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From 1880 to Today: Barth’s Cigar Factory in Buffalo's Fruit Belt

Chronicles continues a weekly look back at an illustrated map of Buffalo from 1880 and examines how the features on that map have — or haven't — changed over 138 years. Click here to explore the map.

One way Buffalo was an entirely different place in the 1880s was the lack of building codes and regulations for what could be done where.

In 1882, Civil War veteran and German immigrant John Barth built a cigar factory next door to his home at 179 Orange St. near High Street in Buffalo’s Fruit Belt neighborhood.

The business was successful, and several times in the three decades following the opening of his business, Barth was elected to represent the Fruit Belt area – first as an alderman then as a councilman.

Barth was in the cigar-making business for just shy of 30 years when he died in 1910.

Upon his death, the Buffalo Board of Councilmen remembered Barth as “one of the sterling citizens of the East Side, a man of honesty and integrity, a man who while in the council served the people of this city faithfully and to the best of his ability. He was a man of a sunny disposition, always had a good word for everyone.”

Several homes from this era survive on this portion of Orange Street, but neither Barth’s home nor factory survive.

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