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HDC News 2014

Updates - 2013 - February  2014

By Ron Dukarm

COMMUNITY OUTREACH - The two major events we hosted over the past year were the national conventions of the Railway Passenger Car Alliance (RCPA) and the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society (ELHS). Together, over 300 conventioneers attended. These two groups had many VIP's in attendance, and we gained for ourselves national exposure. As a result of the ELHS convention, we were selected as the national repository of ELHS archives.

         In addition to our bi-monthly public meetings, we hosted a series of monthly lecture series sponsored by the Steel Plant Museum - the First Wednesday Program. We serve as host for monthly Board meetings of the WNYRHS, SPM, Lighthouse Association and the China Light Yacht Club. We have conducted ten tours for nursing homes, senior groups and Scouting groups. We served as the meeting placed on several occasions for the Erie County Federation of Historical Societies and several waterfront groups. We conducted a Christmas Bazaar to collect toys for local children and a food pantry drive for a local church. Over 2,000 visitors have come through our doors.

FUTURE PLANS - We plan to continue all of the above activities next year. As we set up the ELHS and NKP Archives, and our Library comes on line, we expect to have major research activity conducted on site. Mike Fitzsimmons started a 10-week series of model workshops on January 4th. Our newly installed kitchen has allowed us to have more banquet activities. The new parking lot constructed in Area A will attract the public to use the future hiking and biking trails planned for the adjacent Area D - Red Jacket Peninsula along the Buffalo River.

NEW TENANTS - Our building is almost 100% occupied, as we have signed up a number of new tenants and moved in Society archives from our many former storage locations. We now have nine (9) tenants in the building. We have made improvements to all tenant spaces, including painting, installing a kitchen, new locks and signage.

FUTURE PLANS - We are anticipating one more new tenant in the building after the first of the year. Also, we anticipate storing boats for the Buffalo Maritime Center, both outside and inside one of the new building we acquired in Area A. Area A is well suited for a restaurant and banquet facility on the river side building on the property.

LIBRARY - We are especially proud of the progress taking place in our Library. We have expanded the Library to include a Map Room. Over 4,000 magazines and 200 books have been received this year, plus several dozen maps. This is in addition to the 7,000 volumes in or collection. We estimate we have well over a half million images and up to 10,000 magazines, plus over a thousand
maps. We have erected professional library shelving in all available space and thanks to the efforts of Bill Dudley and Steve Kocsis, custom bracing was fabricated to add structural strength. Daeman College has donated a half dozen computers to support research activity. We are partnering with the Buffalo Irish Genealogical Society (BIGS), and thanks to the efforts of Jim and Donna Shine, our book collection is being catalogued, labeled and placed on shelving. Shelia O'Donnell has lead our efforts in sorting and cataloguing our magazine collection. The shelves are quickly filling up.

FUTURE PLANS - We plan to finish cataloging our book collection and having it available on shelves. We will also bring in our map cabinets and start to sort them and place them in flat files. We will consolidate our photos, slides and negatives so work can begin on them as time permits. We hope to have a full time librarian to service the collection during business hours.

ARCHIVES - We have moved in over 2,000 square feet of WNYRHS archives - books, papers, records, maps, artifacts, etc. In addition, thousands of items have been donated over the past year. We are concluding leases with the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society and the Nickel Plate Historical Society to move their national archives from Cleveland State University to the Don Owens Center. The NKP will occupy 100 square feet and the ELHS will occupy 700 square feet. Together, we will be a major research center for all railroads serving Buffalo.

FUTURE PLANS - We will seek a grant to upgrade our 3,000 square foot Archive building to archival standards - temp & humidity control, security, fire suppression system, etc. We plan to purchase about 1,000 linear feet of shelving and concentrate all archives in this building. We also will install a dark room to service the thousands from the Buffalo Irish Genealogical Society, we plan to concentrate on personnel records, to assist the many people involved in genealogy. Allowing public access to these records is a high priority.

BUILDING IMPROVEMENTS - We were able to accomplish a tremendous amount of work over the past year. This was due in great part to the $100,000 grant from the Wendt Foundation and our industrious volunteers who put in over 2,500 hours on various projects. Some of the major accomplishments were:

  • PAINTING - We went through over 50 gallons of paint. We now have almost 75% of our 22,000 square feet painted.


  • PLUMBING - We constructed two new restrooms on the second floor, installed a third toilet in the downstairs women's room, a new sink in the kitchen and replaced a 120 gallon electric hot water tank with a 40 gallon gas tank.


  • CIELINGS - We replaced all missing and stained ceiling tiles. All non-working light fixtures were repaired and all rooms wired to door switches. Some new air vents were installed and unused piping and conduit above the ceiling removed.
DOORS & SIGNAGE - A dozen new doors were installed as the building layout changed. All the new doors on the first floor were glass. New ADA signs were installed for the restrooms and elevators, and door numbers were placed over every door and entrance. New graphics were applied to the front entry doors and to several glass doors in the building. Two lit "OPEN" sings were mounted, as were handicap parking signs.

  • GROUNDS - We removed and unused gate and fence along the parking lot. Three outbuildings were painted, along with all fire were mounted on the building. The fire shed was remounted on its base. One tree was removed. Trees were pruned and grass cut weekly..


  • KITCHEN - Our kitchen was upgraded with the installation of a sink, two refrigerators and two stoves and an ice maker. Storage cabinets were installed on two walls.


  • FUTURE PLANS - For the coming year, we expect to install two new 25-ton HVAC units on the roof. We want to re-calk the building and repair the parking lot. Funding permitting, we plan to upgrade the Archive Building to archival standards. In the Kitchen we plan to install exhaust fans and a new sink. We want to complete the interior painting of the building and install a new sign out front. With grants, we would like to make the rear door the main entrance to the building with the construction of a reception area.

DONATIONS & ACQUISITIONS - Over the past year the Heritage Discovery Center has been the recipient of numerous donations of cash, artifacts, supplies, materials, furniture and equipment. All told, we estimate that grants and donations exceeded a quarter million dollars! All together, several thousand items were donated and are too numerous to list in this summary. Our thanks to everyone for your generous contributions. Some of the more significant donations are:

  • CASH - Over $20,000 has been raised from numerous donors, and all of this has been matched by the Don Owens Family. Some of the larger gifts were: Peter Westphal $3,000, Lighthouse Association $2,300, Ronald Dukarm $2,000. And a special thanks to the Wendt Foundation for $100,000.


  • ARTIFACTS - Over 200 books, 4,000 magazines, 32 boxes of RR paperwork, 15 lanterns, and two dozen boxes of miscellaneous - silverware, china, locks, keys, etc. Major contributors were Doug Smith $4,500, and Paul McGrath $3,000.


