A short history of Buffalo, New York and other things

I’m going to do a quick blog on Buffalo, N.Y. since I am in Buffalo and my mind is occupied with recovering from car accidents.

So I’m taking the easy route and googling “Buffalo factoids.”

“The current Interagency Buffalo Management Plan (IBMP) calls for the vaccination of buffalo residing or migrating out of Yellowstone National Park (YNP) when a “safe and effective” vaccine and delivery system are available.” (http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/factsheets/bisonvaccinationfact.html)

There are a couple of things wrong with this statement. First, wrong buffalo.

Second, what is the point of this statement, you will vaccinate buffalo if and when a vaccine and delivery system are available? Sure. Okay. No problem.

Wedding in Montana

But this reminds me of a photo I have from our one-day trip through Yellowstone last year when we were attending a wedding in Montana. And a very cool wedding it was, too, in a very small town not too far from Bozeman, MT. Although it wasn’t actually in the small town. It was a school bus ride away through open mountainous land on a hillside overlooking Centennial Valley. The wedding was beautiful and came off without a hitch except for when the bridal tent/ dressing room got blown over on its side. But after volunteers were stationed at the four corners all was good. Anyway, I digress.

On our drive through the park we had to stop for buffalo crossing the road, or maybe it was bison, (is there a difference?). I’m going to have to google it. According to Wikipedia, no, there is not a difference. I know I can’t completely and always “trust” Wikipedia because anybody can get on there and sabotage answers, at least I think they can, but I wouldn’t know for sure because I never tried, but I think the 10 seconds I’ve spent on this questions is all it warrants for a post about Buffalo, N.Y.

Here’s the photo. My photos of the buffalo aren’t spectacular because unlike other individuals who were out of their cars, standing on the road within feet of these massive, strong and wild animals, I wasn’t.

Silos and abandoned factory in downtown Buffalo, N.Y.

Buffalo N.Y. is a rather financially depressed city with many abandoned factories.  It once was a center of transportation and a prosperous town. With the construction of the Erie Canal, Buffalo began to prosper and became the “’Gateway to the West’ as the largest grain handling port in the world. Brewing had also become a major commodity in Buffalo which remains to this day.”

Architecture in Buffalo's theatre district—remnants from a more prosperous time.

During the years of prosperity Buffalo had a thriving entertainment district. Although the buildings still stand today, many are  no longer in use.

A gap in between two of the abandoned buildings down by the old grain elevators in downtown Buffalo.

“By the mid-1800s the new Attica & Buffalo Railroad took away much of the harbor commerce and passenger trade. During the 1920s, the St. Lawrence Seaway diverted business away from Buffalo” resulting in the surplus of abandoned grain elevators and factories.

A channel of water runs through the factories and elevators. You can kayak along this river through the abandoned grain elevators – one of the more unique experiences you can have in the country according to my personal Buffalo expert, and son, Matthew.

Recently, Buffalo has “reinvented itself as a cultural, educational, and medical center.”

Matthew lives in Allentown, one of the more colorful neighborhoods in town where  people tend to paint their houses whatever color they want and a lot of people choose bright colors. This area of downtown Buffalo, not in the vicinity of the abandoned grain elevators, attracts many artists and musicians.

I’m including this photo because it reminds me of my high school mascot — the Belmont bison.

Source of information – http://www.hellobuffalo.com/history.cfm

Photographs by Christine M. Grote and Matthew A. Grote.

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5 Comments on “A short history of Buffalo, New York and other things”

  1. nrhatch says:

    Love this post! I’ve been to a wedding in Montana. No schoolbus. No bridal tent blowing over in the breeze. But I got to sing in the ceremony, so it brings back fond memories.

    I’m having a brewski right now. “Cheers!”

    Here’s to Buffalo. ;)

  2. Good colorful post – both in pics and writing!

  3. hugmamma says:

    Have not visited Buffalo. Closest I’ve been is Chautauqua, where my daughter danced in their summer ballet programs. Absolutely gorgeous scenery. But being Hawaiian, I’m not sure I could take the hard winters. Nonetheless, you do a good job selling upstate New York. Your photos tell great stories.

    i love new york, having lived and worked in that state for 10+ years…hugmamma. :)

  4. Sally says:

    You’ve captured two places near and dear to my heart — upstate NY, where many cities look just like Buffalo, depressed and broken-down, but it’s my home and I love it — and, Wyoming, where we lived for four years and indeed, the deer and the buffalo do roam.

  5. Nick Santos says:

    You might be interested in William J. Brown’s book on the subject: American Colossus: The Grain Elevator 1843-1943 (Colossal Books, 2009).


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