Buffalo’s amusement parks of the 1910s

By Steve Cichon

Buffalo’s biggest and most lusted-after amusement parks were heavily advertised in the pages of The News 110 years ago.

Buffalonians older than 40 are likely to remember dreaming about Crystal Beach themselves. Buffalonians older than 70 might even remember riding the steamers Canadiana and Americana to get there.

You’d be hard pressed, however, to find a living Buffalonian who remembers the big amusement park that was within city bounds.

Carnival Court, later known as Athletic Park, was a Crystal Beach-like experience but was only a streetcar’s ride away, at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Main Street. A fire destroyed much of the park, and it was torn down and replaced by a Sears & Roebuck store. That Sears building still stands as Canisius College’s Science Hall.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon is a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. writing about the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The storyteller and historian has written six books, worn bow ties since the 80s, and is the News Director at WECK Radio. A 25 year Buffalo media veteran, Steve's contributed more than 1400 Buffalo History stories to The Buffalo News, worked at WIVB-TV, Empire Sports Network, and spent ten years as a newsman and News Director at WBEN Radio. He's also put his communication skills to work as an adjunct professor, a producer of PBS documentaries, and even run for Erie County Clerk. Steve's Buffalo roots run deep: all eight of his great-grandparents called Buffalo home, with his first ancestors arriving here in 1827.