The Buffalo History Museum

The Buffalo History Museum Experiencing history with you by remembering, discovering, and sharing our stories; sparking emotion
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The Buffalo History Museum has been Western New York's premier historical organization since 1862. We are the keepers of the authentic stories that make our community unique. Our collections, exhibits, and programs tell the stories of the people, events, and movements that demonstrate Western New York's essential place in shaping American history. The Buffalo History Museum’s annual operations are

supported, in part, by public funds from the County of Erie and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and by the generosity of our members, donors, and friends.

Imagine a snowy winter day in 1956. You’ve just climbed the toboggan chute at Chestnut Ridge Park and are looking out at...
01/08/2024

Imagine a snowy winter day in 1956. You’ve just climbed the toboggan chute at Chestnut Ridge Park and are looking out at an incredible view of Buffalo from the top. Suddenly, you’re pushed downhill in a rush of wind, snow and speed! It’s a thrill you’ll never forget. This 1956 photo from our collection shows Western New Yorkers tobogganing at Chestnut Ridge. Want to see more images from our collection? View them by checking out our online picture store: https://buffalohistory.smugmug.com/

Learn more about the extraordinary life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the 14th annual program organized b...
01/05/2024

Learn more about the extraordinary life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the 14th annual program organized by the Afro-American Historical Association of the Niagara Frontier (AAHANF), which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2024. Keynote speaker, Dr. Lillian S. Williams, will discuss how the association’s mission aligns with the life and lessons of Dr. King. Join us for this very special FREE event! For more details, click the link below.

https://buffalohistory.org/event/dr-martin-luther-king-jr-program/

01/05/2024
EXHIBIT LAST CALL: Have you seen our Stained Glass exhibit yet? The Buffalo History Museum is proud to partner with the ...
01/04/2024

EXHIBIT LAST CALL: Have you seen our Stained Glass exhibit yet? The Buffalo History Museum is proud to partner with the Stained Glass Association of America for this beautiful exhibit, On the Shoulders of Giants: Innovation in Stained Glass. This exhibit pays homage to skills honed over generations and to the contemporary artists pushing the boundaries of the medium today. The exhibit will be coming down on January 14th, so make sure to see it before it's gone!

Did you know that the first member of congress to introduce equal pay for equal work legislation was from Buffalo? Congr...
01/03/2024

Did you know that the first member of congress to introduce equal pay for equal work legislation was from Buffalo? Congresswoman Winifred Stanley, who began her term in Washington on this day in 1943, pushed for eliminating gender pay disparities in her 1944 bill and was a champion for women's rights throughout her career. To learn more about Stanley, visit our History Makers II exhibit.

Did you know our Museum is housed inside the last remaining landmark from the 1901 Pan-American Exposition? On this day ...
01/02/2024

Did you know our Museum is housed inside the last remaining landmark from the 1901 Pan-American Exposition? On this day in 1902, the exposition’s former New York State Building was formally transferred to the Buffalo Historical Society, and has remained our home ever since! We’re incredibly honored to share stories from Buffalo’s incredible history inside this beautifully preserved National Historic Landmark. This postcard from our collection shows the New York State Building during the exposition!

Happy 2024, Buffalo! We’re looking forward to a year filled with experiencing history with you. We hope to see you when ...
01/01/2024

Happy 2024, Buffalo! We’re looking forward to a year filled with experiencing history with you. We hope to see you when our doors open on Wednesday, Jan 3rd, at 10am! Until then, Happy New Year!

We’re remembering today the burning of Buffalo, which took place 210 years ago today. British troops retaliated against ...
12/30/2023

We’re remembering today the burning of Buffalo, which took place 210 years ago today. British troops retaliated against Buffalo during the war of 1812 following a U.S. attack on Newark, Canada (present-day Niagara On The Lake). Fire consumed the village as the battle raged during the early hours of the morning. Stop by our Continuum exhibit to learn more about the attack and the aftermath of this harrowing event in our region’s history. This illustration depicts Buffalo, NY, being burned by the British.

