Some of the earliest Irish settlers in Buffalo literally shoveled their way through New York State to get to and make Buffalo the largest inland port through the creation of the Erie Canal (1817-1825). Our lighthouse stands near the original western terminus of the Erie Canal. The canal also made it fairly easy for the next wave of Irish—the Famine Irish—to find their way to Buffalo. They arrived with nothing and, having no prospects, made their homes on a low and sandy spit of land that was created by the accumulation of sand along the seawall. They built shanties and fished the river and lake. Finding work on ships and in the grain elevators, and as construction workers, they built better houses, rowing clubs, and saloons…on the “beach”. The last of the beachers was evicted in the 1930s. The area is now known as Times Beach. It is directly south of the lighthouse. We celebrate those who struggled and fought to make a life in this city.
Help us continue the celebration and commemoration at the 2024 CCE North American Provincial Convention at the beautiful Buffalo Hyatt Regency. The Hyatt is located right in the heart of our city’s downtown yet is only 20 minutes from the airport and easy to reach via interstate, train and bridge from Canada, and there will be trips to Niagara Falls.
So make your way to the our Queen City on April 4-7, 2024 for dancing, singing, playing, making new friends and meeting with familiars.
Lighthouse photo by Mike Shriver