As the Tonawanda Creek flows through the rural Town of Pendleton, ten miles from the Niagara River the Canal Commission in the early 1800’s decided to build the Erie Canal. At this place on the Tonawanda Creek the Erie Canal starts from Albany to the place where now stands the Ship N’ Shore.
In 1839, the land was purchased from the Holland Land Co. by Truman Carry, who then sold it to Austin Simonds. Simonds started a canal store where goods for sale came in by boats for the local people. Timber, farm produce and furs were sent east to sell. The small freightliners and packet boats would tie up to unload and to take on produce from local farms.
The store was successful for many years. Around 1870 the store was transformed into a tavern that had multiple owners.
Then in 1905, New York State passed a law that would enlarge the Erie Canal from horse and mule drawn boats to tug boats. The owner of the tavern during this time was Anton Roskoff. In order for the state to make the canal wider, the tavern had to be moved. A new tavern was built in 1917 by Lawrence Trafert, a local head carpenter.
The name of the tavern changed as new owners operated it. Sylvester Pendleton Clark was the first innkeeper and who the town of Pendleton is named after. Back then locals would come to the inn by horse and buggy. There was an open shed next to the inn where they would tie up their horses in this shed while they ate. In the 1960’s it was renamed as the Ship N’ Shore.