Have you ever visited this cozy Inn? The Roycroft Inn first opened in 1905 as part of the Roycroft Campus, founded by El...
12/29/2023

Have you ever visited this cozy Inn? The Roycroft Inn first opened in 1905 as part of the Roycroft Campus, founded by Elbert Hubbard. Located in East Aurora, NY, the Roycroft Inn is still functioning to this day! This picture from our collection is from 1971 and shows the Roycroft Inn dusted in snow. To see more historic images from our collection, check out our online picture store.

https://buffalohistory.smugmug.com/

 ! Who remembers a TV show called "Howdy Doody"? First airing in 1947, the wildly popular children's program starred Buf...
12/28/2023

! Who remembers a TV show called "Howdy Doody"? First airing in 1947, the wildly popular children's program starred Buffalo Bob Smith who was, you guessed it, originally from Buffalo! The showed aired on NBC for 13 years (1947-1960) and even had a cameo in the 1985 classic, "Back to the Future". The show was so popular among children that some of the props from the show were turned into toys, including these puppets from our collection shown here. Browse our database to discover more stories from our collection!

https://buffalohistory.pastperfectonline.com/

Need something fun to do during your holiday break? Stop by The Buffalo History Museum where you and your family can enj...
12/27/2023

Need something fun to do during your holiday break? Stop by The Buffalo History Museum where you and your family can enjoy docent-led tours, crafts, and trivia during your visit to the Museum between December 27-30 from 10am-5pm. Click below to sign up for a docent led tour and if you're a member, don't forget to use code 'MEMBER' to receive a discount! Docent tours start at 11am.

https://buffalohistorymuseum.betterworld.org/events/holiday-guided-tours

First celebrated in 1966, Kwanzaa is the celebration of family, harvest, community, and unity in the African American co...
12/26/2023

First celebrated in 1966, Kwanzaa is the celebration of family, harvest, community, and unity in the African American community. In this picture from our collection you will see a Kwanzaa celebration at the Langston Hughes Cultural Institution in 1984. The banners in the background read Kwanzaa, Kumba, Nia, Ujamaa, Ujima, which are 5 of the seven principles of Kwanzaa What do these mean? To learn more, visit our partners at The African American Cultural Center.

https://www.aaccbuffalo.org/

Merry Christmas, Buffalo! Today we look back at a 1967 photo looking north from Lafayette Square showing Main Street in ...
12/25/2023

Merry Christmas, Buffalo! Today we look back at a 1967 photo looking north from Lafayette Square showing Main Street in the midst of the holidays. We wish you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season!

During this week last year, a once-in-a-generation blizzard paralyzed our region. Earlier this year we asked you to help...
12/22/2023

During this week last year, a once-in-a-generation blizzard paralyzed our region. Earlier this year we asked you to help us document the storm through our Blizzard of '22 Collecting initiative. Check out some of the photos you submitted in this gallery, and visit buffalohistory.org/collecting to view dozens more submissions, and to find out how to share more of your own photos, videos, and written and audio testimonials from the storm.

Did you hear that Forbes just named Buffalo one of the 50 top places to travel in the world in 2024? We were honored to ...
12/21/2023

Did you hear that Forbes just named Buffalo one of the 50 top places to travel in the world in 2024? We were honored to be mentioned in this piece as one of the best reasons to visit Buffalo next year.

“The arts and culture scene in Buffalo has also expanded. To get a lay of the land, check out The Buffalo History Museum, a National Historic Landmark dating back to the 1901 Pan-American Exposition. The interactive exhibits show where this remarkable city has been—and where it’s heading next.” Check it out and plan your visit!

https://www.forbes.com/advisor/credit-cards/travel-rewards/best-places-to-travel/

Happy Holidays, Buffalo! See our holiday hours below and join us next week for the Festive Flashback Family Days, Decemb...
12/20/2023

Happy Holidays, Buffalo! See our holiday hours below and join us next week for the Festive Flashback Family Days, December 27-30th. Bring the whole family and warm up in the festively decorated Buffalo History Museum. With regular admission, enjoy a special winter craft for kids and interactive family activities such as the Artifact Detective Program and Trivia competitions. Plus, experience the Festive Flashback display complete with a Lionel model train and and displays of vintage Fisher-Price toys, old department store boxes, historic images of the holidays in Buffalo, and much more. Receive a guided tour by one of our trained docents and learn some of the fascinating stories behind the artifacts. General admission to the Museum is pay-what-you-wish, and tickets for the guided tour are $13 ($10 for members) and can be purchased online by clicking on the link below or at the front desk.

https://buffalohistorymuseum.betterworld.org/.../holiday...

