Steve Cichon, The Buffalo News

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Steve Cichon

As an eighth-generation Buffalonian, Steve Cichon is as thoroughly a proud Buffalonian as you'll find. The former radio news man, historian and author of five books has turned his passion for Buffalo's pop culture history into a career. Aside from running startup Buffalo Stories LLC, Steve's an adjunct professor at Medaille College and a producer at WNED-TV (PBS), and he has recently celebrated 25 years as a bow tie wearer.


This photo looking at Main and Terrace from Washington Street sometime around 1895 offers some great context to help place where some of the structures of the past stood in reference to today’s landmarks. The Main and Terrace crossing of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad was built in 1895 by Dwyer and Huntington of 379 Main St., and 122 years later, the v…

A snowstorm and a couple of jackknifed tractor-trailers had Sheridan Drive backed up from just after Harlem Road all the way to Niagara Falls Boulevard in this early 1960s photo. The “C. Hettinger for Rambler” car dealership is in the foreground on the right – today, it’s about where Northtown Kia and Northtown Mazda are located. Charles Hettinger opened for bus…

During the summer of 1969, 14 cases of young people being admitted to the hospital for drug-triggered attacks of terror and depression were directly linked to the ongoing “hippie gatherings” in Delaware Park. It was usually about 200 young people at “the nightly gathering of hippies in Delaware Park near the Albright-Knox.” “Some hippies create light shows …

When “The Great One” rolled up to Ted’s Jumbo Red Hots on Sheridan Drive on March 10, 1955 – 62 years ago today – he was one of America’s biggest TV stars. "The Honeymooners" didn’t debut as its own show until later that year, but Ralph, Alice, Norton and Trixie were stars of the most popular sketch on "The Jackie Gleason Show" – which was America’…

For decades before the six grain silos at the Ganson Street RiverWorks complex bore the name Labatt Blue, they bore the initials GLF. The site was home to the then- state-of-the-art Wheeler elevator starting around 1908, replacing the earlier wooden elevator shown below.   The Grange League Federation bought the elevators in 1929 and renovated and added t…

People find it hard to remember Fisherman’s Wharf without calling it “the infamous Fisherman’s Wharf.” The restaurant was perhaps the seediest of Chippewa’s seedy joints during the strip’s heyday as Buffalo’s de facto red light district. At a State Liquor Authority hearing in 1969, Buffalo Police said the place was frequented by disorderly women, do…

For as long as anyone can remember, the people of Buffalo have been fanatically devoted to sports.  Since 1960 for the Bills and 1970 for the Sabres, relatively large, rabid fan bases have supported those squads through lean years and even lean decades with open wallets and enthusiasm. But with college basketball bringing March Madness to Buffalo again next week, t…

Continuing BN Chronicles’ weeklong look at Delaware Avenue, today we look at several photos that show Buffalo’s traditionally most-aristocratic street resplendent in the trappings of eras gone by.   Some scenes don’t look too much different, save the make and model of the vehicles more than a century later. Others are completely of another time. …

BN Chronicles continues a weeklong look at Delaware Avenue: “The skyline of Buffalo’s famous avenue is ever-changing, obliterating Buffalo landmarks, erasing fond memories, and beckoning to the onrush of new business,” wrote the great Buffalo historian Roy Nagle, expressing the prevailing attitude among many in Buffalo in the mid-1950s - especially those, like Nag…

This week, BN Chronicles takes a look at Delaware Avenue. Few spots along Delaware Avenue, or anywhere else in the city for that matter, are at the center of more interesting stories of Buffalo’s – and America’s – history than the home generally referred to as the Ansley Wilcox Mansion. 1. The house wasn’t always “on Delaware Avenue.” In the midst of…

In 1932, Buffalo was swept up in the celebration of the city’s centennial, and many groups and organizations that had existed through those 100 years took the opportunity to celebrate their own existence as well. The Buffalo Academy of Medicine — particularly proud that Buffalo’s first mayor, Ebenezer Johnson, was a medical doctor — wrote a lengthy history of th…

A series of postcards showing off different portions of Main Street give a fantastic look back at the Village of Williamsville and how it’s changed since the 1960s. [Column: You live in Williamsville? No, You don't.] Government buildings on the east side of Main are a mix of old and new. The building that once housed the Amherst Police is now the Williamsvil…

Before they were even finished digging the Hamburg Canal, in 1849, the standing, fetid water in the half-dug ditch was blamed in part for a growing cholera crisis in what we now call the First Ward and Canalside areas. Originally conceived to help divert traffic away from the busy Erie Canal, soon the railroads were doing a good enough job of making the Hamburg Cana…

Had you walked into one of the 31 Your Host restaurants that filled the Niagara Frontier with a quick inexpensive meal and a pretty good cup of coffee, this is the menu you would have been handed as you slid into a booth or onto a stool at the counter. Alfred Durrenberger and Ross Wesson started the Your Host empire with a hot dog stand on Delaware Avenue in Kenmore…

Tens of millions of dollars into a decade-long renovation, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House is among the crown jewels in Buffalo’s resurgence in architectural tourism. Wright called the home his “opus” and considered it one of his great designs, but as it was being built in 1905, not everyone in Buffalo felt that way. Those feelings were reflected in the…