A Testimony of Love & Grief

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Spring 2015 - THE BUFFALO HISTORY MUSEUM newsletter

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Tall hat, strong cheekbones, and whiskery chin… in first grade, I cut a silhouette of our 16th President. One of my first memorable history lessons, I used my paste-pot to glue on the extra wide-ruled paper holding my little Lincoln verse.

Two-room cabin, town car with vanity plates, shorter-than-

expected Lincoln re-enactor… marks another indelible memory from my graduate school days at Eastern Illinois University, in the land-of-Lincoln.

Early on in my work at The Buffalo History Museum, I learned about Julius Francis, a Lincoln admirer who became consumed with his life and legacy keeping after his assassination. Francis would begin what would become the longest Lincoln commemoration ceremony in the country here at The Buffalo History Museum.

In this issue of “The Album” we continue to honor Julius Francis' ardent mission by commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Lincoln funeral train and Buffalo's brushes with this iconic President.

While we remeber the past, it's with good news I'm happy to announce a bright future, literally speaking. By now you have heard about the Museum electrical updates; and, judging by the popularity of our house history workshops, I know many can appreciate the nuances of adding modern systems to an old building. Our home, our 1901 gem, is our largest artifact. Her

antiquated charms - particularly the plaster walls - have done much to resist the extensive City of Buffalo-funded upgrades. Our curators are busy packing, moving and securing treasures in all our exhibits.

Before we officially bring up the new lights at our annual meeting and celebration on May 20th, down time allows for:

• Final connections on our new fire alarm, phone and PA systems

• 1,700 square feet of new soffit lighting, enhancing the architectural beauty of our mezzanine and murals

• Exterior lighting on our grand portico

The support and patience from our members and donors throughout this process has been terrific. Individual donations increased by 41% last year. I can’t stress enough how much your continued support of the Museum and our mission means to us.

As our electrical upgrade project draws to completion, I hope you remember our Museum Shop and Research Library will remain open during the week and all previously scheduled events will take place.

All my best,


P.S. We cannot wait until spring is back in full swing and just in time for Giants of Buffalo: Food on M&T Friday, April 17.

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.

Melissa Brown

Constance Caldwell

Jennifer Nichols

Robie Carmina, Rebecca Justinger,Kimberly Luangpakdy, Megan MacNeill,

Walt Mayer, Cynthia Van Ness

Tuesday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.Wednesday 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Thursday - Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.Sunday - 12:00 Noon - 5:00 p.m.

Closed Mondays.

Wednesday - Saturday1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Extended Library Hours: 2nd and 4th Wednesday Evenings 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Closed Sunday, Monday, Tuesday*See page 7 for temporary closing information

Members: FREEChildren Under 7: FREE

Veterans: FREEChildren (7-12): $2.50

Adults: $7 Students & Seniors : $5

Steven McCarville - PresidentPeter Ahrens - Vice President

Mark L. Martin- Vice PresidentWilliam J. O'Donnell - Vice President

Heidi A. Raphael - Vice PresidentMark V. Taylor- Vice President

Catherine Schweitzer - Secretary Philip C. Kadet - Treasurer

Scott FisherKen Friedman

Carley Jean HillJohn L. Hurley, Jr.

Cassie Irish

Cheryl Lyles Vincent MancusoKristin SaperstonMark SeversonGreg D. Tranter

Cover: "Abraham Lincoln's Funeral Train," from the collection of The Buffalo History Museum.

Cherry Blossom Festival Family Day • 12-4pm

A variety of activities for all ages including storytelling, hula hoops,

and various crafts. Museum admission, free for members.

Check out our calendar on Page 7 for more Cherry Blossom Festival Events.

Taking the same route Lincoln took when he made the 1654 mile journey from Springfield to

Washington to accept the Presidency of the United States

in February of 1861, Lincoln’s funeral

train left Washington on April 21, 1865,

arriving in Buffalo at 7:00am on April 27, 1865 at the Exchange

Street Station. We commemorate the 150 year anniversary of this solemn day in Buffalo.

Photo: The Buffalo History Museum Research Library


Rebecca JustingerRegistrar

During Abraham Lincoln’s visit to Chicago in March 1860, American sculptor Leonard Volk took a life mask of the future President. It took about an hour to set the plaster on his face with straws in his nostrils, while Lincoln understandably disliked the process, he was pleased with the outcome. In May 1860, the sculptor took castings of Lincoln’s hands in Springfield, IL. Volk decided that he would like the President to hold something when he took the cast of his hands, so Lincoln obliged him by going out to the wood shed, sawing off a broom handle, and smoothing down the edges to hold in his hand.

