Category History

The Cyclone

My father’s photo album included three photos of the legendary Cyclone roller coaster at the Crystal Beach amusement park in Fort Erie, Ontario, just across the Peace Bridge from Buffalo, N.Y. The Cyclone was one of three coasters designed and built by Harry G. Traver, and was variously described as “the thrill of thrills,” “revered […]

Lewiston Ice Jam, 1938

My father took seven photos of the Lewiston ice jam of 1938. Lake Erie, being shallow, was prone to the buildup of ice in the winter, which then went over Niagara Falls in huge blocks. The flow of the lower Niagara River couldn’t handle that much ice, and it collected in ice jams, most notably […]

Colgate vs. Tulane, 1937

In October of 1937, Tulane, the Green Wave, defeated Colgate’s Red Raider football team 7-6 in the new Roesch Memorial Stadium in Buffalo, N.Y. My father took three pictures… And even sneaked a shot of the press box… I love the hats, the microphone on a trunk, and the headphones. Roesch Memorial was soon renamed […]

Clover

Last week I was in Clover Boldt’s bedroom. She was not there. In fact, she was never there, and her bedroom at Boldt Castle was never finished. Today it has been carefully recreated as the room it would have been, had not her mother, Louise, died in 1904 during the castle’s construction, halting all work […]

Sorting Out a Festering Fleshpot

In 1817, Spain’s hold on its American colonies, including Florida, was weakening, so much so that an adventurer named Gregor MacGregor was able to take possession of Florida’s Amelia Island with an amateur army of 100 men. But within a few months of yellow fever and not much to eat, MacGregor abandoned his possession, which […]

Speak English

“These foreign people have thrown a circle around themselves… they have studiously striven to exclude everything American and to cherish everything foreign… There must be an interpretation anew of the oath of allegiance… It means that you will speak the American language, sing American songs; that you will begin earnestly to study American history; that […]

Not the Empress

In 1889, Colorado lumberman James W. Clise moved to Seattle. He arrived on June 7th, one day after the Great Fire destroyed Seattle’s business district. Other men might have viewed the smoldering vista as inauspicious, but Clise began buying real estate – probably at fire sale prices – and was soon a successful developer. Lyman […]