A Sign of Things to Come

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First issue of The Buffalo History Museum newsletter

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Page 1: A Sign of Things to Come

A sign of Things To come

Page 2: A Sign of Things to Come


The Buffalo History Museum is a private not-for-profit organization tax exempt under Sec. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It receives operating support from the County of Erie, the City of Buffalo, the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA, a state agency), and from members and friends. The Buffalo History Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

Peter W. AhrensB. Scott Fisher

Kenneth P. FriedmanCarley Jean HillJohn L. Hurley

Allan JamiesonTarik A. KawiCheryl Lyles

Vincent J. MancusoSteven P. McCarville

Wendy A. NagyKristin K. SaperstonMark W. Severson

Greetings Members!

New year, new look, new newsletter. . .so much has been happening at the Buffalo History Museum. As we commence our 151st year of service, we celebrate our shared past and remain dedicated to ensuring our community’s story.

Focal points from a fine 150th year. . .

Over 1000 children experienced the museum through new programs:• North West Buffalo Community Center Outreach• Program initiatives with local refugee resettlement agencies• Erie Canal Connections with Buffalo Zoo• Culture Camp with Buffalo Museum of Science & Albright Knox Art Gallery• “Mark Twain Live!”

New evening hours-open until 8pm on Wednesdays, offers many new experiences:• Jazz entertainment on 5 evenings with Full Swing Sound • Genealogy Research Library Workshop offered twice• Winter Art-n-facts craft night- from scrapbooking to beginner quilting• Native American programs featured for Fact, Fiction and Spectacle: The Trial of Red Jacket • Partnership with Buffalo Architecture Foundation to present Building Stories panel discussion • 4 Community Gallery exhibit opening receptions• Cuban and Puerto Rican Salsa classes in the State Court• Behind-the-Scenes tours at the Resource Center• Collaboration with Hispanic Heritage Council to offer program series during Hispanic Heritage Month

Over $80K raised through our partnership with the newly restored Hotel Lafayette and our memorable 150th Gala:• Over 20 large scale murals planned for public spaces with dozens more installed as features in Hotel suites• 1000 of our Pan-Am plates purchased• Our Buffalo’s Bethune exhibit to be reinstalled in Hotel

Hundreds of veterans attended the museum: • Free admission for Service Members announced 11-11-11 to honor the

generations of soldiers’ stories immortalized in our collection

Visitors enjoyed 8 new exhibitions and a host of related events/programs:• John R. Oishei Pioneer Gallery• 150th: Origins• 150th: Ever After• Rail Baron expansion project• Community Gallery (Rich Consola Collection of local concert posters,

Patrick Willett, Autistic Services, Charles Rohrbach)

Unveiled our new name, address and logo realizing our strategic goal to rebrand:• Redesigned webpage launched• New email addresses for staff members to facilitate communication• Printed newsletter returning to circulation for Members

• Signature sign to be installed on Elmwood Avenue

Buffalo History Museum Members offered critical support for each of these endeavors. With so many new exhibits, programs and events to look forward to, 2013 promises to be just as busy. Highlights include:Our feature 1812 Bicentennial exhibits and programming; opening our new 1500 sq. ft. Native American Gallery; the Giants of Buffalo distinguished speaker series; Geo-tagging project launch with Canisius College; Party on the Portico; Buffalo Creek Interpretive Trail opening; Wine War I; 4 new Community Gallery exhibitions; Civil War Weekend; Harvest Festival; Red Jacket Awards Dinner and Paint the Town.

I appreciate your attentiveness to the Museum and look forward to seeing you soon!

With passion for the past,Melissa

PS. Make a point to ride the elevator on your next visit. . .you’ll see.

Coming in the Fall of 2013

By Sword & Fire: The War of 1812

Cover: War Bond Campaign “Buffalo Will See It Through” WW I - 1918

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Anthony GrecoDirector of Exhibits and Interpretive Planning

Alexis GreinertDonor Relations Coordinator

On September 6, 1901, anarchist Leon Czolgosz stood in line to greet President William McKinley at Buffalo’s Pan American Exposition. A white linen handkerchief wrapped around his right hand concealed a revolver.

As he approached the President, Czolgosz fired twice. The first bullet bounced off McKinley’s chest; the second ripped through his stomach. A crowd immediately descended upon the assassin, beating him and tackling him to the ground. Czolgosz was taken into police custody; McKinley into emergency surgery.

