Tag Archives: Erie County

Western Erie Canal Communities Conference Nov 6th


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Western Erie Canal AllianceThe Western Erie Canal Alliance, in conjunction with the Landmark Society of Western New York, will present a conference, “Something Old… Something New”, in celebration of historic Main Streets as centerpieces of community economic success.

The conference will take place on Thursday, November 6, 2014 from 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm, at the Fairport Electric building in Fairport, NY, hosted by The Village of Fairport. Continue reading

Erie and Niagara Counties:
‘History in Your Backyard’ Weekend


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HistoryBackyard_logoSeven Erie and Niagara County cultural attractions are teaming up to present a collaborative weekend, May 8-10, enabling guests to visit all seven locations for one low price. History in Your Backyard participants will receive a commemorative passport that will be stamped at each attraction. The passport will also contain discounts for numerous local restaurants.

Additionally, participants who visit and receive a stamp at each site will be entered into a drawing to win a helicopter ride over Niagara Falls courtesy of Rainbow Air Helicopter Rides. Participants will also be entered to win a gift basket from each participating attraction. Details will be available at each location. Continue reading

The Angola Horror:
The Train Wreck That Shocked the Nation


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Angola HorrorOn December 18, 1867, the Buffalo and Erie Railroad’s eastbound New York Express derailed as it approached the high truss bridge over Big Sister Creek, just east of the small settlement of Angola, New York, on the shores of Lake Erie.

In a dramatic historical narrative, Charity Vogel tells the gripping, true-to-life story of the wreck and the characters involved in the tragic accident in The Angola Horror: The 1867 Train Wreck That Shocked the Nation and Transformed American Railroads (Cornell University Press, 2013). Continue reading

History and Economic Development:
Some Lessons from Western New York


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1698There are two regions which have Path through History plans listed on the ten Regional Economic Development Councils (REDEC) for New York State.

I’ve reviewed the Long Island region proposal here.  As will be seen, there are certain overlaps and parallels in their respective plans and differences as well between their plans and those of the Western New York region, which I’ll cover here. Continue reading

Adaptive Reuse in Rochester: Bread and Water Theatre


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6a01157088010c970b017c387a3014970bWhat follows is a guest essay by J.R. Teeter, the founding artistic director of Bread & Water Theatre. Since 2000 Bread & Water Theatre has had as its purpose the development of new dramatic works and affordable arts programming for the public. This essay first appeared on the site Preservation News.

Rochester, New York has fallen on hard times, not unlike many of the cities across the nation. The Erie Canal, once a major shipping route, is now considered obsolete. The city’s biggest employer, Kodak, is now bankrupt. Major businesses have either downsized, moved out of town, or both. When a new company takes an interest in the city, the red carpet is rolled out and tax breaks are doled out, sometimes at the cost of the city’s legacy. Continue reading

New Leadership for Great Lakes Seaway Trail


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Seaway Trail, Inc. has named Michael “Mike” Bristol as its new President and CEO. The Great Lakes Seaway Trail is a 518-mile, two-state National Scenic Byway, a New York State Scenic Byway, and a state-designated Bicycle Route in New York and Pennsylvania. Bristol becomes only the second President and CEO in the Great Lakes Seaway Trail’s 34-year history.

The Seaway Trail scenic driving route was designated in 1978. The Seaway Trail, Inc. nonprofit organization formed in 1986 with Teresa Mitchell as its first director. Mitchell passed away in January and Charles “Chuck” Krupke served as Interim Executive Director.

Mike Bristol began his new leadership role July 2, 2012. He brings nearly 30 years’ experience in tourism, athletics and nonprofit management to the tourism and economic development organization based in Sackets Harbor, NY.

A Florida State University graduate, Bristol was the Associate Director of his alma mater’s Seminole Boosters, Inc., a national-level fundraising corporation. He served as President and CEO of the Tallahassee Area Convention and Visitors Bureau from 2002 to 2005.

Upon returning to his native northern New York, Bristol served as Director of Marketing and Outreach for The Antique Boat Museum on the Great Lakes Seaway Trail in Clayton, NY. Bristol is a member of the Clayton Local Development Corporation Redevelopment Committee that is overseeing a new dock and hotel development.

The Great Lakes Seaway Trail organization is known for diverse travel theme marketing, a “Best of the Byways” guidebooks series, Great Lakes Seaway Trail “Outdoor Storyteller” signage, and innovative programming that includes a American Volkssport Association-approved series of War of 1812-theme walks.

Popular travel themes include scenic driving road trips, maritime and military history, four seasons’ outdoor recreation, birdwatching, lighthouses and shipwrecks, bicycling, quilting and cultural heritage.

