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ScStr:dp. 6530; 1. 406'1"; b. 48'3"; dr. 20'9"; s, 14.5
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The second Buffalo, an auxiliary cruiser, was built in 1892 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va., as El Cid. Six months later she was sold to Brazil and renamed Nicheroy. Purchased by the Navy from the Brazilian Government 11 July 1898, she was renamed Buffalo; commissioned In ordinary a week later; fitted out as an auxiliary cruiser at New York Navy Yard; and placed in full commission 22 September 1898, Commander J. W. Hamphill in command.
Her first cruise, from 7 December 1898 to 7 May 1899, was from New York to Manila and return, sailing east. Upon her return she was placed out of commission 3 July 1899. On 2 April 1900 she was recommissioned and served as a training vessel. As a training vessel Buffalo travelled widely. She made four voyages to the Philippines with replacement crews for the Asiatic Fleet (24 April-20 October 1900, 24 December 1900-13 May 1901, 5 June-13 October 1902, and 17 December 1903-14 July 1904). All except the last, which terminated at Mare Island, began and ended at east coast ports. On her last voyage Buffalo convoyed the 1st Torpedo Flotilla to Manila. Between 12 September and 23 November 1904 she cruised in the Pacific, returning to Mare Island.
Out of commission at Mare Island from April 1905 to 17 November 1906, she then served as a transport until 1915 in the Pacific. During 17- 20 December 1909 she carried Marines to Nicaragua and remained there in support until 16 March 1910. In 1911-12 she served briefly with the Asiatic Fleet in Chinese waters and during 14 November-4 December 1914 operated off Mexico. She spent 27 January-29 November 1915 out of commission at Mare Island and then rejoined the Pacific Fleet. In 1916 she again served in Mexican waters and between May and August 1917 Buffalo transported the Special Diplomatic Mission of the United States to Russia. Upon her return she was ordered into Philadelphia Navy Yard for conversion to a destroyer tender and reclassified AD-8. Conversion was completed in June 1918 and, after loading torpedo equipment at Newport, she departed for Brest, France, via Bermuda. She then proceeded to Gibraltar, where she operated as station and repair ship to destroyers and subehasers. From February until September 1919 she had similar duty with the Azores Detachment at Ponta Delgada and then returned to New York.
On 31 December 1919 Buffalo arrived at San Diego to commence her duties as repair ship and tender to Destroyer Squadrons 11 and 5, Pacific Fleet. In November 1921 she was ordered to the Asiatic Station as tender to Destroyer Squadron, Asiatic Fleet, and arrived at'Manila in December. During the summer of 1922 she cruised with the fleet in China waters and in September arrived at Yokohama, Japan. She returned to the west coast 8 October and was decommissioned 15 November 1922 at San Diego. She was used as a barracks ship until
stricken from the Navy List 27 May 1927. She was sold four months later.
Buffalo (CL-99) was reclassified CV-29 and renamed Bataan (q. v.) 2 June 1942.
Buffalo (CL-110) was laid down 3 April 1944 by New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N. J., but canceled 12 August 1945 prior to launching.
The Museum is open with pay what you wish admission, Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Uncovering history kicks up some dust! Due to ongoing historic restoration, parts of our lower level and our accessible entrance will be temporarily closed. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and encourage you to call (716) 873-9644 ext. 309 or email [email protected] for updates on construction and access.
Later this year, you can look forward to the grand reopening of the Museum’s lower level, restored to the original vision of architect George Cary! Learn more from our press release.
Buffalo’s Own Piece of LGBTQ History
June is Pride Month, which is often associated with bright colors, loud pop music, and glittery parade floats traveling the streets of cities across the country -- but it wasn’t always this way.
The first Pride started because of The Stonewall Riots in 1969. Two transwomen of color, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, led the way, starting an uprising when police raided the Stonewall Inn and Tavern.
This fight against police brutality is known to be the start of the Gay Liberation Movement. Nearly 400 miles away on the other side of the state, a community of activists in Buffalo forged their own path in the fight for LGBTQ equality.