  • MATERIALS - Bill Dudley fabricated and installed all bracing for our library shelves. Mike Pietrocarlo donated over $25,000 of doors, plywood, sinks, toilets, light fixtures, pumps, shelving, office materials, etc. Fast Signs donated all signage for the building. Ed and Sheryl Patton fabricated and donated draperies for our meeting room.

FURNITURE & EQUIPMENT - Caryl Youngers donated a garage door, a set of rollers and three flatbed moving carts. The Buffalo Museum of Science gave us eight glass display cases. Jim Long donated a riding & push mower, ladders, power tools and several dozen hand & garden tools, in addition to providing the new chairs in our Meeting Room. Carl Ambuske donated a computer, speakers, power tools and numerous supplies. The Buffalo Maritime Center donated a large riding lawn mower. Kitchen cupboards came from Russell Bluhm; two portable coolers from Keith Michaels; a cash register, lawn furniture & ice maker from Joe Rafter.

FUTURE PLANS - We will be submitting grant requests to a number of foundations and granting agencies. These will total over a half million dollars. We also plan to seek donations and assistance from the railroads. In December we purchased Areas A and B, a total of 13 acres adjacent to our present building. These areas have 5 buildings, totaling over 25,000 square feet. On Area B behind our parking lot, we expect to construct two tracks, on which we can place at least a dozen pieces of our rolling stock for display. Future years will see more tracks and equipment. We also plan to seek State grants to install docks along the river-side property we have in Area A.

NEW BUILDINGS - These are the four buildings that we acquired with the purchase of Area A of the old Buffalo Color site. The three metal buildings below will be used for storage and as workshops. The concrete building is 10,000 square feet and we have interest from several individuals who wish to convert this space into a restaurant/banquet facility.


HDC SITE PLANS - These two drawings show much of our current and future developement plans. Black and Brown lines show paved roadway, green area are lawn. Red line show future track alignment. Buildings are numbered.



Updates - March 2014

By Ron Dukarm

COMMUNITY OUTREACH - The Don Owens Center continues to serve as a meeting place for various public meetings and tours by community groups, in addition to the numerous visitors who come to view our historical exhibits. The past month saw the following activity:

  • FIRST WEDNESDAY PROGRAMS - The Steel Plant Museum host a monthly program on the First Wednesday evening of every month. Various programs of local historical interest are presented. The events are free and open to the public. Check our Facebook page for the monthly notices.
LIGHTHOUSE DOCENT TRAINING - The Buffalo Lighthouse Association, under the guidance of Mike Vogel and Ed Patton, has conducted three training sessions for their docents. The additional staffing is needed as the Lighthouse plans more open days this year. In August 2013, the BLA received a national grant to clean and repair the 1905 lens located in the Lighthouse. A team of specialists flew in from Washington, DC and spent two weeks working on the lens. First, it had to be lowered by block & tackle down the outside of the lighthouse. Next it was brought to the HDC where it was taken apart, cleaned, and broken pieces replaced or repaired. It was then reassembled and now is on permanent display in our Lobby.

  • FOOD DRIVE - Our tenant, the Church of God, continue to be a great tenant. We are planning to coordinate some community outreach projects with them this summer.


  • ERIE COUNTY GRANTS - Legislator Lynn Dixon held a public meeting on March 19th concerning Erie County grant application process.


  • NURSING HOME TOURS - The Heritage Discovery Center is available for tours from nursing and senior care homes. On March 29th, the Orchard Heights Nursing Home had a dozen residents tour the museum. We usually present a short program and give them tours of the displays. If you have a group that may be interested in touring the HDC, please have them contact Ron Dukarm at 821- 9360.


  • WNYRHS PUBLIC MEETINGS - The WNYRHS will hold their summer picnic/meeting at the Don Owens Center. With plenty of parking, picnic tables and grills outside, one could eat a hotdog while watching trains pass by every 10 minutes. The summer meeting will be on Saturday July 19th starting at 6pm.


  • THE CHINALIGHT YATCH CLUB - Held thier quarterly meeting at HDC.

  • Updates - April 2014

    By Ron Dukarm

    "Gathering of the Clans" - On April 19th the Heritage Discovery Center meeting room was the center of a grand Irish Celebration! Sponsored by the Buffalo Irish Genealogical Society, a great crowd was on hand to share stories and history.

    Archive Shelving - The Nickel Plate Historical Society brought two truck loads of metal shelving to the HDC on April 22nd. The shelves will be used to store NKP Archive materials in their newly rented space at the Center.

    Red Cross Awards Luncheon - The American Red Cross Awards Luncheon was held on April 24th to recognize the dedication of their many Transportation Volunteers.

    Jacobsen Mower - Our "new" Jacobsen F-10 7 Gang lawn mower arrived on site April 24th, 2014. Donated by the Buffalo Maritime Center, it will be a huge asset to mowing our 18 acres of green space with its 15 foot cutting width.

    Guard House Renovation - On April 24th, a group of our volunteers started renovation the interior of our Guard House to be used for storage. As much as possible of the "vintage" interior will be saved.


    Updates - May 2014

    By Ron Dukarm

    WORK ACCOMPLISHED - May was a very busy month at the Heritage DiscoveRY Center with work being accomplished both inside in out. Inside, many more shelves were installed, walls painted and archives sorted and cataloged. We hosted many community events and numerous meetings and through the generosity of Members and Friends, the HDC Accepted many, many donations as noted below. Arces of grass were mowed and weedwacked. With better weather, reconstruction work in the Guardhouse really moved along.

    • ELK STREET PARKING LOT - Many members aren't aware that the Heritage Discovery Center owns a large parking lot on Elk Street, bordering Armor Electric and Area E. We have been cutting down brush and weeds and cutting grass in this lot. The overgrowth was substantial. Thanks to Nestor Arauz and Carl Ambuske over half the lot has been cleared..

    • ROOF REPAIRS - We have done substantial work on the roof to stop two stubborn roof leaks. A professional roofer was employed and most of the leaks stopped. We still have one to finish and this can be corrected when we replace the roof-top air conditioner.

    • ARCHIVES - Over the past months we have moved into the Don Owens Center over twenty truck-loads of archives, artifacts, records and filing equipment. The building is starting to fill up. The Archive Building is full and we are using space on the second floor. We have several more truck-loads to go and then all of the Society's holdings will be at one location.

    • MOWER REPAIRS - Our grass cutting equipment gets a lot of wear and tear. The riding mower and two push mowers broke down. Thanks to the mechanical skills of Frank Klaskov, all were repaired and put back in running order. Frank even took two broken mowers and made one good one out of the parts.

