01 - Introduction, History of Kenmore, Erie County New York


The importance of recording events that take place in the -world cannot be overestimated. Whether these events are of interest to the world at large, or to a particular country or community matters not. As time goes by such chronicles become increasingly valuable.

Although the United States is comparatively a new country, the veil of obscurity still covers many events that took place even less than a hundred years ago, because there was no local historian at hand to record them, or their passing character was considered insignificant. The biographical, historical, and geographical sections of our public libraries are being increasingly patronized as our nation grows older. Private libraries and correspondence often yield rich nuggets of fact; and no sooner does an octogenarian pass away, than newspapers, magazines, and historians bid high for the treasure of even a diary, if one has been kept, of passing events, or recollections of noted people. Thus local chronicles ofttimes become of world wide interest.

The placing of memorial tablets, markers, and monuments is no less important. "Remove not the ancient landmark", advised the wise man of old; but "Place a Marker" is equally wise advice in our own times, as the old gives place to the new. We stand with head uncovered at Lincoln's birthplace; yet who, at the time of his appearing would have forecast its later momentous interest to the world. A visitor from the far west stood enchanted as he read the inscription on the marker placed on the wall of a high business block at the corner of Pearl Street and W. Swan Street, which indicates the spot where stood the first school house in Buffalo, built in 1807 - 1808, and destroyed December 30th, 1813, at the burning of the village by the British. His grandfather attended the school.

Monuments erected to the memory of those who fell in the world war will a hundred years from now, fascinate the onlooker, as do those erected by our forefathers of Revolutionary times entrance us.

The village of Kenmore is of recent growth; yet it is astonishing how few persons now living can recall its earliest settlement. We are dependent upon scrap books, the files of Buffalo newspapers, and the uncertain memory of a small number yet living who built their homes in "the new suburb on the north", as Kenmore was called by Buffalonians in 1889.

There was little or no pioneering connected with the founding of Kenmore in the strict sense of the word; although inconvenience and hardship were not wanting in many instances, while homes were being built and public utilities introduced. A large city was near at hand, and farm houses within sight relieving a sense of isolation. And yet, many things were endured and experienced that would seem like great deprivation to the younger generation, so rapid has been our growth and progress in modern advantages.

Kenmore is now assuming the proportions of a small city. Our population is increasing rapidly. Recent years have brought phenomenal changes. Very few new residents know anything about the early days in Kenmore, and those who have lived through the development of the village will be equally interested in the story of Buffalo's most beautiful and progressive suburb.

Fred'k S. Parkhurst, Ph. D.
Local Historian appointed by The University of the State of New York, September 1st, 1919

SOURCE:  History of Kenmore Erie County, New York; 1926; Frederick S. Parkhurst, Ph.D. Local Historian