(716) 886-3300

A Brief History: Buffalo, New York

  • IMG_4205

Looking Back at Historic Buffalo

Buffalo, currently an All America city, was the quintessential 19th century 'Boomtown'. During the second half of the 19th century, Buffalo's position at the western end of the Erie Canal made it the gateway to the West... attracting industrialists, presidents, and immigrants alike.

The great wealth and diversity of this period created a city filled with historic figures and events, attracting multitudes of businesses and individuals to make Buffalo NY the 8th largest American city by the time of the 1901 Pan-American Exposition. With great wealth came the creation of great architecture by the most prestigious architects of the time.

Historic Buffalo

During the second half of the 19th century, McKinley at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition - and another inaugurated - Theodore Roosevelt at the Wilcox Mansion on the city's grand boulevard, Delaware Avenue. Buffalo also sent two of its sons - Millard Fillmore and Grover Cleveland - to Washington as Presidents; but only after Fillmore founded The Mansion's neighboring building, the historic Buffalo Club, and both Fillmore and Cleveland sat as club presidents. This rich history has left our city rife with historic sites and attractions in Buffalo, NY.

Buffalo's position at the western end of the Erie Canal made it the gateway to the West...attracting industrialists, presidents, and immigrants alike. Battles were fought here, the city put to the torch by British loyalists during the War of 1812. Fortunes were made here by the likes of a young William G. Fargo, founder of American Express and Wells Fargo...as well as more modest fortunes, such as those of grain elevator magnate Charles F. Sternberg, the original owner of The Mansion on Delaware Avenue, who commissioned this structure as a home for his young family in 1863.

A President was assassinated here - William McKinley at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition - and another inaugurated - Theodore Roosevelt at the Wilcox Mansion on the city's grand boulevard, Delaware Avenue. Buffalo also sent two of its sons - Millard Fillmore and Grover Cleveland - to Washington as Presidents; but only after Fillmore founded The Mansion's neighboring building, the historic Buffalo Club, and both Fillmore and Cleveland sat as club presidents. This rich history has left our city rife with historic sites and attractions in Buffalo, NY.

Historic Points of Interest:

Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site

A neighboring mansion on Buffalo's Delaware Avenue, coined Millionaire's Row for its profusion of wealthy residents and residences, Theodore Roosevelt began his presidential journey here. All new state-of-the-art exhibits and a dramatic guided tour offer a museum experience unlike any other.

Forest Lawn Cemetary

Breathtaking historic 269-acre cemetery in the heart of Buffalo, NY. Founded in 1849, Forest Lawn contains outstanding examples of funerary art, including the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Blue Sky Mausoleum. On the New York State and National Register of Historic Places, it includes the graves of President Millard Fillmore, Seneca Nation Chief Red Jacket and the Blocher Memorial. Click to learn more.

Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society

This National Historic Landmark building, built in 1901 during the Pan-American Exposition and now housing the History Museum, is on a beautiful lakeside setting. The museum features exhibits and an extensive collection of artifacts, manuscripts, books and photographs chronicling the development of Buffalo and the Niagara Frontier. Click for more information on Buffalo Segway tours featuring this site.

Canalside and Naval & Military Park

The Erie Canal Harbor was the bustling western terminus of the historic waterway during the 19th and early 20th centuries. View the refurbished "Commercial Slip," "Central Wharf," "Whipple Truss" foot bridge, cobblestone "Commercial Street", and the largest inland naval park of its kind in the nation. Today Buffalo's waterfront is resurging with historic attractions, museums, restaurants, kayaking and boat tours.

Grain Elevators of Buffalo: Silo City

Buffalo, New York was the world’s largest grain port from the 1850s until the first half of the 20th century & once had the nation’s largest capacity for the storage of grain in over thirty concrete grain elevators located along the inner and outer harbors.

Select from a variety of ways to enjoy "Silo City," one of the worl'ds largest grain elevator collections that serve as a living reminder of Buffalo's industrial heritage. Browse the seven most popular ways to explore the silos here.

The Grain Elevators of Buffalo are prized historic structures for the city, with tours available by both water and land. Fun fact, The Mansion on Delaware Avenue has a unique connection to the historic grain elevators.

  • stained-glass-buffalo-ny
  • 68127684
  • historic-hotel-buffalo-ny
Close