Inhabitants of the Village of Ellicottville and vicinity met in 1829 and formed a religious society or church acording to the rites and usages of the Protestant Episcopal Church in New York State. St. John's Episcopal Church was built on the church lot of the public square. It was the first church of that denomination in Cattaraugus County.
It is an excellent example of early Gothic Revival Church Architecture, uncommon in this region. Emulating Gothic churches of Europe, elements of the styled include the central projecting tower crowned by finials, painted windows, and tall wooden buttresses, all intended to direct the eye upward. The church exterior is virtually unchanged.
An unusual feature o the church interior is the lack of a center aisle- in its place are two side aisles. The bell (named Gabriel and purchased by subscription for $125) was cast in Malaga, Spain in 1708. It hung in a monestary that was sacked during an uprising and later sold to a ship caption for ballast in a seafaring boat. He sold it to Holland Land Company, Nicholas Devereau, Ellicottville when was in New York City and the ship docked. It was transported up the Hudson River, through the Erie Canal to Buffalo. Here two teams of oxen and a wagon had considerable difficulty in hauling the heavy bell over the blazed trail to Ellicottville in 1838. It is thought to be the oldest working bell in the United States and is still rung for church services and special occasions.
Source: Portions were from the leaflet "Historic Ellicottville- a self-guided Heritage walking Tour through the Historic Village of Ellicottville NY".