    • KITCHEN - We have been working to finalize our new kitchen. The room is now devoted strictly to food service. New storage cabinets were installed, which were donated by GOYA Corporation. Russell Bluhm donated 13 feet of oak upper and lower kitchen cabinets which will be soon installed. A new 16-gallon hot water tank was installed, replacing our old 69 gallon tank.

           Future plans for the old "Buffalo Color" guard house continue to evolve but we knew that the dividing walls and counter needed to be removed. As many as four men were working together to make the dirty job move along.

           Sometime in the past, the entire concrete floor was covered with vinyl tiles. After many years of use, most had cracked or come loose. The decision to remove all of them brought groans from the crew but all knew it had to be done. After all the debris was swept up, the end result was a great looking floor!

    DONATIONS - The number of donations over the past several months has been overwhelming. In addition to the monetary contributions to our Matching Fund, we have received the following equipment, tools and artifacts. Our sincere thanks go out to the following Members and Friends for their generosity:
    • Jim Long - Provided new, cushioned chairs for our Meeting Room, which arrived in July. The next time you enjoy a program in our comfortable new chairs, please thank Jim.
    • Jerry Bower - donated two boxes of TRAINS Magazines.
    • Mike Koenig - donated three car-loads of railroadianna and file cabinets from New York Central Terminal and a switchstand and other RR hardware.
    • Ryerson Steel Corporation - donated a large, steel plant sign to the Steel Plant Museum.
    • Carl Ambuske - donated an industrial vacuum cleaner, paints, fasteners and a laptop computer.
    • Ryerson Steel Corporation - donated a large, steel plant sign to the Steel Plant Museum.
    • Roger & Nancy Hyde - contributed an ERIE Railroad Dressel lantern.
    • Russell Bluhm - donated 13 feet of oak upper and lower kitchen cabinets.
    • Mike Pietrocarlo - donated a muffin pump, stepdown transformer, 3 steel firs doors, 3 glass doors, 3 toilets and sinks, two high-end speakers, glass display case and 30 ft of metal shelving.
    • David Fahmer - donated 4 boxes of various railroad magazines.
    • Buffalo History Museum - donated 6 maps of NYC and DL&W trackage and sent us several blueprints of Erie RR sidings
    • Ed & Cheryl Patton - donated window coverings for our Meeting Room and Ed donated his library of 370 RR and history books!
    • Carl Ambuske - donated a laptop computer, docking station, wireless keyboard & 2 stereo speakers.
    • Buffalo Science Museum - donated 8 glass display cases.
    • Frank Klaskov - provided parts for our snowblower repair.
    • Tom Stackhouse - donated a poster with all heritage NS paint schemes.
    • Caryl Youngers - donated a garage door & set of unloading rollers, a profile map of Erie's B&SW Division.
    • Bill Weimer - gave us 7 locomotive drawings, plaques and engravings, several rule books and a book of RR news clippings.
    • Rich & Dee Colmeraver - donated 120,000 RR slides.
    • Rich Carlson - donated 12 railroad books.
    • Steve Koenig - contributed 4 boxes of RR records from Bison Yard and NYC Terminal.
    • Dr. James McDonnell - donated 5 railroad books.
    • Larry DeYoung - donated 5 framed pictures, 6 lanterns, oil can, an Erie caboose pot, and complete bound set of Trains magazines.
    • Mark Lemke - donated 8 boxes of historic RR records, photos, drawings, booklets, roosters, etc.
    • Bob Schmitz - donated a calendar, 2 pens and various Winters Rigging literature.
    • Bob White - contributed several BR&P keys and wreck photos, a dozen rule books, 2 PRR reference books and 6 B&O steam photos.
    • Steel Plant Museum - donated a 18" x 30" photo of DL&W's East Buffalo Depot circa 1890.
    • Devan Lawton - contributed a Conrail engineer rooster as of April 1, 1976.
    • Mike Weekes - donated a book he wrote on Geodesic Houseboats.
    • Brad Smith - donated a large 6' x 5' 1887 railroad map.
    • Nickolas Azzarelli - donated a booklet. "If you work for the Railroad."
    • Jim McDonald - contributed his RR library of 200 books!
    • Red Mactherson - donated a large 1925 railroad map.
    • John Prybylski - donated 5 boxes of timetables, china, a lantern, RR booklets, postcards, pictures, etc.
    • Barb Owens - donated 2 radios, various refreshments and cleaning items.
    • Paul & Mark Mayer - donated a 2003 Chevy S-10 pick-up truck.
    • Shirley Stott - contributed 5 railroad books to the Library.
    • Ken Kraemer - donated a 2'x3' D&H logo & several boxes of RR books.
    • Fisher-Price - donated a children's train set - 250 feet of track and 2 pump cars.
    • Glenn Hufnagel - donated 150 magazines, several calendars and scores of RR photos.
    • Nickel Plate RR Historical Society - contributed 12 metal shelving units.

    LIBRARY PROJECT - Over the past two years we have striven to create a major library housing the Society's collection. In addition we will house collections of our tenants. Since arriving at 100 Lee Street, we have been donated over 5,000 books and magazines, in addition to about 200,000 images. In addition over 600 feet of professional library shelving was acquired for us by Mike Pietrocarlo.

    Ed Patton has been working with members of the Buffalo Irish Center who have been assisting us with cataloging and attaching Dewey Decimal System numbers on our books. Steve Kocsis and Bill Dudley fabricated custom made braces to secure the shelves. Shelia O'Donnell and Barb Owens cleaned hundreds of shelves. Carl Ambuske custom fabricated church pew reception seating. Because of the size of our collections, we still have a way to go. When at the Center, stop in and see the progress.


    Updates - June 2014

    By Ron Dukarm

           On June 3rd, our partners of the Steel Plant Museum took delivery of a "HUGE" Bethlehem Steel sign. Staub Trucking fabricated special rigging on a low boy trailer to support the massive sign for its move to the HDC. The sign will be mounted on two steel beams in front of the old Buffalo Color guard house.

           Erie County and National Grid provided $2,000 in grant funding to move the sign from the grounds of the old Bethlehem Steel site, where it had been stored, and assist in getting it mounted at the Museum. The massive18' x 18' sign, originally installed on the Bethlehem Steel Co.'s South Office Building around 1962 and then taken down and moved across the street to the Galvanized Products Division, was visible for miles to motorists on Rte. 5.

           The 2,500 lb. sign is constructed of steel bracing supports, painted steel panels, a stainless steel bezel surround, and has raised stainless steel letters. The sign is believed to have been fabricated in Buffalo by Goergen-Mackwirth using steel panels produced at the Lackawanna plant. In addition to the sign, a section of rail retrieved at the Bethlehem site, along with rail plates and spikes, will also be added to the Museum's collection. The rail section is a 105 lb. Dudley-type control cooled rail, 6" tall, manufactured at the Lackawanna plant during July 1968.

