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Buffalo: 1905

Buffalo, New York, circa 1905. "Looking up Main Street. Steamer North Land at Long Wharf." 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

Buffalo, New York, circa 1905. "Looking up Main Street. Steamer North Land at Long Wharf." 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.


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It is Main street

To David_T

It looks strange to you because it is in fact Main Street. Then the location of the landmarks make sense. For example, the Ellicott Square building is on Main street.

Map link

The street centered in this photograph is indeed Main Street. A map from 1894, depicting the buildings along the left side of the photograph and along Main Street up to Seneca can be found here.

The trapezoid shaped building with the large overhangs is the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western passenger station.


Sadly, I've never been to Buffalo. There are a number of interesting church spires in this photo. Do any of them still exist?

It's changed in 100 years

I live in buffalo and looking at this is a bit odd. Most of what you see there was torn down to make room for RT5 and the I190.

First, that's not Main Street anymore, it's looking east down Church Street. The new Main Street would start around were the tall flagpole is, I think. The large white building to the right of the street looks like the Ellicott Square building (completed 1896, the largest office building at the time). The large tower to the right of that is the old post office, now Erie Community Collage. The problem is it should be closer to the Ellicott Square building.

The steeple to the left of the street is Asbury Delaware Methodist Church. Now it's the home of Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center. The clock tower left of that is the old town hall.

Sherwin Williams

I didn't realize the Sherwin Williams logo was that old. I figured maybe 1940's or 1950's.


Growing up in Western New York State, I passed through Buffalo many times. I've always loved the graceful lines of those Lake steamers. They had to be a little narrow to get through the Welland Canal, which enabled them to bypass Niagara Falls (the direct trip was a little precipitous).
Just about all gone now. Like ghosts.


Built in 1895 by Globe Iron Works of Cleveland, Ohio for the Northern Steamship Company. One of two sister-ships. Originally built with three funnels. By 1910 she had new boilers and two funnels as shown in this picture.

In 1905 was running a passenger service between Buffalo and Chicago.

The North Land had been built to undertake the round voyage between Buffalo and Duluth in a week and her owners, the Northern Steamship Company, became the first to introduce seven day cruises.

Scrapped in 1921.

She's Yar

How beautiful she is. It's a shame old ships and old buildings don't live forever.


Amazing view of Buffalo in its prime. You can see several landmarks that are still standing, including the Ellicott Square Building, and the old post office (now ECC city campus). Looking forward to more photographs of Buffalo!

Admirably Appointed

The United States with an Excursion into Mexico,
Handbook for Travellers, by Karl Baedeker. 1904.

46. From Buffalo to Chicago.

e. By Steamer.

It is possible to go the whole way from Buffalo to Chicago by water, through Lakes Erie, Huron, and Michigan, without change of steamer. — The ‘North Land’ and ‘North West’, the two magnificent steamers of the Northern Steamship Co. (each 386 ft. long, of 5000 tons burden, and accommodating 500 passengers), leave Buffalo (wharf at foot of Main St.) every Wed. and Sat. in summer at 8 p.m. (central time). The — The ‘North Land’ goes through to Chicago, which it reaches on Sat. at 1 p.m.; the ‘North West’ goes to (3 days) Duluth (comp. p. 372), and Chicago passengers must change at (1½ day) Mackinac Island. Through-fare to Chicago $13.50, berths extra (to Mackinac from $3 up). Luggage up to 150 lbs. is free. Fares to Cleveland, $2.00: to Detroit, $4.75; to Mackinac Island, $8.50; to Sault-Ste-Marie, $10.75; to Duluth $17.00. These steamers are admirably appointed in every way and afford most comfortable quarters.

I love the Steamer

I admire the photo and I love the "North Land" at first sight. As i read about the steamer a little bit and I know she has an interesting story. The steamer was built in 1895 by (as we all see) the Northern Steamship Company. Mark Tawin wrote about her, whilst travelling on his own tour of America: "All that has been said of this fine ocean ship on the Great Lakes is not exaggerated." "North Land" operated between Chicago and Buffalo, from June through late September. In 1919 she was sold and cut into two pieces at Buffalo and was towed to Montreal, Quebec. Plans to convert and operate her as an ocean liner or troop ship never materialized. She lay in her dock until 1921, when she was dismantled and scrapped. Unfortunately.

Splendid New Steamship

Buffalo Enquirer. January 5, 1895


The New Northern Steamship, NORTH LAND,
Launched in Cleveland.
A Sister Ship to the NORTH WEST and Similar
in Construction and Equipment.

        Cleveland Jan. 5. -- The splendid new steamship NORTH LAND was successfully launched at 2:30 this afternoon at the shipyards of the Globe Iron Works.

        As the launching signal was given by Miss Gertrude Hanna, daughter of President M. H. Hanna, cheers went up from the thousands who had gathered to watch the great vessel slide into the water. The christening ceremony over this magnificent steel vessel, now the finest on the lakes, was performed by Mrs. F. P. Gordon, wife of the Assistant General Manager of the Northern Steamship Company. For the purpose a large platform had been built under the bow of the big vessel, and here the traditional bottle of wine was broken by Mrs. Gordon. The boat was launched sidewise, room being insufficient for a direct plunge.

        The new vessel, which, both the Globe Company and the steamship people say is the finest that ever left these yards, dropped gracefully into the water amid repeated cheers of the crowd. The launching was carried out successfully, and now the Northern Steamship Company has two exclusive steel passenger steamboats, the best constructed and speediest vessels on the lakes.

        The NORTH LAND is quite similar in beauty of design and in elegance of interior construction to the NORTH WEST. The Globe Company had the advantage of the experience gained in the building of the sister vessel, the NORTH WEST, and have made some improvements over what was last year supposed to be pretty nearly perfect in the way of construction. As one of the representatives of the steamship company said, the builder made improvements just as an architect is able to do when he builds a second house. He can learn to perfect his work after the first production. This experience has assisted the company in another way; it has enabled them to have the new steamer ready for launching 30 days earlier than last year.

        This morning the Globe Iron Works were inspected by the officials of the Northern Steamship Company and the representatives of the Buffalo, Cleveland and Detroit newspapers, guests of the steamship company. At these works are built a great many vessels for lake traffic, and the facilities for the purpose are unexcelled. The works are among the largest industries in Cleveland, and employ a large number of men.

        The NORTH LAND, which was launched today, is built of steel throughout, and its hull has been strengthened and subdivided through transverse and longitudinal bulkheads into numerous water-tight compartments. Strength and safety were as much requisites in building the vessel as are speed and comfort. The hull is of novel design, and is constructed around the shafts, giving as little resistance as possible, and also great strength.

        In general the dimensions of the NORTH LAND is 383 feet over all, 360 feet between perpendiculars, the molded breadth is 44 feet, and depth 26 feet.

        The interior arrangements of the boat are as fine as money and excellent taste can make them. Electricity is used in lighting, and one might fancy he was in the parlor of some elegant private residence on terra firma. Mahogany has been largely used in the wood work.

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