February 25th, 2017

O Really

Buffalo, NY 2017 but looking backwards to 1893

My guidebook is 20 years too early for this city, as many of its architectual wonders were built in the beginning of the twentieth Century. Be that as it may, I still found remnants of the late nineteenth still around...so here we go...

Buffalo, the third in size of the cities of New York State, with (1890) 255, 664 inhab., lies at the E. end of Lake Erie, at the mouth of the Buffalo River and head of the Niagara River, 20 M. above the Niagara Falls. IT is well built, and many of its wide streets are shaded with trees and smoothly paved with asphalt.

The name of the city is supposed to be derived from the herds of buffalo which frequented the creek here entering the lake. The first dwelling for a white man was erected here in 1971, but it was not till after the construction of the Erie Canal in 1825 that the place increased with an great rapidity. Between 1880 and 1890 it added 100,000 souls to its population. The commerce of Buffalo is very great, as its situation makes it an emporium for much of the traffic with the great North-West. Its lake-harbour is safe and capacious, and it has several miles of waterfront. Lumber, grain, coal (5-6 million tons), and cattle are among the chief articles of trade. The grain elevators have an aggregate capacity of 13-14 million bushels. The industries of Buffalo include brewing...oil-refining, car-building, and the manufacture of metal goods, soap, and starch. They employ 55,000 hands, while their produce in 1890 was valued at $101,000,000. The population includes a large proportion of Germans and many Poles and Italians.

Lake Erie (485 ft.), the second (counting from the E.) of the chain of Great Lakes between the United States and Canada, is 290 M. long and 65 M. wide. It is by far the shallowest of all, having an average depth of only 84ft. It communicates with Lake Huron by the Detroit River and pours its waters into Lake Ontario by the Niagara River. It is the scene of a very busy navigation. The first vessel to navigate the lake was built on the Niagara River by La Salle in 1679, and the first steamboat was launched in 1818.
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