Volk used the mask and hand castings to sculpt busts and full-length statues of Lincoln. It may be that the Volk mask of Lincoln is the most reliable document of Lincoln’s face. Unlike photographs, it preserved the actual form. In the years since the original mask was made, other sculptors have turned to it for their inspiration. Copies, such as the one in our collection, have been cast and sold commercially several times throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Life Mask and HandsPlasterLeonard VolkCa. 1860

Walt MayerDirector of Museum Collections

Michael Wiedrich (b.1820 – d.1899) immigrated to the United States from Alsace-Lorraine, France in 1837. At the start of the Civil War in 1861 he was a shipping clerk for Pratt & Letchworth in Buffalo and served as a captain in the 65th Regiment New York State Militia.

Under authority from the War Department, Wiedrich organized a unit known as Battery I of the 1st New York Artillery or Wiedrich’s Battery. It was composed of 140 men and officers exclusively of German descent. The battery participated in battles at Cross Keys, Freeman’s Ford, Second Bull Run, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg.

Other battles included Lookout Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek, and the Siege of Atlanta. In February 1863 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel of the 15th Artillery. Wiedrich’s unit mustered out (disbanded) in 1865.

Wiedrich returned to Buffalo after the Civil War, where he held several public offices and was involved in the fire insurance business until his death in 1899.

Col. Michael Wiedrich A. E. Elsasser

Oil on CanvasCa. 1892

Dedication of Wiedrich’s Battery Monument at Gettysburg, PA 1889

This 1889 newspaper clipping captures the surviving members of the 1st New York Artillery (Wiedrich’s Battery). The clipping is part of a Wiedrich family scrapbook located in the Buffalo History Museum’s Research Library.

The plaster model for the bronze bas-relief of Weidrich’s Battery, which appears on the memorial in the photograph, is on display in the Identity section of the exhibit Neighbors: The People of Erie County exhibit.

Presentation SwordWilhelm ClaubergSolingen, GermanySteel and Brass Ca. 1864

The sword’s scabbard is inscribed, “Presented to Lt. Col. Michael Wiedrich by Battery 1, 1st N.Y. Art. May 21, 1864,” it also lists the various battles the unit was engaged in during the Civil War.

Giants of BuffaloA dynamic talk show and celebration of extraordinary contributions made

by people of WNY.

Visit www.buffalohistory.org for more details.

April 17: FoodMay 15: Lawyers

10th anniversary Party on the

Portico[ June 19, July 17, August 21 ]

The popular happy hour summer party series that features history,

idyllic views, & great music!

Retweet on twitter @buffalohistory, Share Facebook posts, Follow us on Instagram

Write an online review on Yelp, TripAdvsior, Google, etc.

Subscribe to our blog: buffalohistorymuseum.wordpress.comDrop us a line: [email protected]


Ways to share your support & experience


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1. Alejandro Aguilar & Victor Mirando

2. George Caldwell, Tony Billoni, & Victor Mirando

3. Mark Taylor, Joan Bukowski, Ann Philippone, & Don Phillips

4. Santa & Chief Volunteer Joyce Bruyere

5. Renactors Lauren Agnello & Will Emerson

6. Melissa Brown, Ford Best & Rebecca Montague5 6


7. NY State Trooper Victor Morales

8. Sam Hoyt & Steven McCarville

9. Kathy Hochul swear- in as Lieutenant Governor of the State of New York

10. Thurman Thomas & Melissa Brown

11. #MuseumDaySelfie Melissa Brown, Lori Robinson, Jen Nichols & Alexis Greinert

12. Angela Keppel & Erin Weller

13. Reinstein Center staff & volunteer

14. Excuse our dust until April 17

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11 12

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Cynthia Van Ness, MLSDirector of Library & Archives

“Tens of thousands shall inhabit this country where only thousands inhabit it now.”

President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrived at Buffalo’s Exchange Street Station on the evening of Saturday, February 16, 1861, while journeying to Washington for his inauguration. Today the site is occupied by a modern Amtrak station.

Lincoln was met by former President Millard Fillmore and an enormous, enthusiastic crowd. By some estimates, 75,000 citizens swarmed downtown Buffalo to get a glimpse of the new president.

After making his way through the crowds to the American Hotel, Mr. Lincoln appeared on the balcony and was welcomed by the acting chief magistrate. The site of the American Hotel is now occupied by the Main Place Mall.

Readers may be interested to know what he said to Buffalo on that day: "MR. MAYOR AND FELLOW CITIZENS:—I am here to thank you briefly for this grand reception given to me not personally, but as the representative of our great and beloved country. Your worthy Mayor has been pleased to mention in his address to me, the fortunate and agreeable journey which I have had from home—only it is rather a circuitous route to the Federal Capitol. I am very happy that he was enabled, in truth, to congratulate myself and company on that fact.

