The Lilacs

William J. & Adaline A. Blakeley Erastus E. & Charlotte C. Blakeley
(Brothers and their wives)


William and Erastus Blakeley were sons of Joseph & Sally Blakeley.
We don’t know the circumstances under which this property returned back to the Blakeley family. We do, however, know that there was rampant land speculation in East Aurora around 1835 in anticipation of the coming of the railroad. The railroad station didn’t happen and speculation cooled off, with land sales becoming very slow by 1838. In any case, William & Erastus purchased the property from Elizabeth (Williams) & Solomon Judd in May 1835 for $1,000 and then sold it to Elizabeth Pickard in Sept 1836 for $1,200.

William Blakely (age 30 and an Innkeeper), his wife Adaline (age 28) and their son William, are listed in the 1850 census living in East Aurora. William may have been born in Vermont and came to western NY as a baby with his parents. Adaline was born in Wyoming County, NY. Adaline passed away in Feb 1865, just short of her 44th birthday, and is buried in Oakwood cemetery.
William subsequently built the Blakeley House (hotel) on Main Street (188 Main) in the west end of East Aurora in 1866. It later became known as the Willink House until it was completely destroyed by fire in 1875, which ended William’s involvement with it. As a matter of interest, however, the hotel was rebuilt by another owner, and that site continued to operate as a hotel under various owners until being completely destroyed by fire again in 1933. Over these years it also was known as the Smith Hotel, Kimball House, Damon Hotel and Lange’s Village Inn, Our limited information on William after the hotel was destroyed in 1875 is that he moved to Attica and operated the Western Hotel for a number of years – returning occasionally to visit family and friends in East Aurora.

Our information on Erastus is limited, although indications are that he was an active abolitionist - an Elder E. Blakely delivered the opening prayer at a meeting of the Erie County Anti-Slavery Society in East Aurora in March 1837. Erastus married Charlotte King in October 1835 but, tragically, Charlotte died some 6 months later from consumption in April 1836 at the age of 21. Erastus subsequently moved further west and was living in Waukegan, IL with his second wife, Mary, at the time of his father’s death in 1863.