It was an honor to join the Town of Leon as it celebrated the bicentennial of its first settler, James Franklin, who arrived in the Conewango Valley in 1818. Mr. Franklin was a Revolutionary War veteran who accepted a land grant and built the first cabin with his son, James, on what would one day become the Town of Leon. Father and son began clearing the land and were soon joined by more than a dozen Revolutionary War veterans who settled the area. I want to thank Myra Johnson and the members of the Leon Historical Society for organizing the bicentennial celebration. Myra is James Franklin’s fifth great-grand-daughter. Her daughter, Jennine Sauriol and several of Mr. Franklin’s other descendants also attended the celebration. It is wonderful that the Town of Leon is preserving the history of the Revolutionary War heroes who founded our communities.
Shown from left to right are Jennine Sauriol and Myra Johnson, descendants of James Franklin, and Senator Cathy Young.
2018 Leon's First Settler Bicentennial
In 1818 the first settlers arrived in what is now the town of Leon.
Throughout 2018, the bicentennial year of this event, the Leon
Historical Society celebrates the town?s earliest history with a
series of special programs and events.
January 1st - December 31st ?Pioneer?s Journey? educational program
Leon Historical Society offers ?Pioneer?s Journey? an educational
program for children ages 8 to 12 and anyone older who likes to play
Participants experience a series of activities that explain and demonstrate:
why 19th century pioneers came to Western New York State
how land became available to these pioneers
preparation for the journey to their new home
making the journey through the wilderness
The program is available to area libraries, schools and any other
interested group, free of charge.
To schedule a LHS educator visit to your facility to present
?Pioneer?s Journey? call or email Tina Scherman 716 296 5268
Saturday April 21st First Settler sign Dedication, Leon Hollow Cemetery
The ceremony celebrating the dedication of this sign to the town of
Leon is honored by the presence of New York State Senator Cathy Young,
local historians and Leon Historical Society member Myra Johnston, a
descendant of James Franklin.
Saturdays, May 5th - October 27th 11AM to 3PM
?Pioneer Life Exhibit? Leon Historical Museum
A new exhibit installed in the Leon Historical Museum located on Route
62 recreates, with miniature models and artifacts, an early 19th
century homestead in the wilderness of Western New York State.
May 31st "From Soldier to Pioneer" Leon's Annual Memorial Day Parade
In the concluding ceremony of the Memorial Day parade Myra Johnston
describes the role her ancestor, Revolutionary War veteran James
Franklin and others like him, played in the first settlement of New
August 18th ?Pioneer Life Exhibit? at the Annual Leon Town Picnic,
Leon Fire Hall
The Leon Historical Museum ?Pioneer Life Exhibit? is on display at
the Leon Town Picnic.
December 9 "Church in the Wilderness" Leon Historic 1836 Church
of the early settlers.Leon Historical Society?s Annual Christmas program includes a special
presentation, "Church in the Wilderness," about the community worship
Leon Historical Society was founded September 17, 1978. The main purpose of the society was to keep an accurate history of the Town and its families, connecting the past to the present. 175 years ago Leon started with log cabins and now within our community, we have a vibrant Old Order Amish Community.
The historical church was built in 1836 and the Grange Hall (museum) in 1903. Both buildings are listed in the National Register.
Pat Bromley,Leon Historian
12091 Ruckh Hill
South Dayton, NY 14138
The Leon Historical Society's Open Hours -2017
The church and Museum will be open every Saturday from 11:00 a.m., to
2:00 p.m. starting in May-October
The Church will be open from 10:00 until 4:00 The Amish Bake Goods and
crafts will be up at the Church starting this year! Parking is going to be better
for bake goods and just take a short walk and see the Museum!
Private Museum Tours
Pat Bromley, Historian, 716-296-5709
email: [email protected]
Contact Pat Bromley at (716)296-5709 for a private tour or genealogy information. Website created by Pat Bromley Historian and Member.
Take a trip back in time with a visit through the Older Amish Community. They live without all the modern conveniences such as electricity, telephones, and cars. Their lifestyle seperates them from the modern world. They emphassize on humility, faith, and family, honest and hard work. They recognized by their plain dress and travel by horse and buggy.
Amish produce a variety of good that include Quilts, Rugs, Bake Goods, Candy, Toys, Wood and iron crafts, Furniture, Eggs, Fruits and vegetables. They sell their products from their homes, they have signs in their yards letting people know what they are selling. Amish have a unique way of life which we respect, while on the tour we request that you arae thoughtful and courteous of their way.
Come join a tour where one of our Guides will join you in your vechicle and give you 2 hour tour around the back roads and show you the great shops around the area. We will make several stops along the way where you can shop and we will share stories of the fasinating history of the area.
Tours are by reservation only
Tours are available through The Leon Historical Society Museum for more information Contact: or e-mail us thru our website http://leonhistoricalsociety.webs.com/
Pat Bromley (716) 296-5709, Leon Town Historian
Fred Milliman (716) 358-3236
Denny Crouse, Pres. (716) 988-3543
Cost: $40.00 per vehicle up to six people with an additional $5.00 per person.
Please remember that Amish shops are closed on Sundays, holidays and also for weddings and funerals. Amish accept Cash or Checks, NO CREDIT CARDS. It is against their beliefs to be photographed; we ask that you respect their wishes.
Call to Reserve you time and Date... Tours are available year round