“People don't recognize it, but Buffalo is very much a trailblazer of the early gay rights movement,” said Adrienne Hill, one of the cofounders of the Buffalo- Niagara LGBTQ History Project. The group is made up of volunteers working to document and celebrate the vibrant history of the LGBTQ community in Western New York.
Hill said that while New York City and the San Francisco Bay area are well known for their histories of LGBTQ activism, smaller cities were, and remain, just as critical to the movement because they can rely on a sense of community to help push along progress.
“Buffalo is a hometown. It's a relatively small city. Most of the people who live here, not only have they lived here their whole lives, but generations of their family have lived here and so there's a lot of deeply embedded relationships,” Hill explained.
These relationships play a driving force in local activism, Hill said, which differentiates small-city LGBTQ history from the larger ones. With that said, there are several historical events that happened in Buffalo that are similar to what happened at Stonewall.
The history of Buffalo’s gay liberation movement is extensive. Hill noted that in the 1940s and 50s, the city had a well-established gay bar culture that tended to be left alone by police due to corruption. When Nelson Rockefeller was elected governor of New York State, there was new pressure to crack down on police corruption. In turn, law enforcement began to crack down on the gay and lesbian bars throughout the 1960s. In an effort to push more Western New Yorkers to live in the suburbs and commute downtown, many of these LGBTQ spaces were destroyed and turned into parking lots that are still used for commuters in Buffalo to this day. Hill explains that this time was even worse for black-owned bars.
“There was a difference between how the predominantly white bars were treated and how the predominantly black [bars were] treated,” Hill said. The majority of the black bars and spaces of the time were located on Cherry Street, which runs immediately parallel to the Kensington Expressway. “In essence an expressway was built right through the heart of the black lesbian neighborhood,” Hill explained.
In November 1969, one of the last gay spaces, The Tiki on Franklin and Tupper, was shut down. This is the current location of another parking lot. The owner of The Tiki, James Garrow, was denied by the New York State Liquor Authority because he was arrested for allegedly cruising other men, which refers to secretly looking for other men as partners.
Hill says the next month, The Avenue, located where the Frank Sedita City Court building, was opened. He was denied again for a liquor license, so the Avenue became a gay “juice bar” and an underground center for LGBTQ people to meet.
It was here that the Mattachine Society of the Niagara Frontier was organized, Buffalo’s first gay rights organization.
Officers were furious that this was happening “right under their noses.” On January 4, 1970, according to Hill, The Avenue was raided, where 94 people were kicked out of the bar, 11 arrested, and two lesbians were said to have been beaten up by officers. Hill said this really lit the fire for the movement out of Buffalo. The raids and the bar scene are documented in activist Madeline Davis’s book, “Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold.”
Hill said that it’s important to look at our roots so that the modern generation can learn how to be better activists moving forward. “The fight for social justice happens year round. history is not just about celebrating our past. I think history is a way to study our past and to find out what activist tactics that work in this particular area and what has not.”
One of those modern activists is Camille Hopkins. She was the first employee at Buffalo City Hall to transition from male to female -- and was a driving force behind the push for anti-discrimination laws regarding fair housing. She has spent years fighting for the rights of LGBTQ people, and helped Spectrum Transgender Group of Western New York -- what she calls a thriving support group.
Hopkins said that while there has been progress over time, she feels that Buffalo still has a long way to go, especially when it comes to racism and homophobia. “If a person is racist, in all likelihood they're homophobic … and I'm concerned about my safety. To tell you the truth, every time I go out, I'm constantly looking around.”
Despite her fears, Hopkins said she has hope that the younger generation of activists will fight for not only LGBTQ equality, but also continue to fight against racial injustices. She also hopes that younger people will vote, which she thinks is something that previous generations have done well. “There's no perfect candidate. Sometimes it's a compromise. but let's get the best we can in any kind of compromise So kids, register and vote. It's one way to make your voice heard. And when your voice isn't heard, then lobby and demonstrate.”
To get in contact with the Buffalo-Niagara LGBTQ History Project, you can contact them on Facebook or on Instagram. There are several projects within the group that provide volunteer opportunities. Hill said they are working on turning the project’s walking tours virtual during the pandemic.