           Steel beams that once supported large pipes from the power house will be reused to support the iconic Bethlehem Steel sign. The old guard house can be seen behind the sign and the beams.

           June 10th was a perfect day to offload the sign from the low boy trailer. 6 members of the Iron Workers Union volunteered their time to rig the sign and using our 7.5 Ton Grove deck crane unload it.

           Once the sign was clear of the trailer, the tractor pulled it out of the way. Check out the guy carrying a railroad tie to be used as cribbing! The sign was carefully laid down and will be cleaned. Soon it will be mounted on the I-beams in front of the guardhouse. Many thanks go out to Contour Steel, Staub Trucking and the Iron Workers Union for their volunteer efforts..



    Updates - July 2014

    By Ron Dukarm

           On July 12 the Car Department took a break from working on our coaches in Medina and gathered at the Heritage Discovery Center to work on the society's four wheel bobber caboose. The caboose was built in the late 1800s for the Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh Railway. It ended up in Texas before being returned "home" a few years ago.
    If any one out there is looking for a project to take on, especially if you like woodworking, consider helping out with the restoration of this 120+ year old car. We need to cut out the windows in the new siding, make new window frames, and complete the interior restoration. We are going to be building a 30 foot display track next to the guardhouse and move the car onto it later this summer. Call the HDC @ 821-9360 or email us (wnyrhs@gmail.com) to see how you can help out.


           The exterior wood had been replaced but the car needed a new coat of primer and then the finish coat of paint. The plan was to do the primer on Saturday 7/12 and the finish coat the next day.
    Unfortunately the weather report was not favorable so only the primer was applied. A lot of folks showed up for the job so it was completed in no time at all. Thanks to Anthony Fusarelli, his mom Renee and friend Jacob, as well as Bill Glodzik and his daughter Anna. We would also like to thank Mark Klepadlo for offering to take time out of his busy schedule at the Williamsville depot to come out on Sunday to paint.

           The weather killed the plans to paint on Sunday the 13th but the following weekend was perfect. Frank Klaskov and Rick Henn were able to complete the job in one day. All that is left is to lift the cupola and secure it into place.

           Another busy addition to the campus projects is the cataloging and display of the hundreds of railroad related items the society has amassed during it's thirty-four year existence. It is a daunting task, especially since part of the progress is to create work space for the restoration and preservation of these items as well as the actual work on the items. Additionally, donations continue to come into the society. If you donate you can be sure your donation will be deeply appreciated and well cared for.

             As always its been a very busy Summer at the Heritage DiscoveRY Center with construction, renovation and hosting numerous events as outlined below.

    COMMUNITY OUTREACH - We continue to serve as a venue for hosting various public meetings, in addition to our role of providing museum tours. Over the past two months we have welcomed the following:
    • FIRST WEDNESDAY PROGRAMS - The Steel Plant Museum hosts a monthly program on the First Wednesday evening of every month. Various programs of local historical interest are presented. The events are free and open to the public. Check our Facebook page for the monthly notices.
    • Nickel Plate Railroad Historical Society - National Board of Directors meeting.
    • Steel Plant Museum - opening gala for a new art exhibit.
    • WNYRHS - public meeting featuring Charity Vogel and her new book - "The Angola Horror".
    • St. Mary's School of the Lake - museum tour.
    • "Friends of the Cotter" - meetings on new Watch Tower project featuring WNYRHS.
    • Carl Calabreese - former Erie County Deputy County Executive, museum tour.
    • Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority - from Buffalo State museum tour.
    • UB Women's Art Club - lecture and museum tour.
    • Steel Plant Museum - luncheon and public tribute to "Rosie the Riveter."
    • FBI Public Program - lecture on cyber security sponsored by the Steel Plant Museum.

    DONATIONS - We have received the following donations of artifacts, archives, furniture and supplies. Our sincere thanks to all our loyal supporters:
    • Lynn Heintz - 9 metal photo chemical processing trays.
    • John Prybylski - 3 videos, 2 calendars, 1 book and several other RR paperwork items.
    • John Ries - Glass bottle, 10 fusees, M&T money bag.
    • Barb Owens - 2 cases of drinking water and 2 boxes of contractor trash bags.
    • Dave Hornburg - Framed painting of Hamburg B&S Depot by Dorothy Markert.
    • NKP Railroad Historical Society - box of RR archives.
    • Steve Kocsis - Recliner chair.
    • Al Martiin - 5 RR books & 2 calendars.
    • Jerry Bower - 4 RR books.
    • Dave Young - 2 Calendars and 14 NYC RR glasses from the World's Fair. Thank You Dave!
    • Chris Falbo - 2 boxes of RR video tapes.
    • Mike Pietrocarlo - 2 wood shelf units, 8 lenghts of conduit piping, 22 file cabinets, seven 6-ft tables, 6 metal shelves, 50 wire baskets.
    • Ron Dukarm - 2 doz. Face masks, 7 gal of gas, 2 cans of coffee, set of walkie-talkies, 3 ant spray, contractor bags, a case of water, 28 cans of soda, paint for caboose and all supplies, 3 rolls tape.

    WORK ACCOMPLISHED

    • EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE - George Specht got our crane operating and found a hydraulic leak. Routine maintenance made it ready for lifting the big 18x20 foot Bethlehem Steel Sign. George also worked on our large lawn mower performing routine maintenance and replacing a battery. The tires were repaired and filled with air and a maintenance manual secured. Al Olmstead spent several weeks working on our building air conditioning. Al replaced filters, broken parts and reconnected thermostats so the system is now working at full capacity.

    • LIGHT REPLACEMENT - Joe Kocsis and Ed Patton worked with National Grid to secure a major grant to help underwrite the complete replacement of every interior and exterior light fixture in the Don Owens Center and the near-by Hospital Building. Over 300 fixtures were replaced with energy efficient LED lights. Light sensors were placed in little-used rooms. Lighting is now uniform, white and bright. And, National Grid estimates we should save up to $900/month on our utility bills.

    • LANDSCAPING - The final landscaping of 13 acres in Areas A and B are now completed. Ontario Specialty Contracting completed the work as part of the sale of the land to HDC. The grounds are level with proper drainage and hydroseeded. They are now ready for track installation. Our thanks to our own grounds crew, Nestor Arauz, Ben Sivitilli, Steve Grekulak and Jerry Bower, who fight a weekly battle to keep the property looking good.


