Back to School 1960: New schools debut in Cheektowaga, Orchard Park, Amherst

By Steve Cichon

Fifty-five years ago this week, The News’ special back-to-school section featured articles on the latest in education inside and outside of the classroom, and, of course, plenty of back-to-school ads.

Children around Western New York were getting ready to start in new schools that are still in use today.

The new Cheektowaga High School opened on a still mostly rural Union Road in 1960. (Buffalo Stories archives)

Maple Road was also more rural than it is today in 1960. When St. Gregory The Great opened that fall, the parish’s current largest neighbor– Milliard Fillmore Suburban Hospital– was not yet built. (Buffalo Stories archives)

Opened as Orchard Park Junior High School in 1960, the building was enlarged in 1976 and it has been the home of Orchard Park High School ever since. (Buffalo Stories archives)

Buffalo in the 90s: Three Plymouths are selling for less than $10k at Cheektowaga’s South Union

By Steve Cichon

South Union Chrysler Plymouth was at the corner of Union and Losson roads in Cheektowaga. Its main building has been replaced by a drug store, and across the streets, the space that was its lots are now McDonalds and Tim Hortons.

Twenty-five years ago, the Horizon, Sundance and Acclaim — Plymouth’s versions of the Dodge Omni, Shadow and Spirit — were all on that lot for under $10,000.

Buffalo in the 50s: The opening of Thruway Plaza

By Steve Cichon

Thirty-five years ago this month, The News began celebrating the 100th anniversary of the paper starting a daily edition.

In the special section called One Hundred Years of Finance and Commerce, The News recounted the history of a handful of Buffalo’s financial and commercial industries and provided ad space for many companies involved in those industries to tout their own contributions.

Easily the forerunner of indoor mall shopping in Western New York, the Thruway Plaza opened in 1952, a decade before Buffalo’s first covered mall, the Bouvelard Mall, opened its doors.

Thruway Plaza was enclosed to become Thruway Mall in 1974, but the shopping center fell on hard times when it began losing shoppers and tenants to the Walden Galleria Mall, only a mile away, starting in 1989.

Buffalo in the 80s: Where did WNY families dine in the mid-1980s?

By Steve Cichon

Buffalo’s children of the ’80s have memories of a list of “fine-dining” institutions that are mostly different than the family eateries of today.

From the pages of The Buffalo News on March 30, 1985, here are some restaurants where a family might have eaten.

The Harvest House Cafeteria was inside Woolworth’s at the Eastern Hills Mall. Was it your family’s alternative to the York Steak House there?

Ja-Fa-Fa Hots spent 60 years on Harlem Road at the 33 Expressway in Cheektowaga. Ja-Fa-Fa served up Malecki hotdogs 30 years ago.

Kids loved to help make their parents’ coffee at Lum’s, which featured cream poured from cow-shaped dispensers. Both the Canterbury and the Cloister were probably more for adults than kids, but they were certainly special-event restaurants for many families.


Grandma’s Pancakes had two locations, one in West Seneca in the current Pasquales’s location, the other in the former Gleason’s on Main Street– across from what is now the Buffalo Medical Campus.

Peanut shells on the floor. What else do you need to say about the seven area Ground Round locations?



Wild & Vicious 1960s Cheektowaga Street Gangs

By Steve Cichon | | @stevebuffalo

BUFFALO, NY – Seriously.  In September, 1960, Western New York faced a new kind of problem, namely Cheektowaga street hoodlums.

“Let this serve as a warning to other rowdies… we’ll throw them in the pot.”

This story originally appeared on

Buffalo in the 40’s: This is not Cheektowaga

By Steve Cichon

Um, no?

Buffalo Stories archives

The postcard company obviously put the wrong image on this 1949 postcard. The only mountains in Cheektowaga are made by the old clothes and sneakers left in the mall parking lot by Canadian shoppers.

Reformatted & Updated pages from finding a new home at
Reformatted & Updated pages from finding a new home at