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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon, communications professional, pop culture historian, 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

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. By the time he opened the “Invalids’ and Tourists’ Hotel” at Porter and Prospect avenues in 1878 on the West Side, Dr. R.V. Pierce had long run a mail order quack medicine …

History

It was more of a wipeout than a teardown, the effects of which were being fully realized on this day 60 years ago. Gale force winds and rushing waters ripped the grain boat Michael K. Tewksbury from its moorings at the Standard Elevator, and sent it pilot-less down the Buffalo River, smashing into and destroying the Michigan Avenue Bridge, just before midnight on Ja…

History

In 1973, Clint Buehlman was celebrating 30 years of hosting the morning show on WBEN. His program had more listeners than the next three stations’ morning shows combined. More than 300,000 people tuned in to “your AM-MC” during the course of the week. “Dependability,” explained Buehly, was the reason for his 40 years of success on morning radio on WGR and then WBEN. …

History

When a 15-year-old boy got tired of big-city life in New York, he hopped on train and wound up in Buffalo. Nathan Kurtz’s long-term intention was to head out west, and maybe join the Army to fight some Indians. His short-term intention, however, was to see what Buffalo had to offer. His youthful mistake was making an inquiry that a well-known Buffalo-backing police o…

History

In 1880, the spot where Johnnie B. Wiley Stadium – once known as War Memorial Stadium – stands, was on the far outskirts of the city. The big landmark along Jefferson Street between Best and Dodge wasn’t “The Rockpile,” but was across the street from the stadium where the Stanley Makowski Early Childhood Center now stands. The school was built on what was once the ca…

History

Today, HarborCenter is one of the developments of a revitalized waterfront that draws people from all over the world. In 1946, when the photo above was taken, lower Main Street was more of a reminder of what Buffalo was losing, rather than what was to come. For decades, the anchor of that block had been the Seaman’s Home. “The Seaman’s Home is not a charitable ins…

History

Buffalo Police dealt with one of the worst traffic jams they’d ever seen as an estimated 50,000 people jammed Genesee Street near Genesee Park (now Schiller Park) for German Day in 1938. Traffic was on the minds of the 50 officers on the detail in and around the park that day on foot, horseback and motorcycle – but it wasn’t their primary reason for being there. “The…

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 the years. Click here to explore the map. Heading north from Canalside toward the Peace Bridge, the I-190 was built in the bed of the Erie Canal. It’s difficult to imagine a ride along the Erie Canal, with some …

History

This year marks the 25th year that attorneys Ross Cellino and Steve Barnes have been aggressively marketing their law firm’s personal injury expertise. The Buffalo-based firm started with radio ads in 1994, then billboards. Eventually, it became difficult to pick up a phone book or watch a local TV newscast without seeing those faces or hearing that melody, which are al…

History

It was the Sunday before Election Day in 1976 – only a matter of hours before millions across the country would cast their vote for president. One of the two men whose name was on the ballot, President Gerald R. Ford, spent an hour or so in the first pew at St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Church for 9 a.m. Mass. The president was welcomed by children in traditional Pol…

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 the years. Click here to explore the map. If we Buffalonians are great at anything, it’s having the same argument generation after generation. Even as the final plans were unveiled for a new $20 million Exchange…

History

Before Memorial Auditorium was built in along Buffalo’s waterfront in 1940, the city looked at several different sites for a new convention center and auditorium. At the time, the Broadway Auditorium was the largest and most-used event space in the city. Still standing as “the Broadway Barns” and the home of the city’s snow removal and other heavy equipment, the old…

History

After a combined 140 years on the Western New York retail scene, the news looks bleak for fans of Kmart and Sears. As Samantha Christmann reported in The News in November, the last area Sears store in the McKinley Mall and the three remaining Kmarts (in Jamestown, Wellsville and on Hertel Avenue) are all candidates for another round of store closings that come as the re…

History

The turkey selection was grand at the Elk Street Market a few days before Christmas in 1905. “Turkeys are plentiful but rather high in price,” reported The Buffalo Times. The Shriners were there 113 years ago, loading up their automobiles to help make Christmas dinner better for more than 1,000 families. At the time, the Elk Street Market was “the largest fru…

History

This past week, Uniland Development crews razed the building that was the longtime home of Dickie’s Donuts at the corner of Elmwood and Hertel. Dickie’s had the Buffalo doughnut market cornered for most of the ’80s and ’90s. The locally owned and operated chain had 17 locations, making it the largest local name in doughnuts at the height of business in the mid-1990s,…