When the sun rose on Dec 19th, 1813, during the War of 1812, the British captured Fort Niagara. The attack was in retali...
12/19/2023

When the sun rose on Dec 19th, 1813, during the War of 1812, the British captured Fort Niagara. The attack was in retaliation of the American attack on Newark, Canada that occurred on December 10th. The British went on to attack the villages of Youngstown, Lewiston, Black Rock, and even Buffalo. This photo from our collection shows an open entrance to Old Fort Niagara. Learn more about the War of 1812 by visiting our Continuum exhibit.

Tomorrow, Dec 19th, is the LAST DAY for online orders from The Buffalo History Museum shop, so stock up on Stocking Stuf...
12/18/2023

Tomorrow, Dec 19th, is the LAST DAY for online orders from The Buffalo History Museum shop, so stock up on Stocking Stuffers and all Buffalo-themed gifts, including ornaments, books, pennants and ties, at buffalohistory.org/shop. Or shop in person this week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday (closed Christmas Eve.) Happy shopping, Buffalo!

Step back in time through our cozy Festive Flashback Holiday Display! Our “Festive Flashback” features a Lionel model tr...
12/15/2023

Step back in time through our cozy Festive Flashback Holiday Display! Our “Festive Flashback” features a Lionel model train, historic seasonal images of Buffalo, holiday-related artifacts from our collection including vintage Fisher-Price toys, gift boxes from the Buffalo department stores of yesteryear, and much more! The display is located in our board room and will be running now thru Jan 7th.

Did you know that one of the earliest versions of the windshield wiper was invented right here in Buffalo? In 1920, John...
12/14/2023

Did you know that one of the earliest versions of the windshield wiper was invented right here in Buffalo? In 1920, John R. Oishei was granted a patent for the windshield wiper which you can view here. You can also find a Crescent Cleanser, a device Oishei invented to help clear water from windshields, in our Continuum exhibit!

Join us this M&T Third Friday for the opening of our new exhibit. In 1868, artist John Mix Stanley completed his monumen...
12/13/2023

Join us this M&T Third Friday for the opening of our new exhibit. In 1868, artist John Mix Stanley completed his monumental canvas, The Trial of Red Jacket. The nine-by-five foot oil painting features seventy-four figures and is set upon the Buffalo Creek Reservation. Co-curated by Dr. Joe Stahlman, the display will also give background to the Buffalo Creek Reservation during the early nineteenth century. This free exhibit opening is made possible through the generosity of M&T Bank.

Check out this sneak peak of our new exhibit, The Trial of Red Jacket, which debuts this Friday!

Join The Colored Musicians Club & Jazz Museum for the last jam session of 2023! The CMC’s legendary Sunday jam sessions,...
12/12/2023

Join The Colored Musicians Club & Jazz Museum for the last jam session of 2023! The CMC’s legendary Sunday jam sessions, a staple of Buffalo’s music scene since 1935, have moved to The Buffalo History Museum while the historic club undergoes an expansion. This months features Kenny and Wade Hawkins & the All Star Band. Admission is $25 at the door. Doors open at 5:30pm.

Did you ever wonder why there's a bicycle in our Continuum exhibit?  The George N. Pierce company began in 1872 making b...
12/11/2023

Did you ever wonder why there's a bicycle in our Continuum exhibit? The George N. Pierce company began in 1872 making birdcages and other household goods. In 1891, the company produced its first bicycle. As automobiles grew in popularity at the turn of the century, Pierce shifted to producing motorcars. By 1902, there were nearly five-hundred electric, steam, and gasoline-powered vehicles in Buffalo and by the end of the decade, the company changed its name to the Pierce Arrow Motor Car Company. Visit our Continuum exhibit to get a glimpse of this 1901 bicycle!

