Niagara Falls 1917 Historic Buffalo

Niagara Falls Geology

This 1917 diagram from the New York State Archives shows “a section of brink of Niagara Falls showing the arrangement of hard and soft strata and illustrating the process of erosion.” Niagara Falls is only 12,000 years old, and modern Lake Erie is only half as old as that1 (while modern humans have been roaming the earth for…

Historic Buffalo Photo Roosevelt Inauguration

Ansley Wilcox at Theodore Roosevelt’s Inauguration

Ansley Wilcox (January 27, 1856 – January 26, 1930) was a successful Buffalo lawyer, a friend of Theodore Roosevelt, and an occupant of 641 Delaware Avenue, where Roosevelt’s Presidential inauguration took place on September 14, 1901 after President William McKinley’s tragic assassination at Buffalo’s Pan-American Exposition. According to Wilcox’s biography on NPS.gov: Corporate law was his…

Rare Historic Buffalo Photo Annie Edson Taylor

Who Was Annie Edson Taylor? (Part 1)

October 24th, 2016 was the 115th anniversary of Annie Edson Taylor’s death-defying barrel plunge over Niagara Falls. To mark the occasion, I wanted to read a book about Annie’s life, but I was surprised to discover that there aren’t many factual, in-depth biographies about her in existence —  in fact, Annie’s own autobiography is somewhat inaccurate. I tried to find biographical…

Buffalo Burning December 30 1813

Today in History: December 30 – The Burning of Buffalo

On December 30, 1813, the British burned the village of Buffalo. Thirteen villagers were killed, and all but three of the original 150 buildings were destroyed. The nearby village of Black Rock was also burned. Because Buffalo was made the western terminus of the Erie Canal, it was able to rebuild and recover.

Adam, Meldrum, Adams, AM&As Historic Photo

Today in History: November 30 – Electricity in Buffalo!

On November 30, 1886, the first commercially-operated alternating current central station in the US starts service in Buffalo, NY. The generator, located in the Brush Electrical Plant on Wilkeson street, supplied power to the Adam, Meldrum, and Anderson department store on Main street. AM&A’s was the first business in the city to use electric lights. Read more…

Historic Buffalo Photo Annie Edson Taylor with Barrel and Cat Niagara

The Cat Who Conquered Niagara Falls

In a time before cats could achieve fame by appearing on YouTube, one courageous feline followed her destiny over the brink of the Horseshoe Falls. October 19, 1901: Five days before Annie Edson Taylor made history by surviving a trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel, her manager performed a test-run with an orange and white…

Historic Buffalo Creek 1811

Was Buffalo Once Part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony?

Did you know that since Europeans first arrived in the territory now known as Western New York, the land has been claimed by England, France, and even Massachusetts? Below is a timeline of the historic disputes over this region that occurred in the 17th and 18th centuries, and how they eventually led to the founding…