Parkside Goes to War, 1812

Erastus Granger had been at Flint Hill less than a decade; the Plains Rangers less than five years when the War of 1812 broke out. The Parkside/Flint Hill area played several prominent roles in that conflict.  Flint Hill was an encampment and training ground for soldiers preparing to invade Canada. It was also a sanctuary … Continue reading Parkside Goes to War, 1812

The First Parksiders: the rough-and-tumble Plains Rangers

Just north of Granger’s place (now Forest Lawn cemetery) along Main Street was the area known as “The Buffalo Plains;” its inhabitants known as “The Plains Rangers.”  This wily group of frontiersmen– most of them veterans of the Revolutionary War– and their families settled and built farms along Main Street. Their homes were generally close … Continue reading The First Parksiders: the rough-and-tumble Plains Rangers

When Parkside was the Rugged Frontier

Long before European men tread through what is today known as Parkside, portions of the area were sacred to the Seneca Nation and their fellow members of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) League of Indian Nations. Judging by the archaeological evidence, even long before the Senecas arrived in this part of Western New York, the Erie tribe … Continue reading When Parkside was the Rugged Frontier

Elephants roaming Parkside… Really!

On my way to church Sunday morning, I was making the right onto Jewett Parkway from Parkside Avenue, and there they were– the elephants from the zoo were eating maple tree branches right off the trees on the edge of the Buffalo Zoo parking lot! The handlers say the “helicopters” on the maple trees are … Continue reading Elephants roaming Parkside… Really!

Dad made candy taste better with “And don’t tell your mother.”

My ol’man loved giving a kid a candy bar or a buck or an ice cream. Sure, us kids, but really any kid– especially if they weren’t expecting it. “Don’t tell your mother,” he’d say, sneaking it to you on the backhand no matter who your mother was, and even if there was no need … Continue reading Dad made candy taste better with “And don’t tell your mother.”

Tollgate removal opens up new sections of the city

The people of Western New York have been fighting tolls on roads for about as long as there have been roads. In 1797, early Western New York pioneers began hacking through the wilderness along an ancient Native American trail to create what we now call Main Street, starting at Buffalo Harbor and running to Batavia. … Continue reading Tollgate removal opens up new sections of the city

Remembering Burt Reynolds in Buffalo

Burt Reynolds spent time in Buffalo during the shooting of “Best Friends” in 1982. He happened to be in Buffalo for a bit of history. Reynolds and his co-star Goldie Hawn were at the Aud when Wayne Gretzky broke Phil Esposito’s single season goals record. Along with Oilers GM Glen Sather, Gretzky, Hawn, Reynolds and … Continue reading Remembering Burt Reynolds in Buffalo

Torn-Down Tuesday: the Farmstead, built for Buffalo parks’ superintendent

Frederick Law Olmsted’s lesser-known partner in “Olmsted & Vaux” was Calvert Vaux, who designed many of the Buffalo park system’s early buildings and structures, including the Farmstead, which was built in 1875 “to be used as a residence and office by the General Superintendent” of the parks. The house and barns stood in what is … Continue reading Torn-Down Tuesday: the Farmstead, built for Buffalo parks’ superintendent

History at Main & Jewett: The Chapins, The Jewetts, and the Willow Lawn Subdivision

Willow Lawn is a short street with a long history. Like the rest of the southern two-thirds of Parkside, the properties on Willow Lawn were once a part of newspaper publisher Elam Jewett’s Willow Lawn farm and estate, most of which was sold in part to the city for Delaware Park and in part to … Continue reading History at Main & Jewett: The Chapins, The Jewetts, and the Willow Lawn Subdivision