Experiencing history with you

by remembering, discovering, and sharing our stories; sparking emotional and social connections within our unique community.

1872 Hopkins Atlas Plate

1872


A map of buildings and owners in what we know as Canalside today. In 1872, when this map was made, Buffalo’s canal district was a dense, roiling center of commerce, industry, transportation, immigration, wealth, poverty, crime, and disease.

Red Jacket Medal

1792


Peace medal presented to Seneca orator Red Jacket by President George Washington in Philadelphia in 1792. The medal bears symbolic imagery of peaceful coexistence between the United States and Native Americans.

Experiencing history with you...let’s stay connected.

The Buffalo History Museum takes the health of our staff, volunteers, guests, and community as top priority. As a preventative measure in light of recent developments regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Museum, Research Library, and Museum Shop will be physically closed effective immediately until further notice. All public programs and events from now until further notice are also canceled or postponed.

While this was not a decision made lightly, the safety of our community comes first coupled with the guidelines and recommendations provided by health officials.

Continue exploring our region’s unique history through our digital resources and information, including issues of our newsletter, digital archival projects, and highlights from our collection. Additionally, we will continue to share artifacts, information, and more on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Future updates, including potential closing extensions or cancellations, will be reflected here on our website and social media. We thank you for your support during this time and wish all wellness and safety.

COVID-19: Helpful Community Resources & Information

  • The Erie County Department of Health website has advisories, FAQs, and important local updates. They also offer a COVID-19 Information Line: (716) 858-2929 (M-F, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
  • New York State Department of Health offers Coronavirus Hotline: 1-888-364-3065
  • For national updates from the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) visit their website.
  • Learn about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), prevention, and how it spreads on the CDC website.
  • If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, Erie County Department of Health website offers resources.

Our gratitude to leadership at the City of Buffalo, County of Erie, State of New York, and to the patriot workforce that continues to work tirelessly to support our community.

Apostolic Clock

1881


An iconic timepiece created over the span of 35 years as a passion project by local engineer Myles Hughes. Before his death in 1923, he donated it to The Buffalo History Museum to be shared with the community. Like many late 19th century monumental clocks, its design was inspired by the Strasbourg Cathedral Clock of 1842. Apostles parade around Jesus every half hour with Peter turning his back to Jesus.

Pan-Am Night Scene Panoramic

1901


In 1901 when the Pan-American Exposition opened, the sheer volume and color of electric lights, designed to be experienced after dark, was a new experience for Americans. This view, looking north from the Triumphal Bridge, includes the Temple of Music, Machinery and Transportation Buildings, Court of Fountains, Electric Tower, Manufactures Building, Liberal Arts and Ethnology Building, and part of the Government Building.

Evelyn Rumsey Cary Suffrage Poster

1905


This poster was a favorite of the women’s suffrage movement. Created by Evelyn Rumsey Cary (1855-1924) of Buffalo, it is an elegant example of Art Nouveau graphic design, depicting a female figure transformed into a fruit tree. The building behind her may be based on the east façade of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

Iver-Johnson Revolver

ca. 1901


Iver-Johnson, 32 caliber, nickel plated revolver used by Leon Czolgosz to assassinate President William McKinley outside the Temple of Music at the Pan American Exposition.

Grover Cleveland’s Cake Box & Cake

1886


Cake box given as a wedding favor to the guests of the wedding of President Grover Cleveland to Frances Folsom in the White House on June 2, 1886. Inside the box there is still a portion of the dark cake that was given to the guests.

Help keep our history alive.

When you support The Buffalo History Museum, you make inspiration and discovery happen. Ensure that the stories of today and the past are preserved and accessible for generations to come.

Make a Donation

Pony Coat

1919–1920


This overcoat belonged to Henry J. Miller. He was very close with his horse, Skip, and when Skip passed away in 1919, Henry had him made into this overcoat.

Larkin Photo in Atrium


The Larkin Administration Building was the first major commercial commission in Frank Lloyd Wright’s career. The central court shown here provided natural light to all five floors. The Larkin Building was demolished in 1950.

Scott Norwood Helmet

1985–1991


Scott Norwood’s only helmet worn in Super Bowl XXV, SB XXVI, Pro Bowl, regular season and playoff games from 1985-1991. It is part of the Greg D. Tranter Collection of Buffalo Bills Memorabilia.

Get Involved

There are many ways to become involved with the Museum. Two of the most popular ways are by becoming a member or volunteering.

Members support the Museum with an annual fee that includes perks such as free admission, discounted admission to programs, invitations to members-only events, and more

Volunteers help with fundraising events, providing guided museum tours, and cataloging artifacts.

Membership  |  Volunteer

Winifred Stanley Poster

1942


Pioneering attorney Winifred Stanley (1909-1996), who grew up in Buffalo and earned her law degree from the University at Buffalo, was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1942. In 1944, she introduced the first equal pay legislation in American history. She is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Tonawanda. Donated by Mary Louise Stanley.

Automaton

Ca. 1895


This is Madame Le Doll, an automaton imported from a doll show in Paris and was the highlight of the Great Buffalo Doll Show in 1895. With a turn of a key, Madame Le Doll turns her head, fans herself, twirls her parasol, breathes, and winks.

Mary Talbert Portrait

1929


Portrait of Mary Burnett Talbert (1866-1923) by G. Gonzalez, a civil rights activist, educator, and WWI Red Cross nurse. Talbert was a tireless worker for human rights in the late 19th and early 20th century and is perhaps best remembered for laying the foundations for the passage of the Dyer Anti-Lynch Bills.

View Full Calendar

On This Day In Buffalo

Monday, March 30

WNED-TV begins broadcasting, 1959

Hotel Henry ribbon cutting, 2017

Richardson-Olmsted Complex

Tolls end for telephone calls within Buffalo & Erie County, 1963

Author David Sedaris give a reading, 2001

Rockwell Hall, 1300 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222, USA

Death of Abigail Fillmore, first wife of Millard, 1853

Death of Buffalo poet Robert Creeley, 2005

Odessa, TX, USA

Tuesday, March 31

Cleveland Hill school annex fire, 1954

Cheektowaga, NY, USA

John W. Cowper construction company incorporated, 1915

Wednesday, April 1

Buffalo Urban League incorporated, 1929

Theater owner Michael Shea born, 1859

Elvis Presley performs in the Aud, 1957

Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority takes over the Niagara Frontier Transit system, 1974

Merriweather Branch Library opens, 2006

Jefferson & Utica

Tonawanda Daily News begins publishing, 1880

Cecil W. Mackenzie becomes Buffalo's first telephone operator, 1879

Buffalo becomes first free school system in NY, 1839

Thursday, April 2

County of Erie established, 1821

Taken from NIigara County

Town of Colden established, 1827

Kleinhans Company incorporated, 1917

Buffalo incorporated as a village, 1813

Equal Pay Day

Depew Improvement Co. incorporated, 1892

Lancaster, NY, USA

Friday, April 3

First manned flight occurs in Buffalo, 1910

Country Club of Buffalo, Main & Bailey

Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority established, 1934

First motorized fire apparatus bought by Buffalo Fire Dept, 1912

Death of Adam Plewacki, 1918

First Buffalonian killed in action in World War I