    Updates - August 2014

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           Things are really starting to happen at the Heritage DiscoveRY Center. As you probably have heard, the Erie County Fairgrounds has asked us to remove our Norfolk and Western, ex. Virginian caboose and our Erie Lackawanna Boxcar. CSX has graciously donated their ex. Delaware and Hudson "Operation Lifesaver" boxcar to the Society and that will have to be moved as well.

    We urgently need your help!!! The "Fairgrounds" has plans for expansion in the area. They have given us a September 30th deadline to move the cars. If we are unable to move them, the EC Fair will dispose or give them away and these cars are all very historic pieces that we desperately want to preserve and display at the HDC. We have a contractor lined up to move the cars, but it will cost approximately $5,000 per car to move them to the HDC. CSX has generously donated $6,000 towards the move, but we still need to raise $9,000 in fairly short order to meet the deadline. If you can help out, please consider making a donation in any amount to help us preserve these three cars. Just click the Paypal Donation Donation Button below to make a secure online donation, or send your contribution to WNYRHS 407 Rowley Rd Depew, NY 14043. Please share this urgent appeal with your friends.

    Contact Us: Orchard Park - 716-662-7002       Williamsville - 716-633-7002
    WNYRHS Inc., PO Box 416, Buffalo, New York  14231-0416
    All Donations to the Heritage Discovery Center are Tax-Deductable!

           During the first week of August a group of Society members prepared all three cars for the 175th Anniversary of the Fair by cleaning and painting where ever needed. The displays in the two boxcars were updated with current happenings at the HDC.


           On August 21st a surprize new donation arrived at the Heritage Discovery Center. A huge Thank You goes out to William Agate, retired Chief Mechanical Officer at the South Buffalo Railway, for the donation of this "M-19" Fairmont speeder to the WNYRHS. Also thanks to Bob Moffat of Colgate Industries for arranging for the donation and delivering it to the museum. This sharp little unit is in great running shape and will be used at the HDC.


           On August 25th the WNYRHS took delivery of another railroad car to add to the Society's collection of rolling stock. It is a 4000 gallon, 100,000 pound two dome tank car built by "North American Car Company." Built in 1960, it makes this the youngest piece of rolling stock the Society owns!

           The car was donated to the WNYRHS by the Livonia Avon & Lakeville Railroad. A big Thank You goes to LA&L Railroad CEO Eugene Blabey for wanting to preserve the car and to Vince Miliken, VP of Customer Service and LA&L Board member Larry DeYoung for their efforts and support to save this car from the scrapper's torch and to WNYRHS member Ron Dukarm for his donation to the project.

           Also thanks to the Wellsboro and Corning RR for arranging to spot the car in Wellsboro, PA for loading and special thanks to Ben Luta at Silk Road Transport for arranging the loading and trucking of the car to the HDC. And Thank You to Silk Road Transport for moving the tank car from Wellsboro, PA to the HDC. Here is the car being unloaded at the HDC.



    Updates - September 2014
    By Joe Kocsis

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           9/7/14 - Volunteers from the Ironworkers Union started work on the steel columns to create the necessary mounting brackets for the Steel Plant Museum's sign. Work will continue on Monday and it is expected that the sign will be raised in place on Tuesday. Thanks to our neighbor, PVS Chemical, for donating the rental of the manlift for the project.

           9/9/14 - The large Bethlehem Steel sign was raised in place by volunteers from the Iron Workers Union yesterday. It will be unveiled at a press conference at 10am Thursday morning by County Executive Mark Poloncarz and executives from National Grid who supported the preservation of this iconic sign with generous grants. The dedication ceremony at the HDC will be open to the public and we encourage your to stop by to view this new addition to the HDC Campus.

           9/11/14 - Great day for the Steel Plant Museum with the dedication of the iconic Bethlehem Steel sign at the HDC. Today I joined National Grid Regional Director Dennis Elsenbeck, President of the Steel Plant Museum of WNY Donald Williams, members of the WNY Railway Historical Society, and community members to unveil an iconic "Bethlehem Steel" sign along with other historic Bethlehem Steel items being donated to the Steel Plant Museum. Erie County and National Grid provided $2,000 in grant funding to move the sign from the grounds of the old Bethlehem Steel site, where it had been stored, and assist in getting it mounted at the Museum. The massive18' x 18' sign, originally installed on the Bethlehem Steel Co.'s South Office Building around 1962 and then taken down and moved across the street to the Ryerson Steel Galvanized Products Division, was visible for miles to motorists on Rte. 5.


           Shared by Mark Poloncarz's status - "Seeing this sign in its new home brings back many memories for me, reminds us of all that Bethlehem Steel meant to our community, and re-instills our pride in our industrial heritage. As the son of a steelworker, the Bethlehem Steel logo for me is a symbol of hard work, family values, and a strong community," said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. "It is an honor to be here today as this iconic sign is once again put on display, and I would like to thank our partners at National Grid and the Steel Plant Museum for helping to bring a vibrant emblem of our area's culture back to prominence."

           The 2,500 lb. sign is constructed of steel bracing supports, painted steel panels, a stainless steel bezel surround, and has raised stainless steel letters. The sign is believed to have been fabricated in Buffalo by Goergen-Mackwirth using steel panels produced at the Lackawanna plant. In addition to the sign, a section of rail retrieved at the Bethlehem site, along with rail plates and spikes, will also be added to the Museum's collection. The rail section is a 105 lb. Dudley-type control cooled rail, 6" tall, manufactured at the Lackawanna plant during July 1968.

           "Much like the steel industry, National Grid has a long history here in Western New York, and our business was always very much linked to steel and manufacturing," Elsenbeck said. "We are very encouraged by the renewal we are seeing in this region but, at the same time, we think it is important to honor the past."

           Working with the Local 6 Ironworkers and Staub Trucking, Museum officials were able to extricate and transport the sign from its storage parcel on the Bethlehem Steel site to the Museum property at 100 Lee Street in Buffalo, where new steelwork was constructed to mount the sign for permanent display. The sign was relocated from the Bethlehem Steel site in July and reached its final mounting on September 9th 2014.

           President of the Steel Plant Museum of WNY Don Williams added, "Today the Steel Plant Museum of WNY is excited and proud to unveil the iconic Bethlehem Steel logo in its new location at the Heritage DiscoveRY Center. This was truly a team effort to save the logo and have it on display once again".

           In addition to the Steel Plant Museum of WNY, Local 6 Ironworkers and Staub Trucking, other organizations assisting in the sign's relocation and mounting include the Heritage DiscoveRY Center, Western New York Railway Historical Society and PVS Chemical.