To learn more about the Great Lakes Seaway Trail byway that runs alongside the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Niagara River and Lake Erie in New York and Pennsylvania, go online to www.seawaytrail.com.

Photo provided.

History of Technology in Western New York Exhibit


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The University at Buffalo Libraries has announced a new exhibit, “History of Technology in Western New York” at the 2nd Floor, Oscar A. Silverman Library, Capen Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus. Researched and written by Nancy Schiller, Engineering Librarian, and produced by Rose Orcutt, Architecture & Planning Librarian, “History of Technology in Western New York” offers a glimpse into Western New York’s rich industrial heritage.

The exhibit pays homage to Buffalo’s iconic grain elevators, to Pierce-Arrow and its sleek automobiles and even sleeker advertising, to the region’s contributions to early aviation, and to the massive steelmills in Lackawanna, and the men and women who labored in them.

Photographs, text and images featured in the exhibit recallan era when 50 percent of Buffalo’s population was engaged in industrial endeavors of one sort or another, and factories, grainelevators, blast furnaces and steel refineries dotted the local landscape.

Inspiration for the exhibit came from a recent UB Honors Seminar taught by Professor John Van Benschoten, Department of Civil, Structural, and Environmental Engineering. The course explored the role of Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and Western New York in our nation’s history, and provided students with an opportunity to consider the history of Western New York and its future through anunderstanding of technology, and the benefits and costs that come with it.

The exhibit is open during regular library hours and runs through May 31, 2012.

Photo: Great Northern Grain Elevator (2007), courtesy forgottenbuffalo.com

Buffalo: Millard Fillmore Remembered


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Col. John Higgins, the Vice Commander of the New York Air National Guard’s 107th Airlift Wing laid a wreath at the gravesite of President Millard Fillmore at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo on behalf of President Barak Obama last Friday

Fillmore, the 13th President of the United States, was a co-founder of the University at Buffalo and the school’s first chancellor. The university has conducted a memorial ceremony annually since 1937.

The United States Military honors former presidents by laying wreaths sent by the current president at their gravesites on the anniversary of their birth.

The New York Army and Air National Guard traditionally conduct the wreath layings at the graves of President Chester A. Arthur in Menands, Albany County; President Martin Van Buren in Kinderhook, Columbia County; and Fillmore.

Born on Jan. 7, 1800, Fillmore was instrumental in founding the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society, the Buffalo Club and the Buffalo General Hospital. His activities also led to the creation of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy and the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences.

Some historians credit the former teacher, postmaster, lawyer and member of Congress with establishing the White House Library. During his administration the United States opened trade relations with Japan and California was admitted to the union. He died on March 8, 1874.

The 107th Airlift Wing, which is based at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, operates C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft in support of United States military operations worldwide. Individual Airmen also deploy regularly to locations around the world.

Photo: Col. Jim McReady, commander of the 107th Airlift Wing, presented the wreath at the Millard Fillmore grave in 2011.

1841 Wreck of the Steamship Erie Event


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Alvin F. Oickle, author of Disaster on the Potomac, Disaster in Lawrence, and Disaster at Dawn, will be on hand at Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society on Thursday, May 19, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. to sign copies of his new book on a historic Lake Erie disaster.

On August 9, 1841, the steamship Erie, one of the most elegant and fastest sailing vessels between Buffalo and Chicago, departed, carrying 343 passengers. Many were Swiss and German immigrants, planning to start new lives in America’s heartland- most never made it. The Erie erupted in flames during the night, and, despite the heroic efforts of the crew of the Dewitt Clinton, 254 lives were lost.

As news of this disaster spread, internationally renowned artists and writers, including Horatio Alger Jr. and possibly James Fenimore Cooper, wrote about ‘John Maynard,’ a fictitious, heroic helmsman.

May Day Family Day at Buffalo & Erie Historical


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On Sunday, May 1, from 1 to 4 pm, the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society, 25 Nottingham Court, Buffalo, will host their first 2011 Family Day, presented with support from Northwest Buffalo Community Center. All ages are welcome and the grand opening of the newly refurbished Pioneer Life Gallery will be featured.

Visitors may watch and/or join students from the Aurora Waldorf School in a historic May Pole jig — the traditional May Pole dance ends up with ribbons festively woven around the pole. Additional entertainment and activities will also include: historic blacksmith and weaver demonstrations; pony rides; celebrate spring; learn about the historic May Day celebration; period arts and crafts for all ages; face painting; museum tours; local vendor tables.

Tickets are $5/member, $10/non-member. Adults are free with children’s paid admission. Adults unaccompanied by children (all are welcome) are also $5/member, $10/non-member.