By 1832, when Buffalo was incorporated as a city, the East Side represented a vast forested area and farmland cut with the beginnings of the major arterials of Genesee, Sycamore, Broadway, William, Clinton, and Seneca. These streets were laid out in 1826 and represented the seeds of the East Side’s explosive growth. Along these radial thoroughfares, the development of railroads and the Buffalo Belt Line, constructed in 1883, created a semicircle pattern that outlined the East Side. Industries began sprouting up, eager to use their proximity to the belt line to transport wares all over the country. Immigrants from Germany, Poland, and Ireland, along with African Americans from northern and southern states, began establishing their lives around these industries. Access to land, water, roads, and rail lines and eager immigrants and natives looking for work led to the development of Buffalo’s East Side industry, an immensely diverse industrial base and workforce.
This book is a two year adventure for me. It comes from spending many working hours on the East Side of Buffalo and seeing many empty and forgotten warehouses and wondering "What was that?" Working at the Buffalo History Museum allowed me to look up these forgotten factories and warehouses and to learn more about the history of them! It's been such a pleasure to tell the story of places many people will remember, and many might not.
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