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Aurora History Museum

The Aurora History Museum features American Indian artifacts from Aurora, personal possessions of the community’s earliest settlers, and items related to local industry and business. New and special exhibits will debut periodically, so please check back often to see another aspect of our community’s history.
The Rix Jennings murals, which chronologically tell the story of Aurora’s history, are on exhibit in the main corridor outside the town offices at the Municipal Center.

The exhibits of the Aurora History Museum, located outside the Historian's Office and presented in collaboration with the Aurora Historical Society, are open during Municipal Center hours, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays.

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To assist our guests in exploring the exhibits of the History Museum and inside the Historian’s Office, the exhibit labels are available for digital download and in a book on the table outside the Historian's Office door. Click below to download the labels.

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February 5 - June 7, 2024
Happy Birthday, East Aurora!

The Village of East Aurora turns 150 years old in 2024!

In the early 1800s, New York State began allowing higher-populated hamlets within towns to incorporate as villages, to provide enhanced government services, such as sidewalks, street lamps, garbage collection and police departments.

In 1836, the Village of Auroraville  was incorporated on the eastern end of present-day East Aurora (where Vidler’s and the Aurora Theatre are located today). The Village of Auroraville lasted only a few years. In 1849, the residents of the western end incorporated as the Village of Willink, a name that comes from Wilhelm Willink, an early principal of the Holland Land Co.

After the Civil War, a movement to merge the eastern and western ends of the community under one village government began to gain traction. In January 1874, the boundaries of the Village of Willink on the western end were extended to include the eastern end. 

State and county officials then allowed local residents to decide whether to keep the name Willink or reincorporate as East Aurora, the name of the post office on the eastern end since 1850.

By 19 votes, in an election on June 2, 1874, the residents decided to change the name: 122 voted in favor of East Aurora; 103 chose Willink. And with that, the Village of East Aurora was born! 

With artifacts, newspapers and documents from the archives of the Aurora Town Historian’s Office, we take a look back at the “Centelebration” held 50 years ago, in 1974, to commemorate the Village of East Aurora’s 100th anniversary. A giant parade, beard-growing contest, carnival, Miss Centelebration contest and other special events were held to celebrate “Five Score in ‘74.”

This and other historical exhibits may be viewed during regular Municipal Center hours, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 

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