President McKinley died of an infection on September 14, eight days after the attack. His body was ceremoniously taken from Buffalo to Washington, and finally to McKinley’s home town of Canton, Ohio. Czolgosz was tried for murder and convicted, confessing “I killed President McKinley because I done my duty. I did not feel that one man should have so much service, and another man should have none.”

Shortly after his death, Czolgosz’s handgun was presented to the Buffalo History Museum by Erie County District Attorney Thomas Penney. Along with the gun, the museum acquired the bullets, handcuffs and the white handkerchief used to conceal the weapon, because Penney thought they “should be saved for historic significance.”

As we celebrate our 150th anniversary with an exhibit representing the many artifacts acquired over the years, we believe this gun to be one of the community’s most notable possessions. In a moment, a single bullet dislodged from this handgun shifted the course of a nation. Profound is the power of a material object so seemingly small.

Czolgosz’s Revolver. Iver- Johnson .23 Caliber Safety Automatic

1860s: One of our earliest donations, the Ararat Stone ca. 1825, was donated in 1866 by Lewis F. Allen.

1870s: One of our library’s most frequently referenced artifacts is the Hopkins Atlas of 1872. While we have many maps and other atlases, it is the first to illustrate footprints of every building in Buffalo and list the property owner’s name.

1880s: Buffalo’s Julius E. Francis was a true Abraham Lincoln worshiper. He amassed a sizable collection of Lincoln and Civil War artifacts. In the 1880s, Francis first installed his collection at the Young Men’s Association Building.

1890s: In 1898, we acquired the Red Jacket Medal from Minnie Van Renssealer for $100.

1900s: District Attorney Penney turned over the Czolgosz relics to the Society in 1902.

1910s: 2 brass tablets, one in memory of Millard Fillmore and one in memory of Grover Cleveland, were unveiled at the museum to celebrate our 50th anniversary in 1912.

1920s: The Apostolic clock was donated in 1923 by creator Mr. Myles Hughes.

1930s: In 1937, George W. Benson officially donated his extensive glass and ceramics collections, including examples of valuable 19th and early 20th century pieces.

1940s: In 1948, we purchased the Trial of Red Jacket after being on loan to the museum since 1904.

1950s: During the 1950s, the Collections Department began using the compound numbering system to accession artifacts. This system is the most prevalent in museums throughout the country and is still in use today. The Centaur statue in front of the building was donated in 1953.

1960s: In 1965, we re-inventoried and cataloged a donation from former First Lady and Buffalo native Francis Folsom. Dating from her school days, the interesting array of material includes student notebooks, compositions, and tests.

1970s: In the 1970s, we obtained a grant to photograph all of the artifacts in its collections; The Wettlaufer Glass Collection was aquired in 1972.

1980s: Julia Boyer Reinstein donated her impressive collection of over 80 historic quilts and coverlets.

1990s: In 1999, William G. Gisel Sr. donated a collection of artifacts from Bell Aerospace, including a Bell Agena model no. 8096 rocket engine.

2000s: Philanthropist Charles Rand Penney lived the life of a consummate collector, meticulously assembling more than 100,000 objects. Upon his death, we acquired his Larkin Company collection. Comprised of nearly 700 artifacts, his collection of Larkin premiums particularly filled a gap in our collection.

Trains will run every Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 p.m.,

Thanksgiving weekend - February 24th.

For over 20 years, the Rail Baron’s model train display has ranked among the Museum’s most popular attractions.

Page 4: A Sign of Things to Come


Photos by Susan Eck & Staff Members.

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1. Melissa Brown, Bren Price, Rocco Termini2. Victorian Dancers3. George Caldwell Trio with Wayne Moose (bass) and Darryl Washington (drums)4. David Rotterman, WNED – Niederlander Award Recipient ; Melisa Brown, BHM; Thomas Beecher, Karen & Clement Arrison – Red Jacket Recipients; Chris Hawley, Augspurger Award Recipient

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Photos by Susan Eck & Staff Members.


