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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon, news director at WECK Radio and publisher of BuffaloStories.com, tells the stories of Buffalo's past through The News' BN Chronicles. He is a local radio and TV veteran, historian and author of five books.


History

In the days before Mastercard and Visa, there was the Charga-Plate – a little metal card with your name and address that in Buffalo, was good at all the downtown merchants. The Charga-Plate was introduced to the Buffalo market in 1936, as reported in the Courier-Express. "J. N. Adam & Company and the Wm. Hengerer Company will begin operation of a new credit s…

History

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. Henry Wells and William Fargo both came to Buffalo when it was the nation’s western frontier during the 1830s and 1840s. Both were involved in shipping and transportation t…

History

The widespread removal of old steel truss bridges is one of the great landscape changes across the City of Buffalo over the last 50 years. Those old steel spans stood as a testament to our rail and steel industries in Buffalo. Now the bridges, the trains and the coke ovens are mostly the stuff of memories. Two old steel bridges were removed just south of the Larkin D…

History

If you follow the posted detours for the construction on the Skyway, you’re routed along Ohio Street, which looked different when this photo was taken in 1957. Here is another shot, from just before the bridge in 1962. The photo shows the large sign which marked the Huron Cement Company along the Buffalo River. If Ohio Street looked more filled in then, the a…

History

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 in all its glory. The 1880 map of the City of Buffalo loses its way as it gets to the most northern reaches of Buffalo, so it’s a bit difficult to tell which, if any, of…

History

Not too long after the last rotisserie chicken was sold at the Swiss Chalet restaurant on Niagara Falls Boulevard in February 2010, the building was torn down, leaving fans (OK, at least me) with the hope that something might be built that could somehow fill the hole left in our hearts by the closure of one of Buffalo’s best-remembered restaurants of yesterday. Afte…

History

This 1958 view from the bell tower at Our Lady of Victory Basilica is still recognizable today, with one notable addition to the streetscape and one notable subtraction. Cord’s Drug Store has been a parking lot for decades now, but many still remember waiting for the bus inside the split-level store, hoping not to get yelled at for ignoring the sign that directed, i…

History

Welcome to the Buffalo of 1880. Grover Cleveland had been sheriff of Erie County, but not yet president of the United States. Electricity had yet to be transmitted from Niagara Falls to Buffalo. The Pan-American Exposition had not yet taken place, nor an American president assassinated within the city. And still — if you look closely — you'll find familiar sights on th…

History

For the first two weekends of August, the sounds of jazz fill Martin Luther King Jr. Park during the annual Pine Grill Reunion. This year’s reunion is the 29th annual, and at just under 30 years, the reunion’s been going on longer than the club was open. A small joint near the corner of Jefferson and East Ferry, the Pine Grill was bursting with musical energy dur…

History

There’s something about eating in a diner that makes us feel closer to some unique piece of America that exists only in our peripheral vision these days. While diner car restaurants were popping up in various forms around the country from the 1920s through the 1960s, here in the City of Buffalo, the dining category defined by quick, cheap food served in a sparse, so…

History

“Built to serve 50,000 families” and “equipped in the finest and most modern manner,” the Black Rock Market came to be after years of lobbying by the Grant-Amherst Political Association. Mayor Francis X. Schwab spoke at a rally after the city brought the property in 1925. "It has been a hard fight since the conception of the Black Rock market, but an eleventh hou…

History

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.  When you look at the 1880 map of Buffalo, you are looking at Grover Cleveland’s Buffalo. Having already spent two years as sheriff of Erie County, Cleveland was leisurely enjoying a private law pract…

History

The 1880 map doesn’t show South Buffalo, but does show a good portion of what was then the city’s First Ward. Elk Street Market: In 1904, the Elk Street Market was “the largest fruit and garden truck market in the United States.” The traffic in commodities sold rivaled any similar market on the continent. German, Italian, and Irish traditions played out all over the fou…

History

In Buffalo, Paula Drew is probably best remembered as the raven-haired spokeswoman for Milk For Health in the '50s and '60s and Tops Friendly Markets in the '70s and '80s. In a simpler time for television weather reporting, Western New York's milk producers would sponsor the weather forecasts and Drew would anchor the late TV news weather update, as well as do a liv…

History

One of the great pleasures of sifting through the photo archives at The Buffalo News is never quite being sure what you might find where. There's no magic drawer labeled "all the great photos," and the thing is, if there was such a drawer, you would have already seen all the great things in it. One of my chief tactics is the opposite of looking for something that sou…