Another project in the works is a documentary about Buffalo’s black LGBTQ performance and the Ball Scene. Anyone looking to donate to the LGBTQ History Project can do so by starting a fundraiser on Facebook.
Throughout Pride Month, Spectrum News will continue to provide you with voices from across the Western New York LGBTQ community, focusing on navigating Pride Month during a global pandemic and a time of national protests, and what it truly means to be part of the LGBTQ community.
Buffalo’s history is surprising and rich, replete with countless historic sites and museum-worthy stories. Battles were waged here as the War of 1812 played out at Old Fort Niagara. Fortunes were made by the likes of William G. Fargo, founder of American Express and Wells Fargo. Jazz legends like Louis Armstrong jammed at our Colored Musicians Club. And American presidents lived, died, governed and were buried here. In fact, on one fateful day in 1901, the world’s eyes were on Buffalo when President William McKinley died at the hands of an assassin and Teddy Roosevelt was inaugurated as our 26th president.
As part of a region occupied by the Seneca Indians for over 1,000 years, Buffalo originated as a small trading community in about 1789. It then grew quickly to become the quintessential 19th century boomtown, rising to industrial preeminence. The city’s position at the western terminus of the Erie Canal made us the “Gateway to the West”—the departure point for immigrants on their way to the heartland. Today this area has been newly revived at Canalside. Buffalo was also a gateway for runaway slaves seeking freedom on the Underground Railroad, then later fertile ground for the Civil Rights Movement.
From the Civil War graves at our historic Forest Lawn cemetery to the antique cars at the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum to our nation’s largest inland floating history museum, the Buffalo & Erie County Naval and Military Park, Buffalo is home to the American experience. A trip to the Buffalo History Museum will get you started on your journey of discovery.
(Buffalo is open for business! Please keep in mind that even if a business has reopened, their hours may have changed. It is best to call ahead or check the business website for accurate and complete information.)
A Brief History of the Buffalo Chicken Wing
With the Super Bowl around the corner, it seems that buffalo chicken wings may have become the country’s favorite football-watching food. While the annual rumors that we’re running out of wings simply aren’t true, wings have indeed become the most expensive part of the chicken due to their popularity when fried and covered in buffalo sauce.
Few of us realize, though, that less than 50 years ago, wings were considered one of the least desirable cuts of the chicken—a throwaway part often cooked into stock—and “buffalo” was just a wooly ungulate that wandered the Plains.
Despite the recency of the invention, the event itself is shrouded in mystery. Nevertheless, there is one thing we know for certain: the “buffalo” in the name definitively refers to the city in Western New York. The most authoritative account is by New Yorker writer Calvin Trillin, who investigated the dish’s history in 1980 as he sampled the city’s most well-regarded wing joints. He presented two competing versions of how a stroke of serendipity led Teressa Bellissimo, proprietor of the Anchor Bar, to invent the dish in 1964.
Most agree that the Anchor Bar, in Buffalo, New York, was where the buffalo chicken wing was invented. (Image via Wikimedia Commons/Darmon)
Her husband Frank Bellissimo, who founded the bar with Teressa in 1939, told Trillin that the invention involved a mistake—the delivery of chicken wings, instead of necks, which the family typically used when cooking up spaghetti sauce. To avoid wasting the wings, he asked Teressa to concoct a bar appetizer the result was the wing we know today.
Dominic—Frank and Teressa’s son, who took over management of the restaurant sometime in the s—told a slightly more colorful tale:
It was late on a Friday night in 1964, a time when Roman Catholics still confined themselves to fish and vegetables on Fridays…Some regulars had been spending a lot of money, and Dom asked his mother to make something special to pass around gratis at the stroke of midnight. Teressa Bellissimo picked up some chicken wings—parts of a chicken that most people do not consider even good enough to give away to barflies—and the Buffalo chicken wing was born.
Both Frank and Dominic agreed on a few other crucial details—that Teressa cut each wing in half to produce a “drumstick” and a “flat,” that she deep-fried them without breading and covered them in a hot sauce, and that she served them with celery (from the house antipasto) and blue cheese salad dressing. They also both reported that they became popular within weeks throughout the city, where they were (and are still) simply called “wings” or “chicken wings.”
