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 at 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.

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, May 10

Buffalo Broadcast Pioneers incorporated, 1999

St. Paul's Cathedral heavily damaged by fire, 1888

St Paul's Cathedral, 128 Pearl St, Buffalo, NY 14202, United States

Architect Edward B. Green born, 1855

Utica, NY

Architect John H. Coxhead born,1863

Fort Lee, NJ

St. John family moves into its house on Main Street, 1810

437 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14203, USA

Tuesday, May 11

University at Buffalo chartered, 1846

McArthur Block collapses, 1874

Main near Eagle

Bethlehem Steel buys Lackawanna Steel, 1922

Lackawanna, NY, USA

Former President Grover Cleveland attends Banquet, 1891

Buffalo Central Labor Union is Organized, 1884

Wednesday, May 12

Angola Horror train wreck, 1867

Angola, NY 14006, USA

Erie County Farm Bureau incorporated, 1955

W.E.B. DuBois speaks at NAACP meeting, Buffalo branch, 1922

First Shiloh Baptist Church, 15 Pine St, Buffalo, NY 14204, USA

Thursday, May 13

Buffalo Gas Light Company incorporated, 1845

Colored Musicians Club incorporated, 1935

Tonawanda Community House dedicated, 1939

Tonawanda Reservation, Tonawanda, NY, USA

President Barack Obama tours Industrial Support Co., 2010

Board of Directors approves Rumsey Farm as site of the Pan-American Exposition, 1899

Friday, May 14

City Hall cornerstone laid, 1930

Niagara Square

Federal Reserve Bank building opens, 1957

Delaware & Huron, now New Era Cap Co. headquarters

WGRZ-TV begins broadcasting, 1954

Erie Railroad opens, 1851

Colored Musicians Club incorporated, 1935

145 Broadway, Buffalo, NY 14203, USA

League of Women Voters of Buffalo incorporated, 1958

City of Buffalo adopts official flag, 1924

Architect Richard A. Waite born, 1848

London, England

WBEN-TV Begins Operations, 1948

WBEN, first TV station in Buffalo, begins broadcasting, 1948

WIVB, 2077 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14207, USA

Death of Ezra "Pancho Billa" Castro, super Bills fan, 2019