It is true, we have had nothing thus far to mar the pleasure of the trip. We have not been met alone by those who assisted in giving the election to me; I say not alone, but by the whole population of the country through which we have passed. This is as it should be. Had the election fallen to any other of the distinguished candidates instead of myself, under the peculiar circumstances, to say the least, it would have been proper for all citizens to have greeted him as you now greet me. It is an evidence of the devotion of the whole people to the Constitution, the Union, and the perpetuity of the liberties

of this country. I am unwilling, on any occasion, that I should be so meanly thought of as to have it supposed for a moment that these demonstrations are tendered to me personally. They are tendered to the country, to the institutions of the country, and to the perpetuity of the liberties of the country for which these institutions were made and created.

Your worthy mayor has thought fit to express the hope that I may be able to relieve the country from the present, or, I should say, the threatened difficulties. I am sure I bring a heart true to the work. For the ability to perform it, I trust in that Supreme Being who has never forsaken this favored land, through the instrumentality of this great and intelligent people. Without that assistance I should surely fail; with it I cannot fail.

When we speak of the threatened difficulties to the country, it is natural that it should be expected that something should be said by myself with regard to particular measures. Upon more mature reflection, however, I think,—and others will agree with me—that, when it is considered that these difficulties are without precedent, and never have been acted upon by any individual situated as I am, it is most proper that I should wait and see the developments, and get all the light possible, so that, when I do speak authoritatively, I may be as near right as possible. When I shall speak authoritatively, I hope to say nothing inconsistent with the Constitution, the Union, the rights of all the States, of each State, and of each section of the country, and not to disappoint the reasonable expectations of those who have confided to me their votes.

In this connection, allow me to say that you, as a portion of the great American people, need only to maintain your composure, stand up to your sober convictions of right, to your obligations

to the Constitution, and act in accordance with those sober convictions, and the clouds which now arise in the horizon will be dispelled, and we shall have a bright and glorious future; and, when this generation shall have passed away, tens of thousands shall inhabit this country where only thousands inhabit it now. I do not propose to address you at length. I have no voice for it. Allow me again to thank you for this magnificent reception, and bid you farewell."

Source:Crosby, FrankLife of Abraham Lincoln, Sixteenth President of the United States: Containing His Early History and Political Career; Together with the Speeches, Messages, Proclamations and Other Official Documents Illustrative of His Eventful Administration, pp. 75-77.Philadelphia, PA: J.E. Potter, 1865.

Crosby’s book is online in full text at Google Books. Paragraphs were added for the purpose of this article.

fun facts: Favorite artifact: Pick WickFavorite Gift Shop item: The BooksMuseum Event: I Love them all, but it’s a tie between Paint the Town and Party on the PorticoHistoric era: The turn of the 20th Century...The Pan American Exposition. I would love to have been at the expo!

• When did you begin volunteering with The Museum?Only five years ago. I was asked by former Board President Joan Bukowski to volunteer on an event committee... Then, I was hooked.

• Why do you love The Buffalo History Museum? I love the building and it's architecture; our mission and what it stands for; our collections and exhibits and the stories they tell us.

• What motivates you to serve in a leadership role on our Board of Managers?

I am highly motivated by the other Board Members and the Staff of the Museum. We have a very dedicated group who seem to nurture one another. It's a great team effort.

• As an interior designer, where do you find inspiration? I find inspiration everywhere I go. In my clients, family, and friends, the places I visit and the books I read. All this, plus an industry with unlimited resources that allows for unprecedented design freedom and creativity.

• Can you provide us a hint on what your theme or vision is for your upcoming space in the Junior League of Buffalo Show House?

Mark Taylor Interiors will be decorating the master bedroom and the attached nursery (the most anticipated room in the house) in our signature, soothing, green and blue color palette.

Lincoln SculptureCharles H. Niehaus, Sculptor1902

The Lincoln statue was originally located in the State Court, it was commissioned by the Lincoln Birthday Association, founded by, and in honor of Buffalonian Julius E. Francis.


Dates and times subject to change

18 Wednesday Grover Cleveland Lecture, 6-8pm

Ever wonder about the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms? Come celebrate Grover Cleveland’s birthday and listen to the Museum Library’s own Shane Stephenson and

Cynthia VanNess as they shares stories of Cleveland’s wife, his hometown of Buffalo, and myths surrounding his life and

presidency. Museum admission, free for members.

20 Friday*M&T Third Friday: Free admission from 10am-5pm, at

the Resource Center at 459 Forest Ave. Free guided tours from 1-3pm.

M&T Third Friday @ The Resource Center, 5-8pmJoin Walt Mayer, Director of Collections, in a behind-the-

scenes tour of our Resource Center. Peek at Civil War era artifacts, and learn about Buffalo’s place during the

Civil War! Space is limited, reservations required. $10/per person, free for members. Reservations required,

please call: 873-9644 x301.

