Buffalo in 1905: Shopping for a Christmas turkey

       By Steve Cichon

The turkey selection was grand at the Elk Street Market a few days before Christmas in 1905.

“Turkeys are plentiful but rather high in price,” reported The Buffalo Times.

The Shriners were there 113 years ago, loading up their automobiles to help make Christmas dinner better for more than 1,000 families.

At the time, the Elk Street Market was “the largest fruit and garden truck market in the United States.” The traffic in commodities sold rivaled any similar market on the continent.

The Elk Street Market stood on a site that is now mostly covered by the Buffalo Creek Casino.

The part of Elk Street where the market stood is now South Park Avenue. Elk Street once ran from Seneca Street almost to the foot of Main Street. In her blog about Buffalo Streets, Angela Keppel writes that in 1939, South Buffalo businessmen thought it would be a good idea to have a street that runs from South Buffalo to downtown. Elk Street was one of five streets that was carved up to create South Park Avenue.

The same photo essay shows Christmas dinner in the jail, with carolers entertaining from above, and children at the West Side’s School 3 decorating a Christmas tree.

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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.