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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

When his voice came through the speaker on your radio, you knew you were hearing something you weren't going to hear anywhere else. He was rock 'n' roll even before the phrase rock 'n' roll existed. "The Ol'man," as he often called himself on the air, was an unlikely hero of Buffalo teenagers, but for George "Hound Dog" Lorenz, it was about the music, and bringing r…

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. When our 1880 map of Buffalo was first printed, Millard Fillmore had died only six years earlier and was someone who would have been a familiar city father among the people…

History

Jimmy Griffin’s dream-turned-reality for a downtown ballpark helped spur the rebirth of a Buffalo neighborhood and nearly brought a major league baseball team to Buffalo. It was doing what might have seemed impossible for Buffalo on the face of it. A new, $56 million baseball stadium right in the middle of city that, over the previous decade, had become the butt of …

History

There were 33 Tim Horton Donut shops, mostly across Southern Ontario, when the Buffalo Sabres defenseman spoke with Canadian Magazine in 1973. “I devote more of my time to doughnuts now more than hockey,” said the 43-year-old Horton, while still an assistant captain with the Sabres. He was pumping his entire $125,000-per-year NHL salary into expanding the doughnut busin…

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. Perhaps it has more to do with the building’s location in the foreground of the image, but the Watson Elevator was an important enough part of the City of Buffalo in 1880 t…

History

Not only is Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church gone, but so are the two streets where it was located and the entire surrounding neighborhood. Consecrated at Fly and LeCouteulx streets in 1906, it was built for the most Italian immigrant families of the Canal District, also known as “The Hooks.” It was reputed to be not only the toughest neighborhood in the c…

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…