But there are even more competing versions of the story. John E. Harmon, a professor of geography at Central Connecticut State University who wrote the Atlas of Popular Culture in the Northeastern United States as a sabbatical project, writes that Teressa actually improvised the recipe to serve Dominic and a group of his friends when they ambled into the bar late at night.
The most dissimilar account is also mentioned by Trillin, who wrote that on his trip to Buffalo, he met a man named John Young who bluntly stated, “I am actually the creator of the wing.” Young points out that growing up in an African-American community, he’d frequently eaten chicken wings as a standard dish what he invented was a special “mambo sauce” for the wings he served at his restaurant, John Young’s Wings ’n Things, during the mid-s. But he served his wings breaded and whole (rather than chopped into flats and drumsticks), distinctions that suggest to many wing traditionalists that they belong to an entire different category.
Traditionally, buffalo chicken wings are deep-fried without breading and tossed in buffalo sauce. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)
While it’s uncertain which creation myth is most accurate, what happened over the next few decades is clear: buffalo chicken wings exploded in popularity across the country. During the 70′s, the recipe spread to other eateries in the city and state—Duff’s, an early adopter, remains a favorite wing joint of many Buffalonians—then went national with the founding of chains like Wings N’Curls in Florida. Harmon reports that Trillin’s article itself sparked further interest, as did the 1983 founding of Hooter’s, which featured wings at the center of its menu.
In 1994, Domino’s spent $32 million advertising their national roll-out of wings, and Pizza Hut quickly followed suit. Since, the growth of chains like Buffalo Wild Wings and the placement of wings on countless local menus means that they’re essentially available anywhere in the United States. They’re gradually penetrating international markets, too, with Buffalo Wild Wings planning to open locations in Dubai, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia later this year.
Nowadays, buffalo sauce has gone beyond wings—it’s frequently used for boneless chicken fingers and pizzas, and gas stations sell everything from buffalo-flavored Combos to Pringles. In Buffalo, though, wings are still eaten roughly the way they were invented by Teressa in 1964: served in either hot, medium or mild buffalo sauce, with blue cheese and celery.
About Joseph Stromberg
Joseph Stromberg was previously a digital reporter for Smithsonian.
History of Buffalo C - History
The Erie Canal Harbor was originally built in 1825 as the western terminus of the Erie Canal. In its heyday Buffalo, known as America’s “Gateway to the West”, was one of the world’s greatest business centers, teeming with canal and rail traffic passing from the Atlantic seaboard across the Great Lakes. For much of the 19th century, it was truly an industrious port that bustled with people and goods from all over the world.
As a result of this prodigious commercial activity, by 1850 Buffalo was transformed from a small waterfront village into a thriving metropolis—eventually becoming the largest inland port in the nation as well as the unofficial grain capital of North America.
The arrival of trains and automobiles in the early 20th century led to the ultimate demise of Erie Canal Harbor as a functional hub of commerce. In time, the site was covered over with stone and dirt to make way for modern streets and vehicle parking.
The harbor rested in this state until the 2000s, when the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) was formed, and Buffalo's waterfront was reclaimed for restoration.
Explore the timeline below to see the journey of transformation that ECHDC has led to revive the Buffalo Waterfront.
About our National Historic Landmark Building
Buffalo architect George Cary designed the New York State Building for the 1901 Pan American Exposition. It is the only structure that was intended to remain from the exposition. The building was dedicated to the then Buffalo Historical Society on August 6, 1901 to serve as a home to the Society.
Most of the Museum’s exhibitions, programs, and special events are held in the Pan Am Building.
Join Our Team
We are hiring for a full-time Administrative Assistant. Learn more at the job posting available below.
Double Decker Bus Tours June-October
Experience the story of Buffalo aboard an authentic 65 passenger double decker bus. Yahoo's Trip Advisor calls our tours "#1 Thing To Do In Buffalo" because we focus on entertainment and guest participation to marry humor and history in every tour. Our sightseeing tours of Buffalo and murder mystery tours operate June through October.
Click here for more information and a schedule of when our Buffalo tours are available.