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5. Constance Caldwell and Melissa Brown6. Greater Buffalo Cultural Alliance, Randall Kramer; County Executive, Mark Poloncarz; Steven McCarville, BHM Board of Managers7. Mark Sommer, The Buffalo News8. Arthur Cryer, Baird Fnd.; Catherine Schweitzer, Baird Fnd. & BHM Board of Managers

9. Auctioneer, Kelly Shultz and UB Dental Student Volunteer10. Adam March & guest11. Kathleen Brennan12. Joyce Bruyere, Volunteer Extraordinare13. David Kreutz & Pat Petrie14. Lonna McCary , Miss Thousand Island and former Miss Buffalo15. Alexis Greinert & Robie Carmina, BHM Staff

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Cynthia Van Ness, MLSDirector of Library & Archives

“The majority of information lies outside the Internet.” - Jens Redmer, Director of Google Book Search, quoted at Slippery Brick, January 2007 “What’s on the web is extremely ephemeral. Very little of it was written before 1995.” - Brewster Kahle, creator of the Internet Wayback Machine, quoted in Newsweek, March 29, 2004 p. 58.

Anyone with an interest in the past soon realizes that Google does not represent the sum total of all recorded human knowledge. The Buffalo History Museum has been collecting paper-based history for 150 years now, amassing library collections that include 23,000 books, 2,000 manuscript collections, 200,000 pictures & photographs, 7,000 postcards, 7,000 microfilms, 10,000 maps, plans, drawings, and posters, hundreds of reel-to-reel audio recordings, hundreds of periodicals, and uncounted thousands of pamphlets, brochures, newspaper clippings, and other paper-based ephemera.

So, considering that people have been storing information on paper for about 1000 years and the internet is only about 20 years old, how do you figure out what is out there for research purposes if it isn’t digitized and optimized for search engines?

Enter WorldCat.org, which you can think of as Google for the offline world. It is one free giant online card CATalog for the WORLD’s libraries. The Research Library has been computerizing its bibliographic records for almost 30 years and has contributed over 25,000 of them to WorldCat, which now boasts one billion records of items found in the libraries all over the planet. Those same 25,000 bibliographic records are also searchable in our in-house catalog, FRANK (Find Resources And New Knowledge).

If you look up Lauren Belfer in FRANK, you discover that the Research Library owns her popular Buffalo novel, City of Light. If you look her up as an author in WorldCat, you discover that there are 21 entries for her, including Swedish, Italian, and French translations of City of Light. Click on any one title to see which libraries own copies.

When a book actually is online in full text, catalogers can build a link into their bibliographic records, enabling you to read it at your computer. But only a tiny percentage of books, newspapers, etc. have been scanned. Your WorldCat search results will usually show

you records of undigitized books, maps, newspapers, periodicals, recordings, letters, and diaries that reside in library collections and must be viewed in person. In other words, the past is not online.

In the Library, we use WorldCat to figure out who owns something when we do not. WorldCat showed us that the internal business records of the Bethlehem Steel Company (over 200 linear feet!), including the Lackawanna plant, are held by the Hagley Museum in Wilmington, Delaware. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to look in WorldCat for an early short story by Lauren Belfer. Once you find it, you will discover that it is set in Buffalo and is readable online in full text. Happy hunting, everyone!

“My Hearers, we hold as a sacred trust to be zealously guarded the treasured memories of the Past, a trust to be handed down to those who shall come after us.”

George A. Stringer, Vice President, Buffalo Historical Society - September 30, 1902

Make your secure donation online at www.buffalohistory.org. Your contribution is 100% tax deductible as no goods or services will be provided.

Image: Peter A. Porter Collection

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Trains will run every Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 p.m., Thanksgiving weekend - February 24th.

1 Saturday Lafayette Hotel tour with lunch, 12 p.m.

$35 general public, $30 members. Limited to 40 people. Pre-registration required. Meet at the main lobby of the historic Hotel @ the Lafayette for a guided tour of the building, giving insight to the first American female architect, Louise Bethune.

Lunch at the Pan American Brewery is included.

4 TuesdayToddler Story Time, “Holidays Around the World,” 10-11 a.m.

5 Wednesday“By Sword and Fire,” War of 1812, 6-8 p.m.

Free with Museum admission. This is collaboration with the Black Rock Riverside Good Neighbors Planning Alliance. Live, period

music from will be performed by the Irish Volunteers. Doug Kohler, Erie County Historian, will speak about the burning of Buffalo

during the War of 1812.

8 Saturday “FDR Remembers: A Day of Infamy,” 12 p.m.

Museum admission. A one man reenactment of FDR addressing the nation after the bombing of Pearl Harbor,

starring Albert McFayden.

12 Wednesday The 198 String Band, 6-8 p.m.

$10 general public, $5 members. A historic look at the Great Depression through live music.