Introduce your children to Buffalo's history through our Junior History Buffs program. Junior History Buffs engages chil...
12/09/2023

Introduce your children to Buffalo's history through our Junior History Buffs program. Junior History Buffs engages children in age-appropriate history lessons, songs, stories, crafts and games. This month, we will focus on various holiday traditions celebrated in the Buffalo area with a lesson about religious holidays and a holiday-themed craft! Through the sponsorship of M&T Bank, we can offer this program on Third Fridays for FREE. No registration required!

Doors open at 10AM and Circle Time with music, lesson and story starts at 10:30 AM in the Auditorium. Other activities like crafts and games will take place from 10AM-2PM.

Happy Hanukkah to all those who celebrate! In this picture, Rabbi Noson Gurary, founder of Buffalo's Chabad Student Cent...
12/08/2023

Happy Hanukkah to all those who celebrate! In this picture, Rabbi Noson Gurary, founder of Buffalo's Chabad Student Center, looks on in Lafayette Square as Leonard Rochwarger, civic leader and former U.S. ambassador to Fiji, lights the first Hanukkah candle on a 27-foot-high menorah to begin the eight-day festival celebrating religious freedom.

Who remembers holiday shopping along Main Street downtown? This image from our collection shows Main Street during the h...
12/07/2023

Who remembers holiday shopping along Main Street downtown? This image from our collection shows Main Street during the holiday season in 1957. Prominent Buffalo retailers Adam, Meldrum and Anderson Company and Kobacker’s are both within view, which looks south towards Church Street. Browse for more historic Buffalo images in our picture store! https://buffalohistory.smugmug.com/

Join us on M&T Third Friday for the opening of our new exhibit. In 1868, artist John Mix Stanley completed his monumenta...
12/06/2023

Join us on M&T Third Friday for the opening of our new exhibit. In 1868, artist John Mix Stanley completed his monumental canvas, The Trial of Red Jacket. Co-curated by Dr. Joe Stahlman, the display will also give background to the Buffalo Creek Reservation during the early nineteenth century. This free exhibit opening on our upper level is made possible through the generosity of M&T Bank.

On this day in 1933, Prohibition was repealed! Buffalonians flooded their local watering holes to celebrate the end of t...
12/05/2023

On this day in 1933, Prohibition was repealed! Buffalonians flooded their local watering holes to celebrate the end of the 18th Amendment, as this image from our collection of an unnamed tavern from that evening shows. At the Buffalo History Museum, we are proud to partner with Community Beer Works for our events! Which local bar or brewery is your favorite?

You may have heard of Buffalo's Paul Robeson Theatre, but do you know the story of the man it's named after? Paul Robeso...
12/04/2023

You may have heard of Buffalo's Paul Robeson Theatre, but do you know the story of the man it's named after? Paul Robeson was known best as a singer, actor, international civil rights advocate, and a published author. Although he achieved great fame, McCarthy-era investigations ultimately took their toll on his career. On this day in 1940, he performed at Buffalo’s recently-opened Kleinhans Music Hall. His voice and legacy inspired many, including the founders of our city’s Paul Robeson Theatre, which opened in 1968 and showcases the talents of African-American playwrights, producers, actors and directors.

On this day in 1853, the city of Tonawanda was incorporated! Tonawanda, meaning either "swift waters"  or “confluent str...
12/03/2023

On this day in 1853, the city of Tonawanda was incorporated! Tonawanda, meaning either "swift waters" or “confluent stream,” was first named by our region’s indigenous communities. This picture from our collection shows an aerial view of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda ca 1950. Want to see more historic images? Visit our online picture store! https://buffalohistory.smugmug.com/

Address

One Museum Court
Buffalo, NY
14216

Opening Hours

Wednesday 10am - 8pm
Thursday 10am - 5pm
Friday 10am - 5pm
Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 10am - 5pm

Telephone

(716) 873-9644

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