The Village of Hamburg created, 1874

By Steve Cichon

On March 30, 1874, this notice was posted in 21 businesses in what was then known as the Hamlet of White’s Corners. Forty days later, it would officially become The Village of Hamburg.

The building of roads and railroads through White’s Corners made the rural area grow quickly—and grow in need of the public services a village government could provide. Sewers, water supply, fire protection, and sidewalks built of “stone or good sound plank” were all on the wish lists of the residents and businessmen of the newly formed village.

On May 9, 1874, The Town of Hamburg Supervisor H.W. White and Town Clerk Edward S. Nott presided over the votes, which were cast in Nott’s drug store. They reported “that the whole number of votes cast at such election was 136. That the number of ballots cast at such election with the word “yes” thereon was 76. That the number of ballots with “no” thereon was fifty-nine. Blank- one.”

An 1882 ad for Nott’s Drug Store.

The incorporation underscored what was already true—The Village of Hamburg was the center of life for miles around. The first telephone came to the village in 1886 in the bar room of Kopp’s Hotel. Six years later, the village’s only phone moved to E.S. Nott’s drugstore, where Dr. Nott made a partition for the sake of privacy.

Dr. Nott was born in Armor in 1848 and served as postmaster during the Grover Cleveland administration. His drugstore later became Washburn Tire & Battery, and then Emerling Shoes.

The old Nott Drug Store building—where Hamburg became a village– now houses The Comfort Zone Café.

Steve Cichon writes about Hamburg’s history for The Hamburg Sun, and about all of Western New York’s heritage and history at E-mail Steve at

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.