12 Wednesday Behind the Scenes Tour at the Resource Center, 6 p.m.

$10, limited to 20 people, pre-registration required. A behind the scenes look at the History Museum’s artifact storage facility and

archives located at 459 Forest Ave. Also includes a guided tour of the “Spirit Still Lives” exhibit about the Pan Am Expo.

26 Wednesday Holiday Special: Wed 26 - Sun 30: Trains will be

running from 1-4 p.m. by Rail Barons.

5 Saturday Lafayette Hotel tour with lunch, 12 p.m.

$35 general public, $30 members. Limited to 40 people. Pre-registration required. Meet at the main lobby of the historic Hotel @ the Lafayette for a guided tour of the building, giving insight to the first American female architect, Louise Bethune.

Lunch at the Pan American Brewery is included.

8 TuesdayToddler Story Time, “Buffalo Winter” theme, 10-11 a.m.

9 WednesdayWar of 1812 Lecture Series: “An In-Depth Analysis of the

Causes of the War of 1812”, 6-8 p.m. Free with Museum admission. Launch of the 2013 War of 1812 lecture series, collaboration with Black Rock Historical

Association. Speaker, Dr. Andrew Nicholls Chair and Professor of History and Social Studies Education at Buffalo State College.

16 WednesdayCommunity Gallery exhibit opening: 20th Century Club,

Free, 6 p.m.

19 Saturday“Secrets from the Stacks”: History of the

Larkin Co., 10 a.m.-12 p.m.Museum admission. Artifacts from the Museum’s Research

Library will be on display and presented by Cynthia Van Ness.

20 SundayMartin Luther King Remembrance Program, 3 p.m.

Free. Honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. This is a collaboration with the

African American Historical Association.

26 SaturdayGirl Scout badge program, Museum Explores, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

$15/girl, free for adults. Girl Scouts can earn the History Museum patch and enjoy guided tours, crafts, and artifact scavenger hunts.

Pre-registration is required. Girls must bring a packed lunch.

30 Wednesday Free. American Institute of Archeology, 6:30 p.m.

2 Saturday Lafayette Hotel tour with lunch, 12 p.m.

$35 general public, $30 members. Limited to 40 people. Pre-registration required. Meet at the main lobby of the historic Hotel @ the Lafayette for a guided tour of the building, giving insight to the first American female architect, Louise Bethune.

Lunch at the Pan American Brewery is included.

5 TuesdayToddler Story Time, Happy Birthday Abe Lincoln!, 10-11 a.m.

10 SundayAbe Lincoln Birthday Celebration, 12 p.m.

FREE. Longest running celebration of Abe Lincoln’s birthday in the US. Civil War reenactors, live gun salute, Lincoln

impersonator reading the Gettysburg address. Collaboration with Civil War Roundtable.

16 SaturdayWonder Women: Mary Talbert Trolley Tour, 10am-3 p.m.$60 general public, $58 members, pre-registration required.

Tour begins at Forest Lawn, where guests will tour the historic grounds and learn interesting facts about the many famous women buried there. Then head over to the Hotel Lafayette, for a quick

tour and lunch at the Pan American Grill & Brewery. Then over to The Buffalo History Museum’s Resource Center, where you’ll tour

“The Spirit Still Lives” interactive exhibit.

20 WednesdayWar of 1812 lecture series:

The Black Experience in the War of 1812, 6 p.m.Museum admission. Collaboration with the

Black Rock Historical Association. Speaker, Eva Doyle

23 SaturdayGirl Scout badge program, My Community, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

$12/girl, adults are free. Earn the History Museum patch and enjoy tours, crafts, and scavenger hunts. Pre-registration is required.

Bring a packed lunch and nonperishable food item to be donated.

27 Wednesday“Buffalo and Boxing in the Age of an Empire:

Jack Johnson in 1910”, lecture 6 p.m.Museum admission. Lecture will discuss local controversy

surrounding the prizefight film featuring the African American boxer Jack Johnson’s resounding defeat of America’s Great

White Hope Jim Jeffries in 1910.

Dates subject to change

Page 8: A Sign of Things to Come



PERMIT No. 3626

The Buffalo hisTory MuseuMone MuseuM CourTBuffalo, ny 14216


Members receive 10% discount on many items.Evening Shopping Hours on Wednesday until 8 p.m.

Free & Plentiful Parking.

The Buffalo & erie CounTy hisToriCal soCieTy