This memorial piece was donated to the museum to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of September 11, 2001. Depicting a portion of glass and rock from each of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, this piece serves as a way to remember the events of that tragic day. Additionally, it reminds us of the sacrifices made by those who lost their lives that day, the families of the deceased, and the men and women who helped in the recovery and aftermath of 9/11. Special thanks is given to those who sponsored this commemorative 9/11 memorial piece and who donated their money, time and efforts towards its display at Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village.
From Forest to Front Lawn: The Story of Amherst, an American Suburb
This permanent, 2,500 square-foot exhibit in the Village’s main exhibition area explores the history of Amherst, NY, from 1800 to the present. Interactive activities highlight the transformation of this town from a thickly forested area, to an agricultural town, to the active suburb it is today. As you browse the exhibit, you’ll see artifacts, letters, journals and images from the earliest days of Amherst, including material from the War of 1812 and Civil War. You can explore a recreated façade of the Centre House tavern which stood on Forest Road in Getzville from 1900 until the 1990s. The middle of the 20th century is highlighted with a 1950s Nash Metropolitan Convertible and the recreation of a portion of Jimmy’s Diner.
Life on the Erie Canal
Proposed in 1808 and completed in 1825, the Erie Canal links the waters of Lake Erie in the west to the Hudson River in the east, stretching from Buffalo to Albany. The canal significantly reduced shipping costs and goods and people were transported more quickly via the canal. This exhibit celebrates the engineering marvel that some once called the Eighth Wonder of the World. Fun, hands-on activities, a replica canal packet boat, a miniature street of 19th century shops, and a working model of a canal lock show visitors how goods and people were transported along the route. Teacher toolkits and resources are available. Simply email our Education Department.
The kitchen was the center of activity in pioneer homes. Women prepared meals, canned fruit, tended to their children and managed a household with only a few conveniences. This replica of a pioneer kitchen features an open hearth with cast iron crane for cooking, a baking oven, a rope bed and all the implements that made the kitchen both functional and the heart of every home for the early pioneers of WNY. The exhibit offers hands-on learning for children and adults to experience a “taste” of pioneer life.
1880s Street of Shops
Stroll down Main Street as it looked in the late 19th century. View our recreation of the 1880s General Store with its array of goods needed for the well-furnished home, including dishes, crockery, kitchen tools and utensils, fabrics, clothing, notions, hardware and much more. Stop and see our shaving mugs and other tonsorial tools at the Barbershop. Peer into the Watchmaker’s Shop and see the intricate tools and lathes the watchmaker used, along with gears from the timepieces that were a key status symbol in the Victorian period. Get a glimpse into the past by examining prescriptions, minerals, chemicals and the variety of compounds dispensed at Smither’s Pharmacy.
Martha C. Schmidt Decorative Arts Gallery
Renowned Buffalo, NY oncologist Martha C. Schmidt was an avid collector of 19th and 20th century decorative arts and a long-time friend of Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village. She generously donated her one-of-a-kind collection of glassware and pottery to the Village to share with our visitors. Items on display include 19th century Imari porcelain, art pottery, and handsomely produced cut, hand-blown and molded glass pieces. All are excellent examples of hand-crafted decorative arts created during that time period.
Let this exhibit of television, radio and communication equipment take you back in time! See how these devices changed the lives of everyone who encountered them and connected people to their community, their nation and the world at large. Share memories with your family about an early television set you watched at the corner store as a child or the crystal radio sets or transistor kits you assembled. Learn together about Western New York radio stars who made a big splash on the national scene, including the man behind the Lone Ranger. There’s a treasure trove of memories to explore, share and intrigue—no matter your age.
This new exhibit explores how the 18th Amendment sought to bring on an age of temperance and virtue but instead resulted in an increase in excess, indulgence, and vice as Americans began to test the limits of one of the most unpopular pieces of legislature in American history. Follow the progression of alcohol consumption in Western New York, the 19th century temperance movement, the passage of the 18th Amendment and its eventual repeal along with fun facts and statistics. Enjoy the music of the era in the replica speakeasy and share your Prohibition stories that have been passed down from generation to generation in your family!
Ever wonder how the buildings out in our Village were moved here? This exhibit shows how we moved some of these structures, including interesting facts about the buildings as they were moved and the process each underwent as they were restored back to their former glory. Enjoy photographs chronicling the journey of each historic structure, from disrepair to transition to restoration. You’ll never look at our buildings the same way again!
Something Borrowed, Something Blue: Wedding Fashions 1800 – 2000
Indulge in bridal fashions spanning two hundred years. On view will be 17 gowns (with accessories) from BNHV’s extensive bridal collection. Various gowns of note include an empire waist gown featuring silver brocade with green leaf detailing (1820), an alpaca silk beige gown complete with bustle, ruffles, apron and silk bonnet (1874), a court dress with chenille embroidery (1889), a Jackie O-inspired dress featuring ornate beadwork with full skirt and train (1962), and silk embroidered dresses dating to the 1920s.