The town of Evans Historical Society was organized on May 26, 1965 at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Donald cook located at the corner of Erie and Holland Roads. Mr. cook served as the first President of the historical society and also as Town Historian. In 1971 the historical society received its provisional charter from the New York State Education Department. The permanent charter was granted in 1976.
Throughout the years the historical Society participated in various community celebrations and has been instrumental in placing markers at historical sites in the town. The most recent recognition was for Aaron Salisbury, the first permanent settler in Evans. With the cooperation of The first Church of Evans, a marker was placed near Mr. Salisbury's grave, adjacent to the church. Other markers have been placed at the birthplace of Willis Carrier, currently the VFW Post on Erie Road, and at the Evans Center School House Museum honoring Major William Dudley who was killed at the battle of Black Rock in 1813. In 2008 the Historical Society and the Village of Angola erected a memorial marker on Mill St., marking the site of the 1867 Angola train disaster known as "The Angola Horror".
The two-story brick school was built in 1857 and was known as the town of Evans District School no. 2. for over a century the building served as an educational facility. Notable students who attended the school included Willis Carrier, the inventor of air conditioning, and Jennings Piper, father of William Piper, who founded the Piper aircraft company.
The Evans Center School was acquired in 1973 from the Lake Shore Central School District and given to the Town of Evans to be used for "educational" purposes. The town then offered the building to the Historical Society to serve as a museum of local history. In the schoolhouse, various artifacts, pictures and literature telling the story of Evans and Angola are available for public review.
In 1980 a fire damaged the front portion of the building's interior and several historical items were lost. Through the efforts of dedicated Historical Society members, the museum's structure and exhibits were restored.
More recently, an insect known as the 'Powder Post beetle" destroyed the beams supporting the first floor. The floor and beams were removed exposing the bare ground several inches below. New beams and hardwood flooring were installed to preserve the integrity of the building. Once again the Historical Society's collection was reorganized and the school room of yesteryear was re-created on the first floor. Included on this level is a comprehensive pictorial and written record of the town's history.
Exhibits on the Second Floor Include:
- Evans & Angola Business Memorabilia
- Children's Activities and Toys
- Women's World - Household items, irons, kitchen utensils, clothing, vacuums, etc. . .
- Parlor Items - Pump organ, early record players and other items.
- Men's World - Hand tools, small machines, farmer's implements and a work bench.
- Early Transportation - Artifacts, automobile parts, Emblem bicycles, and harnesses.
- Firemen's Display - Uniforms, photos, early fire extinguishers, and other equipment,
- Military Uniforms and Artifacts - Civil War to Viet Nam
. . .and much more than we can list!