In 1811, William Charles Molyneaux (1841-1870), the son of John Thomas Mx and Jane Bridget Turk, and grandson of Levi Mx Sr. and Ann Hinckley (my 4x g-grandparents) purchased a tavern from one John Gould, at which time the location became known as Molyneaux Corners. The tavern also became the first post office in Cambria and William was the first postmaster. In 1826, he built a fine hotel at the intersection of Ridge and North Ridge Rds., and a brick Greek Revival style home on the south side of the ridge. He operated the Molyneaux Hotel until his death in November, 1830. It remained in the family until 1864, and then passed through the hands of several other owners until destroyed by fire in the 1920’s.
Molyneaux Corners was among the contenders for county seat of Niagara Co. when the county was first established, but lost out in July, 1822, when the fast growing Village of Lockport, a by-blow of construction on the Erie Canal, was chosen instead.
Although Molyneaux Corners is currently listed as a “hamlet’ and may have been a bustling population center in 1812, its now apparently just a crossroads in Lockport, NY, hosting a few private homes and the Ridge Family Restaurant. There aren’t even even any signs in the area announcing its existence—at least I couldn’t find any. The cemetery, at 4453 Ridge Rd., Lockport, NY. This photo portrays it in its entirety:
Nevertheless, an interesting historical highlight is the minor role it played in the War of 1812, as cited in the following article from the The Buffalo News: City & Region, and written by Teresa Sharp, Niagara correspondent, on May 19, 2013 reporting on a presentation by Ann Marie Linnabery, the center’s assistant director and education coordinator, “The War of 1812 in Niagara County”
“One of the lesser known skirmishes occurred at what is now known as Molyneaux Corners, at the corner of Route 104, North Ridge Road and Plank Road, in the Town of Cambria, After the British and their Native American allies burned Lewiston in December of 1813, people fled along Route 104 east toward Orleans County, When they got to Gaines, in Orleans County, they told the people there what had happened, and the Gaines Militia gathered and walked to Niagara County. When they got to the area around what is now Molyneaux Corners, there was a tavern there, and they heard noise inside. They weren’t sure what to expect. One of the militia went in and confronted the British soldiers and Native allies he found inside, and there was some shooting, “From what I’ve read, two British soldiers and two Natives were killed, but no Americans. In fact, those two British soldiers were the first to be buried in Molyneaux Cemetery, which is just a little west of where the tavern was on Route 104. It’s called Molyneaux Corners because just before this all happened, the property had been sold to William Molyneaux. He later built a large hotel and tavern on the site, and it lasted about 100 years, burning down around 1927. ”
“Linnabery said the center would like to get a marker at the site some day. We are still looking for an original letter or diary or newspaper article as a primary source of information.
“Linnabery said she has relied on help from Old Fort Niagara, the Historical Association of Lewiston and the Cambria Historical Society for the project. She has 25 years of experience in the museum field, with a master’s degree in history from the University at Buffalo.
“She also is working on a map of sites throughout Niagara County that are marked because of their connection to the War of 1812. She hopes it will be available by the June 22 presentation.”