Buffalo History

Uncover the History of Buffalo, NY

Buffalo’s history is surprising and rich, replete with countless historic sites and museum-worthy stories. Battles were waged here as the War of 1812 played out at Old Fort Niagara. Fortunes were made by the likes of William G. Fargo, founder of American Express and Wells Fargo. Jazz legends like Louis Armstrong jammed at our Colored Musicians Club. And American presidents lived, died, governed and were buried here. In fact, on one fateful day in 1901, the world’s eyes were on Buffalo when President William McKinley died at the hands of an assassin and Teddy Roosevelt was inaugurated as our 26th president.


The Gateway to the WestExplore Buffalo History & Museums


As part of a region occupied by the Seneca Indians for over 1,000 years, Buffalo originated as a small trading community in about 1789. It then grew quickly to become the quintessential 19th century boomtown, rising to industrial preeminence. The city’s position at the western terminus of the Erie Canal made us the “Gateway to the West”—the departure point for immigrants on their way to the heartland. Today this area has been newly revived at Canalside. Buffalo was also a gateway for runaway slaves seeking freedom on the Underground Railroad, then later fertile ground for the Civil Rights Movement.


From the Civil War graves at our historic Forest Lawn cemetery to the antique cars at the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum to our nation’s largest inland floating history museum, the Buffalo & Erie County Naval and Military Park, Buffalo is home to the American experience. A trip to the Buffalo History Museum will get you started on your journey of discovery.


Explore Buffalo History & Museums

African American Cultural Center, Inc.

350 Masten Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14209

(716) 884-2013

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African American Veterans Monument

PO Box 231
Buffalo, NY 14202

(716) 800-1137

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Black-Owned Business

Afro American Historical Association of the Niagara Frontier

Post Office Box 63
Buffalo, NY 14207

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Alden Historical Society

13213 Broadway
Alden, NY 14004

(716) 937-3700

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Aurora History Museum

575 Oakwood Avenue
East Aurora, NY 14052

(716) 652-7944

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Black Rock Historical Society

436 Amherst Street
Buffalo, NY 14207

(716) 331-3055

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Boston Historical Society & Museum

9410 Boston State Road
Glenwood, NY 14069

(716) 941-5139

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Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park

One Naval Park Cove
Buffalo, NY 14202

(716) 847-1773

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Buffalo Black Achievers Museum

1490 Jefferson Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14208

(716) 884-1490

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Buffalo Central Terminal

495 Paderewski Drive
Buffalo, NY 14212

(716) 754-6142

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Buffalo City Ballet Co., Inc.

2495 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14214

(716) 833-1243

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Buffalo City Hall

65 Niagara Square
Buffalo, NY 14202


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