Introduction to Amherst, New York

The town of Amherst is located in Erie County in the northwestern corner of New York State. It is a suburb of the city of Buffalo, which is situated about 10 miles to its southwest. Amherst is bisected by New York State Highway 5, which runs through the town. It is surrounded by several other highways, including Interstates I-90 and I-290; U.S. Route 62; and State Highways 33, 78, 240, and 277.

The first component of the town of Amherst was the village of Williamsville, which had its beginnings around the turn of the 18th century. Williamsville, which derived its name from one of its first settlers, Jonas Williams, was the area's first settlement because of its location on the main road to Buffalo and also because of its proximity to Ellicott Creek. The Creek was of great importance to early settlers because its waterfalls were utilized to power mills for sawing corn into cornmeal, wood into lumber, and wheat into flour. In 1818, the town of Amherst was officially created and was named for Sir Jeffrey Amherst, an English lord who was a former Commander-in-Chief of the British troops in America. The new town was made up of the village of Williamsville along with several small hamlets (including Snyderville, Eggertsville, Getzville, and Swormsville). The opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 spurred more settlement and ushered in a period of growth for Amherst, which by mid-19th century had become a prosperous farming community. By the 1920s, farmland had already begun to be sold to make way for subdivisions and housing development. Today there are only a few farms left in Amherst, most of them in the northern section of the town near Tonawanda Creek. Rapid population growth in recent decades due to the town's proximity to Buffalo has resulted in more houses, highways, schools, shopping centers, and recreational facilities.

Attractions In and Around Amherst

The crown jewel of Amherst from a cultural and historic point of view is its museum. The Amherst Museum is dedicated to preserving and communicating the history of the town with exhibits depicting 19th-century life on the Niagara Frontier. Included are historic homes, churches, one-room schoolhouses and exhibits on local history, textiles, and the Erie Canal. In the category of performance arts, the town takes pride in the Amherst Symphony Orchestra. Dance aficionados can learn the history, etiquette, costuming and steps of a very specialized type of dancing from the Victorian Dance Society, which offers lessons in dances popular during the years 1837-1901, including the Spanish Dance, Waltz, Quadrille, Virginia Reel, and many others.

The town's proximity to the city of Buffalo affords visitors the opportunity to take in the attractions of that city as well. Some of the more notable places of interest in Buffalo include the following:

  • Albright-Knox Art Gallery: A world-class gallery featuring thousands of exhibits housed in a Greek Revival building with 18 dramatic marble columns on its facade.
  • Graycliff: A 1927 home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for his most generous patron, industrialist Darwin D. Martin, is set on a 70-foot cliff overlooking Lake Erie.
  • Buffalo Museum of Science: Features over a dozen interactive galleries.
  • Buffalo Zoological Gardens
  • Buffalo Transportation/Pierce-Arrow Museum
  • Buffalo & Erie County Naval and Military Park
  • Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens
  • Buffalo Zoological Gardens
  • Buffalo Lighthouse

Buffalo is also an active sports town, boasting three major-league professional franchises. The Buffalo Bills are a longtime staple of the National Football League (NFL) and the Buffalo Sabres are a mainstay of the National Hockey League (NHL). Also in town are the Buffalo Bandits, a member of the National Lacrosse League (NLL). The city also has a professional minor league baseball team; the Buffalo Bisons. The Bisons, who play in the International League, are the Class-AAA affiliate of Major League Baseball's Cleveland Indians.

Amherst Almanac

County Erie County
Standard Zip Codes14228, 14221, 14226
Company Zip Codes14260, 14261
Phone Area Codes716
Time ZoneAmerica/New_York
Approximate Latitude43.04
Approximate Longitude-78.78

Amherst Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance4.8 miles
Jan Temp18 to 31 F
Apr Temp36 to 54 F
Jul Temp62 to 80 F
Oct Temp43 to 59 F
Annual Precip40.5 inches
Distance10 miles
Jan Temp17 to 32 F
Apr Temp35 to 57 F
Jul Temp61 to 82 F
Oct Temp42 to 60 F
Annual Precip37 inches
Distance15.2 miles
Jan Temp17 to 32 F
Apr Temp36 to 55 F
Jul Temp60 to 81 F
Oct Temp41 to 60 F
Annual Precip36.5 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

LocationPopulationMedian Family Income
Clarence Center3,125$127,222
North Tonawanda30,596$73,199

Amherst Public Libraries

Amherst Public Library
Amherst, New York
(716) 688-4919

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Amherst Public Schools

Maplemere Elementary School
236 E Maplemere Rd
ZIP: 14221
(716) 250-1550
Total Enrollment 383
Amherst Central High School
4301 Main St
ZIP: 14226
(716) 362-8100
Total Enrollment 784
Amherst Middle School
55 Kings Hwy
ZIP: 14226
(716) 362-7100
Total Enrollment 689
Smallwood Drive School
300 Smallwood Dr
ZIP: 14226
(716) 362-2100
Total Enrollment 677
Sweet Home Middle School
4150 Maple Rd
ZIP: 14226
(716) 250-1450
Total Enrollment 752
Windermere Blvd School
291 Windermere Blvd
ZIP: 14226
(716) 362-4100
Total Enrollment 741
Heritage Heights Elementary School
2545 Sweet Home Rd
ZIP: 14228
(716) 250-1525
Total Enrollment 328
Sweet Home Senior High School
1901 Sweet Home Rd
ZIP: 14228
(716) 250-1203
Total Enrollment 1077
Willow Ridge Elementary School
480 Willow Ridge Dr
ZIP: 14228
(716) 250-1575
Total Enrollment 306

Amherst Private Schools

Christ The King Elementary School
2 Lamarck Dr
ZIP: 14226
Total Enrollment 222
Kadimah School Of Buffalo
1085 Eggert Rd
ZIP: 14226
Total Enrollment 72
St Leo The Great School
903 Sweet Home Rd
ZIP: 14226
Total Enrollment 120
Amherst Christian Academy
2625 Tonawanda Creek Rd
ZIP: 14228
Combined Elementary And Secondary
Total Enrollment 37
Jewish Heritage Day School
411 John James Audubon Pkwy
ZIP: 14228
Total Enrollment 66
Sources :
Additional Details
Amherst Colleges
Amherst colleges and trade schools.
Our Partner Listings
Additional Resources
Info for Amherst Government Officials

Are you an official in the Amherst government or quasi-government agency such as the chamber of commerce, visitors bureau or economic development council? If so, visit our information page for government officials to see how CityTownInfo can support you.