           9/11/14 - Winter's Rigging had time this week so they prepared the caboose at the Fair Grounds this afternoon and it will be delivered to the Heritage Discovery Center tomorrow morning. We are sad to leave after 20+ years, especially when you saw the smiling faces of all the young children climbing into the cupola during the Fair. But no looking back and we are excited to move this equipment for display at the HDC. The boxcars will be moved to the HDC early next week.

           9/12/14 - Our caboose arrived just before 9am at the Heritage DiscoveRY Center on Lee Street. It was a tight fit pulling through the Main Gate into the museum. The car was temporarily unloaded in the parking lot next to the area where the display track will be installed. We have ordered the stone ballast and will prepare to lay track early next week. The two boxcars remain at the fairgrounds so we have to wait until they are moved off the existing display track at the fair grounds to load the track panels and bring them to the HDC. When the track is finished, all the cars will be placed on the display track.


           Later that afternoon, Winters brought the trucks from the caboose. The caboose trucks are temporarily placed on the panel track that was used under the caboose display in Angola. Eventually the BR&P Bobber Caboose will be placed on this track.

           9/19/14 - We started the groundwork for our display track. Norm Merriman of Tom Greenauer Development Inc., donated filter cloth for under the ballast of our track for the first three railroad cars that was laid out where the track will be installed next to the parking lot. The fabic controls weed growth but allows water to drain though. The first of three truckloads of #3A stone ballast donated to the Heritage Discovery Center by Buffalo Crushed Stone is being unloaded in the parking lot. A "HUGE" thank you to Buffalo Crushed Stone and Bob Hill of Union Concrete who delivered the stone!

           Using our backhoe we started spreading the ballast to get a six inch level base for the 200 feet of panel track. We we hope to complete the work on Saturday. We expect the two remaining boxcars from the fair grounds to be moved to the HDC on Tuesday.

           9/24/14 - Two down, one to go! The second of our three "Fair Train" cars that were on display at the Hamburg Fairgrounds was delivered to the museum site today by Winter's Rigging. The ex-DL&W/EL 40' boxcar arrived this morning and was set on blocking. The remaining car will be delivered early this afternoon, along with the panel track.

           The last car of the Fair Train was removed this afternoon from the Fairgrounds. Former Delaware & Hudson Railway 50' box car was donated to the Society by CSX. Winter's rigging saved us thousands of dollars in special DOT permits and escort vehicles by utilizing their specially designed rig to move the car like a truck trailer. A HUGE Thank You to TJ Winters and his crew for meeting our September 30th deadline to remove the cars.

           9/25/2014 - Winter's Rigging completed the move today from the fairgrounds with the delivery of the panel track. It was unloaded on the ballast bed and we will put it back together and get it leveled out. They also brought over the remaining two truck sets for the boxcars. The cars will then be placed on the track hopefully before the end of next week.

           9/27/2014 - The progress at the HDC continues. After a long day of hard work today, our track crew aligned the track and bolted the panel sections together. We replaced the missing ties and we just need to level the track sections with some additional ballast. We are waiting for the delivery of 100 used ties so we can build another 150 feet of track so all the cars currently on the museum site can be lifted onto the track for display.


    DONATIONS - We have received the following donations of Materials, Tools, Supplies and monitary support. Our sincere thanks to all our loyal supporters!:
    • Norm Merriman, of Tom Greenauer Development Inc. - donated filter cloth for under the ballast of our track for the first three railroad cars on the Heritage Discovery Campus. Thank you Norm!
    • Ontario Specialty Contracting - donated 26 sections of rail and a RR Bumper for our display track. Thank You OSC!
    • Buffalo Crushed Stone - donated 80 tons of #3A Crushed Stone to be used as ballast under our display track. Thank You!
    • Bob Hill & Union Concrete - Bob asked Buffalo Crushed Stone for the donation of the stone, and Union Concrete delivered it to us. Thank You Bob!
    • Tom Lewis & Waste Management in Chaffee - donated a dumpster for our use in renovating the security building and cleaning the "hospital building". Thank You Tom &WM!
    • Dynisco Instruments - in Wheatfield donated $100 to our Challenge Fund. Thank You!
    • Joe Purcell of Diversified Controls - in East Aurora, donated a "frog" which is part of a railroad switch. Thank You Joe!
    • The Lakeville, Avon & Livonia Railroad - donated a unique double-dome tank car which served the Buffalo Chemical industry. Our thanks to Ron Dukarm, Jack O'Neill, Larry DeYoung and Vince Milliken who provided funding to move the car from Wellsboro NY. Thank You All!
    • PVS Chemical Corporation - our neighbor at 100 Lee Street, donated the use of a 20-foot man-lift which allowed us to erect the Bethlehem Steel sign and remove an air-conditioning unit from our roof. While the PVS parking lot was being paved in late October, we allowed their employees to park in our lot at the HDC and PVS donated $500 to the HDC Restoration Fund. Thank You PVS!
    • Bob Moffat of Colgate Heating Inc. - donated 2 heavy duty lifting cables for our crane, a 100-foot utility cable, a 3 point vice, a heavy duty 2-wheel dolly and a dolly for moving welding tanks. Thank You Bob!
    • Rick Smith of Rigidized Metals Inc. - moved our Erie caboose from Angola to Silo City in Buffalo. Thank You Rick!
    • The City of Buffalo - through the efforts of Councilman David Franczyk, the HDC research Library will receive a $3,000 grant for a new scanner, computer and archive supplies. Thank You Councilman Franczyk!
    • CSX Transportation - donated $6,000 to move the Operation Life-Saver (former D&H) Boxcar from the Hamburg Fairgrounds to the Heritage Discovery Center. Thank You CSX!
    • Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village - donated nine large display cases to the HDC. Thank You BNHV!
           We still need your help!!! To date we have raised almost $10,000 towards the move, but we still need to raise another $5,000 in fairly short order to meet our obligations. If you can help out, please consider making a donation in any amount to help us preserve these three cars. Just click the Paypal Donation Donation Button below to make a secure online donation, or send your contribution to WNYRHS 407 Rowley Rd Depew, NY 14043. Please share this urgent appeal with your friends.

    Contact Us: Orchard Park - 716-662-7002       Williamsville - 716-633-7002
    WNYRHS Inc., PO Box 416, Buffalo, New York  14231-0416
    All Donations to the Heritage Discovery Center are Tax-Deductable!


    Updates - October - November 2014
    By Ron Dukarm

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             On Saturday October 4th, we hosted a meeting and tour of the Empire State Antique Truck Association. Over 40 members attended, mostly from Rochester. Nestor Arauz provided photos of a few of the trucks in our lot. Everyone had a great time and we made a lot of new friends. Thanks to Don Williams and the Steel Plant Museum folks for hosting this event.

