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History

Although it happened 34 years ago, it is a tragedy still remembered frequently in local fire and police companies. On Dec. 27, 1983, six people — five of whom were Buffalo firefighters — were killed after a propane explosion at the Chimera Radiator Co. on North Division Street on the city's East Side. More than 70 people were injured, and the fire damaged more than t…

Buffalo

The state Board for Historic Preservation has recommended adding four Western New York properties to both the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Recommended were: Ingleside Home in Buffalo, a 1929 Colonial Revival building where social and psychological counseling services and health care was provided to women until 1976. Niagara Machine & Tool…

History

“MERRIE CHRISTMAS,” read one of the headlines across the top of The Buffalo Evening News on Dec. 24, 1881, in one of the first years of the newspaper’s publication. “The Christmas festival will cover two days this year,” the text under the headline reads. “The legal holiday to be observed by the banks, public offices and probably by most business houses, will not occur …

Featured

Imagine: It’s the mid-1930s in Buffalo. You need to get across town, and you don’t have a car — but that’s no big deal. The city’s expansive electric streetcar system would be able to get you nearly anywhere. A map published in 1935 showing all the possible connections bears more of a resemblance to a New York City subway map than the current map of the Metro Rail, whos…

Columns

It was not the destination a kid from Olcott expected. David Donovan is a longtime resident of the island of Vieques, part of Puerto Rico. Before he enlisted in the Navy, more than 40 years ago, Donovan's longest journey beyond Western New York was to Toronto. Things turned out in a way he could not envision. For that, Donovan credits the Navy — and the absolute symbol …

Attractions

Rushing about our everyday business, we sometimes miss the treasures that hide in plain sight. One wintry day a couple of years ago reminded me of that. I had been at a lunch meeting with a colleague from Amherst. The wind and sleet had kicked in. "Let's cut through the Ellicott Square Building," I suggested. And in we went -- beneath the carved entranceway, throu…

History

Is the Rochester area part of Western New York? The debate may not be settled today, but in 1860, author J.H. French used the term “Western New York” to refer to Rochester and its surrounding area in his comprehensive “Historical and Statistical Gazetteer of New York State.” And for good reason – Rochester’s and Buffalo’s economic and cultural fortunes have been tied…

History

In Buffalo’s early history, the city was actually a part of Niagara County. Buffalo was formed as a town in 1810 and incorporated as a village in 1813, but it wasn’t until April of 1821 that Erie County was carved out of Niagara County, according to the book “Historical and Statistical Gazetteer of New York State.” (Buffalo later incorporated as a city in 1832.) In t…

Buffalo

Some day in the not too distant future, the Western New York Railway Historical Society envisions its refurbished passenger cars disgorging hundreds of tourists at a burgeoning museum on Lee Street near Solar City. But first it needed some basics — like railroad tracks. The museum volunteers got what they needed Friday, a new partial siding along with the first four …

History

The stretch of downtown Buffalo around its harbor and along Lake Erie was once considered “an irreclaimable morass" – low-lying and swampy. But the same area nevertheless became “densely covered with substantial warehouses and large stores, intermingled with factories, foundries, mechanics’ shops and dwellings,” helping the city become “the largest and most important (c…

Local News

Daemen College's roots can be traced back to one building. The Rosary Hall mansion on the private college's Main Street campus in Amherst was purchased in 1948 by the Sisters of St. Francis and became the Rosary Hill College for women, now Daemen. "Everything went on there," said Michael Brogan, Daemen's vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college. "T…

Gusto

American presidents and their relationships with the news media will be discussed during a free event at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Buffalo History Museum, off Nottingham Terrace. “Presidents and the Press” is sponsored by the Buffalo Presidential Center. Rose Ciotta, formerly of The Buffalo News, will moderate a panel with Jody Kleinberg Biehl, former European corresponde…

Featured

“As the lion is the monarch of the forest,” wrote one of Buffalo’s early historians of the city, “so the Lion Brewery is monarch among similar establishments of its kind; if not in architectural extent and capacity, then certainly in the purity and wholesomeness of its products.” The Lion Brewery’s throne sat on the east side of Jefferson Avenue between Best and North s…

Gusto

It's the most Buffalo time of the year. Spirits soar as we warm up for the Turkey Trot, one of the 100 Things every Western New Yorker should do at least once. And for the World's Largest Disco, another adventure on our bucket list. Friends and relatives flock in from out of town, craving wings and beef on weck. Thanksgiving is in the air. It's fun to celebrate this …