17 Friday*M&T Third Friday: Free admission from 10am-5pm,

including Resource Center at 459 Forest Ave. 1-3pm: Free guided tours at main Museum and Resource Center.

M&T Third Friday: Giants of Buffalo: Food, 5-8pmTickets go on sale March 17th, $10 members/$20 general

The 3rd Annual M&T Third Fridays GIANTS OF BUFFALO: FOOD honors history making individuals who have made extraordinary contributions in their industry and

community. Audience discussion encouraged. Celebrate Anchor Bar, Charlie the Butcher, and Ted’s Hot Dogs –

yum! The program is taped for WBBZ-TV airing.

22 Wednesday“City of Solar,” lecture, 5-8pm

Join University at Buffalo students as they present their work for the US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015. Over 100 students have been working for over a year to

compete with top international architecture and engineering schools to create a new solar-powered home. The original house design features ultra-efficient solar technologies and

responds to Buffalo’s growing urban farming trend. Museum admission, free for members.

26 SundayFritz Klein – Lincoln Impersonator, 3pm

Free. In partnership with the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site and the National Park Service, celebrate our 16th

President. A performance by noted Lincoln impersonator Fritz Klein, who has portrayed the Great Emancipator in 38 states as well as internationally and who performs regularly at

the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.

3 SundayPan American Exposition Walking Tour, 1pm

Take a walking tour of the PanAmerican grounds with one of our trained docents. See the fair in a new light! $10 per person. Pre-

registration required. A map with historic photos is included.

3 SundayCherry Blossom Festival Kick-Off Family Day, 12-4pmCelebrate the beginning of Buffalo’s Cherry Blossom Festival with a day of family fun at the history museum! We will have a

variety of activities for all ages including storytelling, hula hoops, and various crafts. Festival continues at the Japanese Garden until May 9th and features the Japanese Movie series at the

North Park Theatre. Visit buffalocherryblossomfestival.org for more information. Museum admission, free for members.

5 TuesdayToddler Story Time, 10-11am

Bring your little one to our monthly program and spend some quality time at the museum. We will read a book and do a related activity. Museum admission, free for members.

6 WednesdayCherry Blossom Festival, 5-8pm

Music by the Cherry Blossom trio, haiku poetry, and a show of local models in various ethic costumes including Japanese Kimonos, Thai, Korean, Burmese, plus international clothing

artifacts from The Buffalo History Museum collection on display. Museum admission, free for members.

15 Friday*M&T Third Friday: Free admission from 10am-5pm,

including Resource Center at 459 Forest Ave. 1-3pm: Free guided tours at main Museum and Resource Center.

M&T Third Friday: Giants of Buffalo: Lawyers, 5-8pmTickets go on sale March 17th, $10 members/$20 general

The 3rd Annual M&T Third Fridays GIANTS OF BUFFALO: LAWYERS honors history making individuals

who have made extraordinary contributions in their law practices. Audience discussion encouraged. This program will be sensational! The program is taped for WBBZ-TV airing.

20 WednesdayAnnual Meeting of Membership, 5:30pm

We are brighter than ever! Our Annual Membership Meeting will be followed by a celebration of our new lights and the completion of a seven month electrical project generously

funded by the City of Buffalo.

27 Wednesday“Buffalo, My City," 6-8pm

Celebrate our new exhibition of work by Dr. V. Roger Lalli. Enjoy a short talk about his work followed by a reception

in the State Court.

*M&t thirD friDay events On the Third Friday of every month, admission to

The Buffalo History Museum, Resource Center, and select events are free for everyone from 10 a.m. – 5p.m.

Shop for museum-quality reproductions from our

collection. Perfect for gifts & home décor!


The six month construction project is nearing completion. We apologize for the inconvenience.

What’s closeD & What reMains oPen: OPEn:

Tuesdays – Fridays: The Museum Gift Shop and Visitor Services

will remain open from 10am – 5pm; All weekday office hours will maintain regular hours (9am- 5pm)

Wednesdays – Fridays: The Research Library will keep regular hours (1- 5pm)

The Research Libary will be closed on Saturdays.All events, programs, and meetings will happen as previously scheduled.

CLOSED: Feb. 23 – April 16: All exhibits in the Museum will be closed;

re-opening on M&T Third Friday, April 17. • The entire museum will be closed on Saturdays and Sundays between Feb 23 – April 16; except for events booked through

Oliver’s Catering and other previously scheduled events

• Visitor Services and the Museum Gift Shop will be closed on Wednesday evenings at 5 pm when there are no programs.

check our website calendar for more details on each event



PERMIT No. 3626

Evening Hours on Wednesday until 8 p.m. • Free Parking