From 1880 to Today: Harvey & Wallace carriage makers

       By Steve Cichon

Harvey & Wallace was a maker of custom carriages in Buffalo starting in 1855, and by 1878, it was the rapidly growing city’s largest and oldest manufacturer of sleighs, carriages and wagons “in all the practical styles.”

When Robert A. Wallace died in 1878, John C. Harvey continued operating the firm as the Harvey Carriage Co.

Harvey & Wallace ad. 1870.

Eight years after Wallace died, his family was still bickering over his estate because the will he had told many people about was nowhere to be found. A sensation was caused when Wallace’s body was exhumed, and the missing will was found “amongst the relics of mortality” in a suit pocket.

When Harvey died in 1891, the business was still going strong, but with the advent and growing popularity of the automobile, business died out for the heirs of Harvey’s Carriage Co. just after the turn of the century.

The business’ earliest address was on Lock Street, which no longer exists (along with the Erie Canal that the street name was associated with). A few steps in either direction, however, took you to Terrace or Erie streets — both of which survive today.

1871 map.

The spot where Harvey & Wallace stood is now a bit of a no man’s land directly behind the studios of WNED-TV and WBFO Radio, between the elevated I-190 and the ramp up at the beginning of the Skyway.

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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.