Buffalo in the ’40s: SharkGirl marks the spot where steamers left from Buffalo

By Steve Cichon

The Canadiana, and its trips to Crystal Beach from the foot of Main Street are well remembered around Western New York.

Perhaps not as well remembered were the luxury steamers that would pick up passengers right around the spot where people now pose with “SharkGirl,” and take them across the Great Lakes to places like Detroit, Cleveland and Chicago.

Shark Girl currently sits on the site of Memorial Auditorium, number 4 in this 1940s photo. There’s a passenger ship docked at the current site of the Naval Park. A generation earlier, the docks extended up the Commercial Slip– which was filled in by the time this photo was taken, but was re-watered as a part of the development of Canalside. (Buffalo Stories archives)

Both of these ads were in The Buffalo Evening News in July, 1940, and both offer Buffalonians the chance to travel via the Great Lakes.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.