             With all the time spent getting the fairground cars onto the Museum grounds other members continued to make improvents to the HDC. Monthy meetings, archive work, managing donations and routine maintenance kept everyone busy as outlined below.

    COMMUNITY OUTREACH - We continue to serve as a venue for hosting various public meetings, in addition to our role of providing museum tours. Over the past two months we have welcomed the following:
    • EMPIRE STATE ANTIQUE TRUCK ASSOCIATION - 10/4/14 - The Steel Plant Museum hosted The Empire State Antique Truck Association and toured our museum. About 40 members attended. Many driving antique trucks.
    • WATERFRONT PLANNING MEETING - 10/23/14 - Waterfront planners from various non-profit groups met to plan a coordinated development approach to pending projects and to incorporate our trolley study as a key people mover. Ron and Ed participated.
    • DISABLED SPORTS USA, Inc. - 10/25/14 - a non-profit who assists handicap children and disabled veterans, moved four of their large boats into Building #75 for the winter.
    • EAGLE SCOUT PROJECT - 11/1/14 - Eagle Scout Jeff Callahan met with Ron Dukarm to set up his Eagle Scout Project at the HDC. He will be painting the room to prepare for the move of the ELHS Archives to the HDC.
    • FIRST WEDNESDAY PROGRAMS - 11/5/14 - The Steel Plant Museum hosts a monthly program on the First Wednesday evening of every month. Various programs of local historical interest are presented. The events are free and open to the public. Check our Facebook page for the monthly notices.
    • WNYRHS MEETINGS - 10/2/14 & 11/6/14 - The WNYRHS held their monthly Board of Trustee's meetings.
    • WNYRHS PUBLIC MEETING - 11/18/14 - Our WNYRHS Public meeting at the HDC was cancelled due to over two feet of snow.
    • UAW Tour - 11/11/14 - A busload of 30 auto worker retirees toured the museum.
    • CANADIANA MEETING - 11/29/14 - Ron and Ed met with the Buffalo Maritime Center and Canadiana group concerning possible displays at HDC.

    DONATIONS - We have received the following donations of artifacts, archives, furniture and supplies. Our sincere thanks to all our loyal supporters:
    • Jim Long - donated 2 brand new 50-ton RR jacks, a half dozen RR books, a new CD player, 5 cases of water and enough paper towels and toilet paper to stock HDC for one year! Jim is also looking to get us a 32-ft ladder, as he couldn't locate a 36-ft. Thank you Jim!
    • Art Toale - donated 2 Ice Coolers. Thank You Art!
    • Jim Thoman - donated 2 DL&W mile markers & DL&W tool box from B&B Department. Thank You Jim!
    • John Kowalczyk - donated 2 Conrail retirement plaques. Thank You John!
    • Dave Fahmer - donated various book, manuals and 60 photos of railroad grade elevations in Buffalo from 1917. Thank You Dave!
    • Bob White - donated a Pullman Sleeper blanket. Thank You Bob!
    • Joe Kocsis - donated six bags of mulch for the front gardens. Thank You Joe!
    • Shelia O'Donnell - donated cider and cookies for workers at the HDC. Thank You Shelia!
    • Grace Weis & Mike Jaeger - donated 9 locomotive photos from the 1927 B&O Jubilee. Thank You Grace & Mike!
    • Bob Gallusi - donated A 36-inch TV. Thank You Bob!
    • Matt Mangus - donated Box of RR magazines. Thank You Matt!
    • Dave Young - donated 2 Adlake lanterns - a PRR and an Erie. Thank You Dave!
    • Ron Dukarm - donated 5 signs, a clock and a 25-foot tape measure, 3 cases of soda, Computer software, a Dell computer, key board, screen and mouse. Thank You Ron!
    • Vince Perry - donated an Axle Set for a RR speeder. Thank You Vince!
    • Barbara & Don Owens - donated cleaning supplies to the HDC. Thank You Barb & Don!
    • Larry Nagode - of East Aurora, donated 2 kiddy cars and track as a children's amusement. Thank You Larry!
    • Jim and Donna Shine - donated 2 cases of water. Thank You!
    • Ron Dukarm - donated virus protection software for archive computer.
    • PVS Chemical - donated $500 for use of our parking lot. Thank you PVS!

    WORK ACCOMPLISHED

    • GUARDHOUSE - 11/6/14 - Today we knocked out the front wall of the Guardhouse and gained an entrance through the new garage door which Frank Klaskov installed. Caryl Youngers donated the door. Nestor Arauz, Don Williams and Steve Grekulak knocked out the wall. We will be storing our welder, air compressor, fork lift, riding lawn mower and Ford pick-up truck in the shop building. The building will serve as a repair shop for all our equipment.
      11/8/14 - Nestor moved our riding lawn mower into the building, along with our pick-up truck. Steve and Nestor filled up our second metal scrap dumpster.
      11/13/14 - Frank finished final adjustments to garage door. It now rolls freely and works like new. A large canvass hopper and a bookcase were brought to Guardhouse from Hospital Building. From the Archive Building, pails, plastic bags, metal ties, tools, cable and a brass shut-off valve were moved into Guardhouse.
      11/15/14 - Ed moved the forklift from Building #75, to the Guardhouse, where he moved the welder indoors for storage, placed 4 ties for storing rail and moved other debris. Also brought a heavy duty workbench from Building #75 to Guardhouse. Forklift will now be housed in the Guardhouse.

    • HOUSEKEEPING - 11/8/14 - Barb washed the Meeting Room floor. Ed repaired shades in Meeting Room.
      11/11/14 - Barb vacuumed floors, removed trash and cans. Also took inventory of needed supplies. Nestor took out 6 bags of debris.
      11/29/14 - Steve mounted a corridor full of new displays, including tax maps and frames to be filled. He also put shelves in china display cases in the Store area. Barb an Shelia cleaned all glass.

    • TRACK WORK - 11/8/14 - Joe laid down another track length of weed matting. Ed operated our front-end loader and placed ballast. Joe and Anthony spread the ballast. Joe replaced the hydraulic hoses on the loader.
      11/15/14 - Joe purchased hydraulic fluid for backhoe and George checked systems. Joe then moved more ballast to the track bed.

    • METAL SCRAP - 11/8/14 - SCRAP LIGHTS - Don Williams and our two young volunteers stripped 70 lights of copper and bulbs and made ready the aluminum lights for scrapping.
      11/11/14 - Nestor added additional scrap to the dumpster brought in by Don Williams. Also added 3 more old file cabinets and an air conditioner frame from the Hospital Building. Parking lot was swept near dumpster. Jim inspected cutting torches and said they were ready for use. Will cut large pipes next work party.
      11/13/14 - Nestor moved two large metal pipes from Hospital Building. Don Williams called Metalico check is in the mail for 1st dumpster load. 3 boxes of scrap electrical boxes from the Archive Building were moved to Guardhouse for stripping wires.

