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Historic Sites and Buildings

National Historic Landmark Fillmore House
New York
Fillmore House
Fillmore House

Erie County, 24 Shearer Avenue, East Aurora.

In 1826 young lawyer-politician and bridegroom Millard Fillmore, while continuing his odyssey from log cabin to the White House, built the front part of this simple frame residence where his only son was to be born, and lived in it for 4 years before moving to Buffalo. Although his occupancy was brief, the history of the structure is obscure, and it has been relocated and extensively altered, this was the first home he owned and is the only extant one significantly associated with him except for the White House.

Fillmore erected his house across from his law office on Main Street. Little is known about the subsequent owners or tenants or the nature of any structural changes until 1930. In 1915, however, the residence had been moved back on the lot to make room for a movie theater, and for a long time it was unoccupied and underwent deterioration.

Fillmore House
Fillmore House (National Park Service, Hare Photographs, Inc., 1976.)

In 1930 the present owners moved the structure about a mile to its present location, placed it on a new cement-block foundation, proceeded to renovate it, and erected one-story additions at the rear. The plain, attenuated columns supporting the shed-roofed porch, which once had latticework along the sides, were replaced with fluted Doric columns. To create an artist's studio in the front section, the second floor was removed and a large window added on the north facade, as well as a small skylight in the roof.

The fireplace and chimney on the north side of the house were removed, and new ones built at the south end. Most of the old windows, the plain interior woodwork, and some of the wide floorboards were retained. The building, the front and rear portions of which have gabled roofs, is painted white and the trim is black. Except for the front, which is covered with flushboard, the home is all clapboarded. A private residence, it is not open to the public.

Also of interest in East Aurora is the Millard Fillmore Museum, 644 Oakwood Street, which is operated by the Aurora Historical Society, Inc.

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Last Updated: 22-Jan-2004