.
During his journeys with the mail, Beach often rested along the banks of the East Branch of 12-Mile Creek. The virgin forests afforded an endless supply of building materials to construct cabins, and the land was rich and fertile.
Beach considered the area an excellent homesite, so, in 1801, he returned to Rutland County, Vermont for his family, and they settled along the banks of the creek on what is now Ridge Road, and built a log cabin for their home.
He has been joined soon after his own arrival to this area, by his brothers, Aaron, Jesse and John, who had been living in Scottsville, near Rochester, since they left Vermont. The Beaches were among Cambria’s first settlers, and their descendants are still local residents. Other settlers, hearing of the fine conditions for settlement in the new community of Cambria, left their homes in Rutland County, Vermont and other eastern locations, and came to this Town over the next few years.
Many of them settled along the Niagara Road (Ridge Road), cleared the wilderness and created their farms, and others continued to the west and settled along the Ridge in Lewiston.
On March 11, 1808, the New York State Legislature enacted a law stating that “a portion of the County of Genesee, bounded on the east by the meridian line, to the north by Lake Ontario, to the west by the middle of the Niagara River, and to the south by the Cattaraugus Creek”, be made into a county named “Niagara”.
That part of the county lying north of the mainstream of the Tonawanda Creek was to be made into a town called “Cambria”. The two towns in the southern part of the county were named “Clarence” and “Willink”. “Cambria”, or “Cimbri”, is the medieval name of Wales.
Thus, what is now Niagara County was once the Town of Cambria, and the present Erie County was a part of the original Niagara County.
The first town meeting of the Town of Cambria was held on April 5, 1808, at the log cabin home of Joseph Hewitt, and he was elected the first Supervisor.
One of the premier pieces of legislation at that early meeting was the establishment of a bounty of $5 to be paid to anyone who could produce the skin and ears of a wolf.
The dense forests in this area were populated not only by wolves, who preyed on the settlers’ livestock, but with bears and rattlesnakes as well.”
Research done by Dana Saylor, www.danasaylor.com