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Few areas within Buffalo’s city limits can boast of a history as rich and diverse as that of South Buffalo. It has the remains of an Indian burial ground, the lore of the Underground Railroad, plus the beauty of a Frederick Law Olmsted designed park – all in a multicultural neighborhood that still maintains ties to strong Gaelic roots.

Also located in this area is one of the few remaining homesteads in the Western New York area. Hiding in plain sight, on the corner of Buffum and Parkview streets, is the Buffum house. Built circa 1850, it is believed to be the oldest standing house in South Buffalo. Even after 160 years, the house is still making history! In late 2008, it sustained serious fire damage and the property was in housing court, threatened with demolition. An inspection determined that the structure was sound and reflection revealed a rich history that was well worth preserving.

Thanks to the efforts of Assemblyman Kearns, two community partners purchased the house as co-owners, which was then taken over by a newly formed Not-for-profit, “The Buffum House, Inc.” We are continuing to pursue funding to rehabilitate this historic property. Since the Buffum house and the immediate area play an integral role in the early history of South Buffalo, the plan is to create a community meeting space in the form of a heritage center, where the rich history of this area can be told and visualized. The upstairs, once renovated, may be used to accommodate out-of-town families of patients at Mercy Hospital.

Previous opportunities to save history on Buffum Street and in the area have been missed. Hopefully, history will show that we were able to honor the past so we can preserve it for future generations.