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.

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.

Construction Update at the Museum

2021 has been an exciting year here at the Museum! The current phase of restoration under our portico is almost complete! In order to complete this restoration, we will be closed August 4 through August 7.

You can explore our digital collections, programs, and more in the meantime here on our website. Thank you for understanding and we can’t wait to show you our newly restored space!

Visiting the Museum

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 kreed@buffalohistory.org 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.

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.

Let's stay connected.

The Buffalo History Museum takes the safety, well-being, preserving, and advancement of our community to be of the utmost priority. For information regarding current events including support of Black Lives Matter, COVID-19, and resources, please visit our Community Updates page.

Want to contribute to preserving history as it unfolds? Consider donating photos, journals, and more to our Chronicling COVID-19 collection!

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.

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.

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.

View Full Calendar

On This Day In Buffalo

Monday, August 2

Universalist Church cornerstone laid, 1864

Main Street

St. Anthony of Padua Church dedicated, 1891

18th U.S. Golf Open is held at Country Club of Buffalo, 1912

The Country Club of Buffalo, 250 Youngs Rd, Buffalo, NY 14221, USA

St. Joseph's Male Orphan Asylum (Father Baker's) incorporated, 1851

Lackawanna, NY, USA

Iroquois Hotel opens, 1889

345 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14203, USA

Former President Theodore Roosevelt visits Buffalo, 1915

Tuesday, August 3

St. Anthony of Padua cornerstone laid, 1891

160 Court St., Buffalo, NY

Battle of Black Rock, 1814

Vicinity of Niagara & Ferry

First professional baseball game, 1877

Former Prospect Skating Club onNiagara St. between Vermont & Rhode Island

AC/DC performs in Buffalo, 1996

Memorial Auditorium

Jacob Dold Packing Co, incorporated, 1888

Funeral of Father Nelson Baker, 1936

Our Lady of Victory Basilica, 767 Ridge Rd, Buffalo, NY 14218, USA

Iroquois Hotel opens, 1889

Main Street & Eagle Street, Main St & Eagle St, Buffalo, NY 14203, USA

Midway Day at the Pan-American Exposition, 1901

Grain elevator workers go on strike, 1950

Wednesday, August 4

First Chautauqua Assembly held, 1874

Chautauqua Institution

Thursday, August 5

Knights of Columbus hold convention in Buffalo, 1919

Father Baker's Orphan Asylum incorporated, 1851

National Mustard Day

Giuseppe Creatore and his band play at Convention Hall, 1903

Friday, August 6

Spire on St. Paul's Cathedral completed, 1870

Woodlawn Rowhouses destroyed by fire, 2009

Woodlawn St.

Lucille Ball born, 1911

Jamestown, NY 14701, USA

Charles Stephens dies in oak barrel plunge over Niagara Falls, 1920

New York State Building dedicated, 1901

Pan-American Exposition

World Wide Web introduced to the world, 1991

Buffalonian William Kemmler becomes first man to die in electric chair, 1890

Auburn Correctional Facility, 135 State St, Auburn, NY 13024, USA

Cornell-Ithaca Day at the Pan-American Exposition, 1901

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