Buffalo Bicycling History

Recent news on the auction of the Pedaling History Bicycle Museum collection sparked a search through our Sports Scrapbooks for more on Buffalo’s bicycling past.  Bicycles were hugely popular in the early 1900s, and Buffalo was home to several bicycle clubs that held races, rides, and picnics.  According to the article below, Buffalo was once known as “The Wheelman’s Paradise.”

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More information on Buffalo’s bicycling history can be found in the Grosvenor Room’s scrapbooks, Local History File, and Vertical Files.

Sources: “When the Bike was King in Buffalo.” Buffalo Times, Nov. 13, 1932, Sports in Buffalo Scrapbook, v.1, p.108.  “A Pioneer Buffalo Bicycler.” Buffalo Morning Express, June 4, 1905, Sports in Buffalo Scrapbook, v.1, p.106.  [Group on steps]. Courier Express, June 25, 1954, Sports in Buffalo Scrapbook, v.2, p.123 “Buffalo’s great road races.” Sports in Buffalo Scrapbook, v.2, p.118.

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Mt. Calvary Cemetery Records Now Available Online!

Recently the Mount Calvary Cemetery Group provided the Grosvenor Room with listings of burials from some of their cemeteries.  For quick access, these files are now available on the Grosvenor Room web page! Click here or use the links below:

Mount Calvary Cemetery Burials, 1925-Aug 2012

Ridge Lawn Cemetery Burials 1901-Aug 2012

United German & French Cemetery Burials 1903-May 2012

The records supplement the records the Grosvenor Room currently has on microfilm for these cemeteries. Additional Mount Calvary Group transcriptions, plot maps, and updates to the burials will be provided in the future.

Looking for the records of other cemeteries?  See the Cemetery Guide for information on the the over 100 WNY cemeteries in our collection!

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Census 101 Class

Are you interested in learning about the U.S. Federal Census for genealogy research?  Yes?  Then sign-up for our class being held this Thursday, October 18.  Here are the details:

Census Records 101

Skill Level: Advanced

Requirements: Mouse, typing, and Internet skills

This is an introduction to using U.S. Federal Census records for genealogy research.  Learn the basics of census records and an overview of census resources available through the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library System.

Time: 2-5 pm

Location: Central Library Computer Lab, 2nd Floor

Call to reserve your spot: 858-7132

Posted in Genealogy

National Hispanic Heritage Month: September 15 to October 15, 2012

During this time, we celebrate the rich history and culture of Americans whose ancestors came from Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

Interested in discovering your Hispanic family history?  See our Latin American and Caribbean Genealogy guide for genealogy resources in the Grosvenor Room.

For information on Hispanic-American culture and history in the Buffalo area, see the books listed in the above guide, and the following selected websites:

History of Hispanics in Buffalo, NY

Hispanic Heritage History Project

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New Grosvenor Room Guide

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Shakespeare in the park…the early years

On June 14, 1904 Buffalonians were treated to an amateur outdoor production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, complete with “electrical effects,” a Greek dance, and Mendelssohn music.  Presented as a benefit for the Charity Foundation’s Church Home (an orphanage & home for the aged), the performance took place in the extensive gardens of the Rumsey family, located at Delaware Avenue and Tracy Street.  A serendipitous scrapbook find, as this play is the current Shakespeare in the Park production!

The production featured a cast of Buffalo notables, with members of the Cary, Hamlin, Larkin,  Letchworth, Kleinhans, Rumsey, and Wilcox families participating.

Here is the glowing review and full cast:

Source: Charities in Buffalo Scrapbook, Vol. 1, pp.327-330, 332. Buffalo Collection *HV99.B86 B72

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The Library Cat Saga


In 1935, a  little black cat named Rosita found a home at the original Grosvenor Library, our predecessor and namesake.  We learned of this story while searching through the newspaper scrapbooks that were meticulously compiled by library staff over the years.  The Grosvenor Library was a public reference library that existed from 1871 to 1963, with extensive collections in American history and genealogy.  It was located at 383 Franklin at the corner of Edward, and later annexed the Cyclorama building.

The newspapers at the time regaled readers with witty stories on the “library cat” and even reported on her disappearance, happy return, and birth of kittens aptly named Cataloga, Medicala, Orderina, Perioda, and Referentia!


Margaret Richmond Fess, a Buffalo newspaperwoman, related the cat saga in the context of the Great Depression in her book, The Grosvenor Library and it’s Times:

During these dark and troubled times, the press snatched eagerly at any news which touched the lighter side of life. Rosslyn, alias Rosita, alias Blackie, the Grosvenor Library’s classical cat, received more space in the local papers in 1935 and 1936 than the most valuable gifts to the institution.

Source: Grosvenor Library Scrapbook, Vol. 6, unpaged. Buffalo Collection *Z733.B92 G8

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