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A Pictorial History of Black Rock is now in print

A project that collected histori- owners and residents of Black Erie Canal are of significant his- STAGED ARCHITECTURE: Historic greenhouses and gardens be-
cal essays and thousands of Rock. torical importance. come a kind of walk-in Advent calendar. 24 stars can be seen on the
photos of commerce and every day meadow in front of the Great Tropical House in Berlin.
life in Buffalo’s Black Rock neigh- The Black Rock Historical So- “Later the Beltline Railroad
borhood culminated in a book ciety’s newsletter notes: “A num- would allow for transportation The Christmas Garden will take place for the third time at the
launch by the Grant Amherst Busi- ber of factors influenced the around the City and population Botanical Garden in Berlin. This year, Christmas Gardens will also open
ness Assn. (GABA) on Nov. 18 at creation of the project. The impor- grew dramatically. Commer and in Stuttgart at Wilhelma and near Dresden in the garden of Schloss
Assumption Church Hall, Amherst tance Black Rock played during industry developed and prospered Pillnitz.
St. the War of 1812, as a strategic and Black Rock became a commu-
naval and shipbuilding location on nity with its own distinct identity. 11 facts about Germany's "fifth season"
“It’s a special book, especially Scajaquada Creek, and a contend- It is the character of this neighbor-
for our area,” said contributor Do- er for the western terminus of the hood made up of German, Irish, DW.COM: Every year on 11/11, at 11:11 a.m., costumed people
reen DeBoth, owner of Artsphere Polish and other Eastern European storm the town halls and symbolically take over power for the coming
Studio and Gallery on Amherst St. immigrants that GABA [Grant weeks. It marks the beginning of the carnival season, which Germans
and chair of the Black Rock Histor- Amherst Business Assn.] sought to also call the "fifth season."
ical Society. “It's going to lift our preserve for future generations.” The significance of all those elevens
area,” she added.
Essay contributors included: Since the Middle Ages, the number eleven has represented excess
The 352-page hardcover book, Rob Niemiec, Joseph Korona, and sin. A number like this with repeated digits is known as a
"A Pictorial History of Black Mary Ann Kedron, Warren Glov- Schnapszahl (schnapps number) in German. The term's origins seem to
Rock," includes essays and over er, Scott Glasgow, Mark Peszko be linked either with seeing double when drunk or with drinking games.
700 photos spanning 100 years of and Lou Haremski. And revelers will certainly be boozing it up in the coming weeks, until
life in Black Rock from 1880 to it's all over on Ash Wednesday.
1980. It is the result of 15 years of Haremski, president of GABA,
collecting, scanning and archiving said, “From the spark of an idea in
over 2,000 photos submitted by the mind of Robert J. Niemiec,
over 150 individuals and the writ- long-time businessman and former
ing of historical essays by business president of the Grant Amherst
Business Assn., came the idea to
memorialize the photographic his-
tory of our neighborhood.

DeBoth said the book covers
the neighborhood with regards to
church, schools and ethnicity,
family and community, sports,
business, industry, military and
public service, transportation and
waterways.

Rob Niemiec said that as pres-
ident of GABA in 2002 he shared
his idea for the book. “At first,
many in our organization were not
receptive but eventually embraced
the idea… getting people to allow
us to copy their photos, collecting
photos, helping archive and writ-
ing captions along with others.

“We secured funding in 2003.
In 2004, we took an ad in the Riv-
erside Review calling for old pho-
tos of Black Rock. At first the
response was slow but then picked
up steam. We started to get more
help archiving as people started to
see the historic significance of
these photos that could have been
lost forever.”

Niemiec hopes they can pro-
duce another volume in the future.

For more information email
DeBoth at gabasecretary@
gmail.com.
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