History of Buffalo

Buffalo is found east of Lake Erie, at the beginning of the Niagara River, and it ranks number two on the list of most populous New York cities. However, before it became the city it is today, Buffalo originated as a small trading commuinty in 1789. Prior to the occupation of the region by the Iroquois, also known as the Haudenosaunee, it was settled by the indigenous tribe known as Neutral Nation, who lived near the northern shores of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie until they were displaced by European settlers.

Buffalo’s industrious spirit grew almost exponentially in 1825 after the completion of the Erie Canal. The growth in population and commerce led Buffalo to officially become a city in 1832, when its population clocked in at about 10,000 residents. The city continued to expand and gained the title as the eighth largest city in the United States by 1900, when it was also known for its major railroad center and the largest grain-milling industry in the country.

The city of Buffalo has been home to African-Americans for a long time. In 1845, construction started on the Macedonia Baptist Church, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places for its role in the abolitionist movement.

Buffalo got the nickname “City of Light” due to the widespread electric lighting in the early 20th century. In 1881, the city set up the first electric street lights in the country.

The St. Lawrence Seaway, which is a system of locks, canals and channels, opened in 1957. This cut Buffalo off from valuable trade routes and the city’s economy began to decline. Buffalo’s population peaked at more than half a million people in the 1950s, but this decreased by almost 50% as industries closed and people moved to other cities.

The first decade of the 21st century saw a massive increase in economic development spending in an attempt to revitalize Buffalo’s economy and infrastructure.

Today, with an estimated population of 261,025, Buffalo is second to New York City as the most populous city in the state of New York. Being home to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and the University at Buffalo, the region’s largest economic sectors are health care and education.

Buffalo — The Home of Pierce Arrow Luxury Cars

Buffalo played a major role in the automobile revolution with automobile manufacturers Pierce-Arrow and the Seven Little Buffaloes, both of which were situated in the city during the 20th century. From 1901 to 1938, Pierce-Arrow gained recognition as the maker of luxury cars that were afforded only by the richest residents. The manufacturer became a symbol of high status, and its cars were owned by many Hollywood stars, corporate tycoons, and royalty.

Prior to car manufacturing, in 1865, Pierce-Arrow was known as Heinz, Pierce and Munschauer, a company that produced household items. In 1901, George N. Pierce took the step to buy out the Heinz and Munschauer parts of the company and changed its name in 1872 to the George N. Pierce Company. After a botched attempt at manufacturing a car powered by steam, Pierce was able to build a single-cylinder, two-speed Motorette in 1901, introducing the two-cylinder Arrow to consumers by 1904.

Though Pierce sold all of his rights to the company in 1907, the company continued to make its impact on the nation for years to come:

  • In 1908, the company once again changed its name, this time to The Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company.
  • In 1909, President William Howard Taft specially requested two Pierce-Arrow automobiles to be the first official cars for all public occassions that warranted the use of a vehicle.
  • In 1910, Pierce-Arrow focused exclusively on making 6-cylinder cars.
  • In 1928, Pierce-Arrow fell under the control of the Studebaker Corporation. The association lasted until 1933.
  • In 1933, the company made one last attempt to salvage their status as a high-class product among the wealthy by unveiling the Silver Arrow. However, because it was expensive and released during the Great Depression, it didn’t sell well.
  • In 1936, Pierce-Arrow produced a line of camper-trailers called the Pierce-Arrow Travelodge. They also produced a redesigned V-12 sedan, which was considered the safest and most luxurious sedan of its age.
  • In 1938, Pierce-Arrow finally closed due to plummeting sales and revenue.
  • In 2006, more than half a century after the manufacturer closed its doors, Swiss classic car collectors bought out the Pierce-Arrow brand.

Statistical Overview for Buffalo Motorists

Based on the state’s official reports, the average annual number of motor vehicle thefts stand at almost 2,200. This equates to about 757.6 thefts for every 100,000 car owners.

The legal driving age in New York is 16, which means that drivers enter the roads at an early age and increases the number of drivers who wouldn’t otherwise be on the road. With more drivers, more collisions are likely.

Buffalo’s crash statistics stands as follows:

  • Vehicles involved in collisions that result in fatalities: 24
  • Fatal accidents that result from drunken drivers: 7
  • Fatalities: 13
  • Persons involved in collisions that result in fatalities: 47
  • Pedestrians involved in collisions that result in fatalities: 4

With these types of numbers, it’s imperative that you have car insurance. In fact, the state of New York makes it illegal for drivers to operate vehicles without proper coverage. In the event that you are involved in an accident, your insurance can cover your finances. Check out affordable Buffalo car insurance rates by entering your zip code into our form at the top of the page.