The Naughty Retail History of Canalside – Buffalo, NY

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This a redesign of the original 1893 “Map of the Retail Places of Business.” It is available for purchase by clicking through to the main site.

When the Erie Canal opened in 1825, Buffalo quickly grew to become a rough and tumble town where buying, selling, trading, and all other forms of commerce sprang out of (and around) its varied canal system.

Coming from the west were the massive freighters and steam ships of the Great Lakes. Often, crew were paid in Buffalo and, after a lengthy stay onboard, the men were keen to spend freely and party like, well, drunken sailors.

In Buffalo’s early days, there were plenty of places to enjoy along the harbor – stores, restaurants, salons and a host of free theatre saloons. What most caught the sailors attention, however, were the 107 saloons where they could quench even their deepest thirst.

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