Share this article

History

print logo
History

Few buildings mirror the battered and unlikely history of Buffalo better than Buffalo's Cyclorama Building at Edward and Pearl. Within a decade of its construction in 1888, the building was obsolete, becoming a stable, a roller rink and a junk storage warehouse until it was bought by the city and left to sit until condemned. Rebuilt by the out-of-work men of Buffalo…

History

They pulled out all the stops. One of the great actresses of the silent film era, Norma Talmadge was brought in amid a parading caravan of 25 touring cars when Marcus Loew of the Loew's Theater chain threw open the doors of his 3,000-seat Century Theatre on Main Street between Mohawk and Genesee in 1921. The movie house with a grand reputation passed through the hand…

History

The Town of Boston’s website calls it “the most widely known of any event in the history of Boston.” And it is a grisly one. The story of the North Boston Love murder took place not even a decade after the town was formed in 1817, when it was still mostly a wilderness with fewer than 200 settlers. The true tale tells of the Thayers, a poor family headed by the father…

History

This post is the latest in an occasional series about the men and women who played important roles in Buffalo’s early history. Of the Native Americans who called Western New York home when European and Anglo-American settlers arrived in the late 18th century, the Seneca chief Red Jacket is perhaps the most widely known. Many Buffalo-area residents are familiar with land…

History

This post is the latest in an occasional series examining the history of Buffalo-area highways and streets. Western New York is home to two major east-west transcontinental highways: Interstate 90, the longest route in the Interstate Highway System, and U.S. Route 20, the longest road in the older United States Numbered Highway System and also the longest road in Americ…

History

One quirk of New York’s cartography is the state’s system of unofficial “hamlets,” or unincorporated communities within towns that do not have their own governments but nevertheless carry distinctive identities. Some of Western New York’s hamlets, like Lake View and Derby, have their own post offices and thus are part of residents’ addresses. Others, like Cleveland Hill…

History

When they hear "Underground Railroad," people picture freedom-seekers fleeing plantations in Virginia, sheltering in Maryland barns, hiding in Kentucky cellars. They often don't realize all those roads toward freedom led to very few places. One of them – a major destination on the Underground Railroad – was Niagara Falls. The rich and seldom-told history of Niagara F…

History

Earlier this month, the Buffalo of Yesteryear series highlighted the city’s beloved Memorial Auditorium, the longtime home of the Buffalo Sabres, which was demolished more than a decade after the team moved to what is now called KeyBank Center. But the Aud, which opened in 1940, wasn’t Buffalo’s first professional hockey arena. That distinction belongs to a building …

Local News

The Lackawanna Public Library – just four years shy of turning 100 – was the last Carnegie Library built of more than 1,650 libraries constructed in the United States by the Carnegie Foundation. And like some grande dames, the Colonial Revival building is due for a facelift. Thanks to more than $1.56 million in New York State library construction funding, Lackawanna'…

History

This post is the latest in an occasional series about the men and women who played important roles in Buffalo’s early history. Buffalo not only produced two American presidents – Millard Fillmore and Grover Cleveland – but also gave the country its youngest-ever first lady, who was also the first woman to marry in the White House. Frances Clara Folsom was born in 186…

History

Buffalo’s Black Rock neighborhood has a distinctive identity. It almost feels like its own, separate place. That’s because once upon a time, it was. Buffalo and Black Rock were onetime competitors. Black Rock – now on the city’s northwest side along the Niagara River and south of Riverside – was, like Buffalo, founded right after the dawn of the 19th century. Early m…

History

Before KeyBank Center was First Niagara Center, which had previously been HSBC Arena, which had previously been Marine Midland Arena – before nearly every professional sports venue in the United States was named with a corporate sponsorship – there was, simply, the Aud. Buffalo Memorial Auditorium opened in 1940 after being built at a cost of $2.7 million, or about $48 …

History

Bruce Shanks was an editorial page cartoonist for The Buffalo News who joined the paper in 1933 and retired 39 years later. During that time, he won the Pulitzer Prize - with Tom Toles and Adam Zyglis, the first of three News cartoonists to do so - and established himself over the decades as one of the great political cartoonists in the world. Fifty years ago, burdened by …

History

A conversation about women's role in military forces will is scheduled for 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Buffalo History Museum. Women from the Niagara Falls International Airport Air Reserve Station, American Gold Star Mothers and Veterans One-stop Center of WNY will share their experiences. Discussion points will include the role of women in active duty, especially…

History

This post is the latest in an occasional series about the men and women who played important roles in Buffalo’s early history. Many Americans today resent the two-party political system and would welcome a viable alternative to the Democrats and Republicans who dominate most ballots. Those Americans might like to know that the last U.S. president to come from a polit…