Next Up: The Chicago Speakeasy
But how did chicken wings become pub food? To explain that, we come to the next element to the story, and that is prohibition. From 1920 to 1933, sale and consumption of alcohol was prohibited in the U.S., which led to the proliferation of illicit establishments called speakeasies, of which Chicago alone boasted as many as 10,000 by 1930.
Many of these establishments advertised "free lunch." The deal was, the food was free, but you paid for your drinks. And what kind of food? Common offerings included foods like deviled eggs, salted nuts and yes, chicken wings.
Indeed, the popularity of so-called "finger food" in America stems from this period. Before that, the upper classes might enjoy canapés at cocktail parties, but only with prohibition did pairing finger food with booze become popular with ordinary folks.
7 Facts About Buffalo, NY Railroad History
When the Erie Canal opened in 1825 spanning 363 miles, it represented the first transportation route to the west besides wagons and was the longest artificial waterway in North America. Today, New York’s canal system has been in operation longer than any other constructed transportation system in North America.
While the Canal had significant impacts to economy of the local area, there were drawbacks: transit speeds were slow, and the area’s lengthy winters brought an end to any transportation. The answer rolled out – literally – by the mid-1830s with the advent of the railroad.
Here are 7 fun facts about Buffalo’s extensive railroad history:
1- 1836 saw Buffalo’s first railroad operating by steam locomotive, and soon, the area would become known as a successful focal point of transportation. By the late 1890s, Buffalo had burgeoned to the eighth largest US city, as well as the second largest rail hub.
2- The financial crisis known as the Panic of 1837 was a catalyst behind the failure of two railroads : the Buffalo and Erie Railroad and the Aurora and Buffalo Railroad. The former was planned to traverse from Buffalo through Chautauqua County to the Pennsylvania line the latter was to unite Buffalo with what’s now known as East Aurora. But it wasn’t to be: both failed before even a foot of track had been laid.
3- Before becoming known as the New York Central Railroad, a long history exists – in 1868, the then-Cleveland & Toledo (C&T) Railroad was taken over by the Lake Shore Railway. It would later become known as the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway. By 1914, it joined with the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad to become known as the New York Central Railroad.
4- Many enthusiasts say that the steam locomotive was perfected by the New York Central. From 1902 to 1967, the infamous 20 th Century Limited express passenger train ran on the New York Central Railroad. Marketed as “The Most Famous Train in the World,” it travelled between New York’s Grand Central Terminal and Chicago’s LaSalle Street Station through Buffalo in just 16 hours or under.
5- Back in Buffalo, New York Central was running some pretty robust operations in the Buffalo area by the early 1950s, necessitating engine-serving facilities at Gardenville, Central Terminal, Black Rock, and East Buffalo. The New York Central also established Buffalo Stockyards in 1863, which were closed in 1958.
6- What was Buffalo’s second largest railroad? The short-lived Erie Lackawanna (EL) Railroad, formed in 1960 with the controversial merger of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad and the Erie Railroad. The union brought together the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad’s 212 diesel-electric locomotives with Erie Railroad’s 484.
7- Last but certainly not least…When people think of Buffalo and its extensive history as a rail hub, the renowned Buffalo Central Terminal almost always comes to mind. In 1925 , New York Central Railroad, The City and Grade Crossing, and the Terminal Station Commission signed an agreement that would allow the Central Terminal to be constructed approximately 2.5 miles from the downtown business area.
Architected to accommodate more than 200 trains and 10,000 passengers each day, the Central Terminal opened in June 1929. It wasn’t until the WWII era that it saw its busiest period, when it became a key hub for transporting troops, goods and services.
Post WWII passenger rail travel plummeted, and by 1955, the New York Central Railroad put the Central Terminal up for sale, though there was little interest in such a massive hulk of a property. In 1979, it was officially closed as a train station. It wasn’t until 1997 that the site was acquired by the non-profit Central Terminal Restoration Corporation (CTRC).
According to the site, “Efforts are ongoing to refurbish and repurpose the property on Buffalo’s East Side as a thriving hub of community events and activity. To help fund restoration, the CTRC currently hosts 30+ public events a year in this beloved building.” If you’d like to help, explore the many ways you can get involved here .
For a deeper exploration of Buffalo’s railroads, enjoy these links: