Tag Archives: Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society

Buffalo: Millard Fillmore Remembered

Col. John Higgins, the Vice Commander of the New York Air National Guard’s 107th Airlift Wing laid a wreath at the gravesite of President Millard Fillmore at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo on behalf of President Barak Obama last Friday

Fillmore, the 13th President of the United States, was a co-founder of the University at Buffalo and the school’s first chancellor. The university has conducted a memorial ceremony annually since 1937.

The United States Military honors former presidents by laying wreaths sent by the current president at their gravesites on the anniversary of their birth.

The New York Army and Air National Guard traditionally conduct the wreath layings at the graves of President Chester A. Arthur in Menands, Albany County- President Martin Van Buren in Kinderhook, Columbia County- and Fillmore.

Born on Jan. 7, 1800, Fillmore was instrumental in founding the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society, the Buffalo Club and the Buffalo General Hospital. His activities also led to the creation of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy and the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences.

Some historians credit the former teacher, postmaster, lawyer and member of Congress with establishing the White House Library. During his administration the United States opened trade relations with Japan and California was admitted to the union. He died on March 8, 1874.

The 107th Airlift Wing, which is based at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, operates C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft in support of United States military operations worldwide. Individual Airmen also deploy regularly to locations around the world.

Photo: Col. Jim McReady, commander of the 107th Airlift Wing, presented the wreath at the Millard Fillmore grave in 2011.

1841 Wreck of the Steamship Erie Event

Alvin F. Oickle, author of Disaster on the Potomac, Disaster in Lawrence, and Disaster at Dawn, will be on hand at Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society on Thursday, May 19, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. to sign copies of his new book on a historic Lake Erie disaster.

On August 9, 1841, the steamship Erie, one of the most elegant and fastest sailing vessels between Buffalo and Chicago, departed, carrying 343 passengers. Many were Swiss and German immigrants, planning to start new lives in America’s heartland- most never made it. The Erie erupted in flames during the night, and, despite the heroic efforts of the crew of the Dewitt Clinton, 254 lives were lost.

As news of this disaster spread, internationally renowned artists and writers, including Horatio Alger Jr. and possibly James Fenimore Cooper, wrote about &#8216-John Maynard,’ a fictitious, heroic helmsman.

May Day Family Day at Buffalo & Erie Historical

On Sunday, May 1, from 1 to 4 pm, the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society, 25 Nottingham Court, Buffalo, will host their first 2011 Family Day, presented with support from Northwest Buffalo Community Center. All ages are welcome and the grand opening of the newly refurbished Pioneer Life Gallery will be featured.

Visitors may watch and/or join students from the Aurora Waldorf School in a historic May Pole jig &#8212- the traditional May Pole dance ends up with ribbons festively woven around the pole. Additional entertainment and activities will also include: historic blacksmith and weaver demonstrations- pony rides- celebrate spring- learn about the historic May Day celebration- period arts and crafts for all ages- face painting- museum tours- local vendor tables.

Tickets are $5/member, $10/non-member. Adults are free with children’s paid admission. Adults unaccompanied by children (all are welcome) are also $5/member, $10/non-member.

Buffalo: Through Their Eyes Exhibit

In collaboration with Journey’s End Refugee Services and CEPA Gallery, Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society presents &#8220Buffalo: Through Their Eyes,&#8221 photography by international refugees living in Buffalo.

For their silver anniversary, Journey’s End asked recently arrived refugees to document the experience of adjusting to life as Buffalo’s newest residents. The participants received disposable cameras and training from CEPA Gallery. Their resulting images, reminiscent of early photographs of the ancestors of fellow Buffalonians, capture intimate moments in their homes, workplaces, communities- in essence the details of &#8220their&#8221 Buffalo.

Twenty-five images from the &#8220Buffalo: Through Their Eyes&#8221 project will be displayed from Friday, April 1 to Sunday, June 26, in the Historical Society’s Community Gallery. Admission to the gallery is free with paid museum admission.

There will be an opening reception, which is free and open to the public, on Sunday, April 3 from 12 to 5 pm.

Buffalo and Erie Co. Historical Seeks Volunteers

The Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society is seeking docent tour guides, volunteers for community outreach programs, assistants for special events and research team members. Those interested in learning more about the programs can take part in a free orientation and training sessions this spring.

The dates are Saturdays, April 9, 16, 23, or Saturdays, May 7, 14, 21 &#8212- each session starts at 10 am and goes until 2 pm. Attendees should bring a lunch. Each session will provide guided tours of exhibits by museum education staff.

April 9 & May 7: Training in &#8220Fact, Fiction & Spectacle: The Trial of Red Jacket&#8221 exhibit, Native American Gallery

April 16 & May 14: Pioneer Gallery, Street of Shops exhibit, architecture of the museum building

April 23 & May 21: Neighbors, Road to Freedom, Bflo Made exhibits

Volunteers and tour guides may be college students or older- and should have flexible schedules. There is an ongoing need for weekday tour guides.

To register, contact Tara Lyons, Program Manager, at 873-9644 x311 or bechsedu@bechs.org. For more information, see www.buffalohistory.org.

Photo: Buffalo and Erie Volunteers.

Exhibit: African American Womens Literary Societies

&#8220They Kept Their Word: African American Women’s Literary Societies and Their Legacy&#8221 is a fascinating new exhibit that has opened at the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society. The exhibit traces the development and influence of African Americans in Buffalo, particularly with regard to women’s efforts to improve their economic and intellectual conditions.

The remarkable growth and accomplishments that took place in the Buffalo area during the 1830s and 1840s were due to many factors, including expansion of communication through transportation, newspapers, pamphlets, study groups, and lecture series.


Photo: Mary Church Terrell was an influential African American woman in Buffalo in the 1900s. Photo provided.

Buffalo and Erie Receives Re-Accreditation

The Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society has announced that it achieved re-accreditation by the American Association of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums.

The Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society was initially accredited in 1974, and re-accredited in ’86 and ’99. All accredited museums undergo re-accreditation reviews approximately every 10 years to maintain that status.

Of the nation’s estimated 17,500 museums, 775 are currently accredited. The Historical Society is one of only 63 museums accredited in the state of New York, out of an estimated 900.

AAM’s Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, then considers the self-study and visiting committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation. While the time to complete the process varies, it generally takes up to three years.

&#8220Accreditation is emblematic of an institution’s commitment to public service and to overall excellence,&#8221 said Ford W. Bell, AAM president. &#8220Attaining accreditation involves taking a hard look at yourself, allowing your peers in the field to do the same, and being judged to be superior in all areas. The people of Buffalo and the Western New York region can take great pride in the fact that their local institution is one of America’s premier museums.&#8221

Buffalo And Erie Offers B-Movie Series

The Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society, in collaboration with the Buffalo B-Movie Series, announces &#8220Movie Tuesdays,&#8221 a five-month schedule of Tuesday night screenings &#8212- a movie a month now through March of 2011.

B-Movie co-founder Scott Washburn brings his cinematic curatorial sensibilities and mind for mischief to the History Museum, which will host the film’s screenings in their 150-seat auditorium. Doors open at 7, films start at 7:30. Admission is $5 for BECHS members, $8 general.

Schedule

Tuesday, November 30, 2010: &#8220The Fall of the House of Usher&#8221 (1933)
Directed by Juan Epstein. A brilliant silent interpretation of the Poe classic.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010: &#8220Scrooge&#8221 (1933)
The first known film version of Charles Dickens’ beloved classic, starring Seymour Hicks.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011: &#8220M, Eine stadt sucht einen moerder&#8221 (1934)
A Fritz Lang film. A child-killer is captured and tried by the city street people when the police fail to catch him. Starring Peter Lorre, in his first major film role.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011: &#8220A Trip to the Moon&#8221 (1902) & &#8220The House of Usher&#8221 (1928)
The only double-bill of the series. &#8220A Trip to the Moon&#8221 (French: Le Voyage dans la lune) is a short, silent, science-fiction film by Georges Melies. &#8220The House of Usher&#8221 is a Dadaist short version of Poe’s classic tale- a gorgeous, surrealist visual interpretation.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011: &#8220The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari&#8221 (1920)
Director Robert Wiene brings us the first modern horror film. It’s gone on to influence a number of contemporary productions. A real classic!

About The Buffalo B-Movie Series

Since 2008, the Buffalo B-Movie Series has been screening the best of the worst (and sometimes the worst of the worst) films it can find, in a variety of locations. Its fans and audiences appreciate scripts that even infamously bad directors like John Waters and Ed Wood passed up. Some of the movies screened are so bad that they appear to possibly have had no script at all. (N.B. &#8220The Creeping Terror&#8221 and &#8220Manos &#8212- Hands of Fate.&#8221) Or, in the case of &#8220The Creeping Terror,&#8221 which lost its original dialogue &#8211are entertaining by virtue of some of the most hilarious dubbing on the planet.

B & E Society Offers Annual Train Day

The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society will hold its annual &#8216-Train Day’ on Friday, November 26 from 1-4pm. This day-after-Thanksgiving Buffalo tradition will feature the Museum’s Model Train diorama in action and running all day long.

There will also be family, children and all-age activities such as designing train-art paintings, story-time, artifact scavenger hunts, museum tours, and live folk music. All activities are included with regular museum admission.

Since 1990, the Historical Society’s Model Train Display has been cared for by a dedicated group of volunteers known as the Rail Barons. The diorama represents early 20th century Buffalo. Many important landmarks are included in miniature &#8212- such as the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural site (still in existence) and the Academy of Music (sadly, no longer around).

The display contains more than 100 handcrafted buildings, 450 people and animals, 400 trees, and over 300 feet of model railroad tracks. The diorama is composed of approximately 150 pounds of plaster and 100 different colors of paint.

Buffalo, Erie Co Historical to Host Book Signing, Sale

The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society presents its annual Local Author/Buffalo Book-Signing on Saturday, Nov. 27 from noon to 2 p.m. at the History Museum, located at 25 Nottingham Court at Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo.

The event, designed for shoppers looking for personalized gifts in a relaxed atmosphere, features over 20 local authors selling and signing their books. The wide range of publications-including cookbooks, neighborhood, regional and military history, novels and coffee-table books-makes this a perfect opportunity to shop for a variety of tastes.

This year’s event includes the following authors:

* Jim Arnone, Central Park, Buffalo, New York: A Neighborhood of History and Tradition (exclusively at BECHS!)

* Dr. Joseph Bieron, Postcard Views, Orchard Park

* Evelyn Brady, Peaceprints

* Steve Cichon, The Complete History of Parkside

* Gary Costello & Douglas Kohler, Hull Family Home & Homestead: A Bicentennial Celebration

* Lorna Czarnota, Legends, Lore and Secrets of Western New York

* Mark Donnelly, The Fine Art of Capturing Buffalo, Frozen Assets: The Beautiful Truth About Western New York’s Fourth Season

* John Edson, Hamburg: 1910-1970, Hamburg Revisited

* Julianna Fiddler-Woite, Snyder: A Brief History, WNY and the Gilded Age

* Catherine Gildiner, After the Falls: Coming of Age in the Sixties, Too Close to the Falls (New York Times bestseller)

* John Koerner, Mysteries of Father Baker, Father Baker Code

* George Kunz, Buffalo Memories

* Elizabeth Leader, Buffalo Snow

* Raya Lee, BPO Celebrates the First 75 Years

* Donald Mang, One Nation Under God (a novel)

* Nancy Mingus, Buffalo: Good Neighbors, Great Architecture

* Martin Nowak, The White House in Mourning: Deaths and Funerals of Presidents in Office

* Janice Okun, Buffalo Cooks with Janice Okun

* Laura Pedersen, Buffalo Gal, Buffalo Unbound-a Celebration

* John Percy, Buffalo-Niagara Connections, Town of Tonawanda

* Joseph Ritz,Blood Along The Niagara &#8211 A Guidebook to Battles of the War of 1812 an Hour’s Drive from Niagara Falls

* Erno Rossi, White Death: The Blizzard of ’77

* Maria Scrivani, Brighter Buffalo

* Christine Smyczynski, An Explorer’s Guide to Western New York

* Wanda Slawinska & Edward Szemraj, The Polonian Legacy of Western New York

* Joel Thomas, Creature Comforts

* Mason Winfield, A Ghosthunter’s Journal, Haunted Places of Western New York, Shadows of the Western Door, Village Ghosts of Western New York, Spirits of the Great Hill, Ghosts of 1812

Aside from this collection of books, some of which can be purchased only at the Historical Society, the museum shop offers unique Buffalo-themed gifts, including jewelry, fine art prints, maps, educational toys. It is also an opportunity to peruse and purchase from their exclusive 1901 Pan-American Exposition-themed items.

The Local Author Book Signing is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society at (716) 873-9644 or visit www.buffalohistory.org.