    • LIBRARY - 11/8/14 - Jim, Donna, Diane, Barb and Shelia continued sorting and cataloguing. Steve moved NYC records to the Archive Building.
      11/11/14 -Jim, Donna, Barb & Dave continued sorting and cataloguing. Nestor uploaded virus protection to the archive computer.
      11/13/14 - Shelia, Jim & Donna continued sorting and cataloguing.
      11/29/14 - Steve finished moving all the NYC archives to the Archive Building. Mike Connor, ELHS President, dropped off 10 boxes of Erie personnel files. Has 25 more boxes to bring. Jim & Donna have developed a spreadsheet with 80 columns of data to capture personnel info. Mike was impressed.

    • GROUNDS - 11/11/14 - Ericka from SPM trimmed bushes and weeded gardens. Also added 6 bags of mulch to the gardens with assistance from Nestor and Steve. Eight piles of clippings were disposed of by back fence. We are now storing the pick-up truck in the Guardhouse.
      Our thanks to our own grounds crew, Nestor Arauz, Ben Sivitilli, Steve Grekulak and Jerry Bower, who fight a weekly battle to keep the property looking good.


    Updates - December 2014
    By Ron Dukarm

    Like us on

             On Saturday December 13th, We had a record 25 volunteers show up, 20 of whom worked on upgrading our display track. Several volunteers brought automated track tools which greatly assisted in reducing the manual labor needed. Missing tie plates were installed, along with all missing spikes. Over 150 feet of track was brought up to standard and is now ready to accept our three cars for display.

             Ed and others installed a new fuel filter on our back-hoe, and got the cab heater working. Ed dumped several tons of ballast, as our crews spread it out and tamped it in. The weather was cold, the wind strong and the work heavy, but the job was completed. Many thanks to all who helped and to Don Owens for organizing this little picnic!


    COMMUNITY OUTREACH - After digging out the museum in November we continued to host various public meetings, in addition to our role of providing museum tours:
    • WNYRHS MEETINGS - 12/4/14 - The WNYRHS held their monthly Board of Trustee's meeting.
    • YACHT CLUB MEETING - 12/4/14 - The China Light Yacht Club held their quarterly Board meeting.
    • BMC MEETING - 12/6/14 - Ron met with Paul Redding of the Buffalo Maritime Center who brought in rare photos of DL&W's lift bridge and the Buffalo River Straightening at Buffalo Color in 1926.
    • FIRST WEDNESDAY PROGRAMS - 12/10/14 - The Steel Plant Museum held their First Wednesday Program, featuring Italian Cooking.
    • CANADIANA MEETING - 12/20/14 - Ed and Ron met with Paul Redding of the Canadiana Group to discuss status of the project. A meeting will be set up with a major downtown developer and a foundation who are interested in the project.

    DONATIONS - We have received the following donations of supplies. Our sincere thanks to all our loyal supporters:
    • Ron Dukarm - donated a full set of closed end wrenches, a ruler, a universal wrench and a set of screw-drivers. Also coffee and creamer.
    • Ron, Ed, Barb and Shiela - for refreshment donations.
    • 12/20/14 - The first round of fund raising checks arrived with over $17,000 in checks!!! THANK YOU!!!.
    • The Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village - donated nine large glass display cases. Thank you Loana and Spencer Morgan at BNHV!!!
    • Loana Shields - donated a full dark room of equipment including enlargers, trays, tables, dryers, etc. Thank you Loana! Member Lynn Heintz made the trip from Rochester with all the equipment, Thank you Lynn!
    • Councilman Dave Franzak - has awarded the HDC a $3,000 Library Grant! Thank you Councilman!
    • Ed Patton - donated a container of acetylene for cutting up scrap pipe.
    • Tim Bowen - Author and Lecturer, donated a signed copy of his book, "Against the Grain," to the Library.
    • 12/27/14 - An additional $500 in donations were received!!! THANK YOU!!!.
    WORK ACCOMPLISHED

    • DISPLAYS - 12/6/14 - Shelia and Jim set up Christmas decorations in Lobby. Frank repaired the missing ceiling tiles in the RR display area around the large display case.
      12/24/14 - Mike Pietrocarlo, Ben and Nestor traveled to Amherst BNHV to pick up 6 more large display cases. Three trips were needed. At HDC Ron, helped unload the cases and place them in the Lobby, Meeting Room and Store Area. The cases will need a painting and shelving fabricated for them. The move took 6 hours. Many thanks to Mike for use of his truck and moving tools, without which this move could not have taken place.
      12/27/14 - Joe & Steve rearranged the 9 new display cases we just received from BNHV. In the Meeting Room, we now have a solid wall 24 feet long of glass cases to house a new collection of artifacts. The old banner was removed. New wireless speakers will go in each corner of the room. A new "cube" configuration of cases was placed in the museum display area and in the Store area. Joe, Steve and Mike planned a glass shelving system for the cases.

    • EAGLE SCOUT PROJECT - 12/6/14 - Ron and Steve met to review and approve an Eagle Scout Project to start soon - painting of Erie Lackawanna Historical Society room, setting up new shelving for ELHS archives and setting up a child's play area on first floor.

    • HOUSEKEEPING - 12/10/14 - Barb cleaned restrooms and floors. Shelia put up more Xmas decorations. Nestor shoveled snow around all entrances. Steve moved electrical parts to the Guardhouse.
      12/13/14 - Barb and Shelia put up more Xmas decorations. Barb removed cans and trash and served refreshments to all workers.
      12/24/14 - Barb vacuumed carpets, mopped floors, cleaned restrooms and removed trash. Ericka from SPM weeded gardens and removed twigs and other debris out front. The Meeting Room was reorganized to fit the new display cases, which would not fit thru the Store Area doors. The Roll of Honor handout rack was mounted. The "Green Building" certificate was mounted near the bulletin board at the men's Room. The Lobby was reorganized to accommodate a large display case. The 3-light signal was placed in the Store Area. Storage items were moved out of the Bar Room. The Men's Shower Room was organized. Six tiles were placed in the Bar Room for Church replacement of damaged tiles.
      12/30/14 - Barb collected trash and cans. Checked mail and bookkeeping. Delivered home-made bread to workers. Thanks Barb.

    • ARCHIVE BUILDING - 12/27/14 - Frank, Nestor and Ron cleaned out the Archive Building. Extra boxes and tools were moved to the Guardhouse. Old boxes were cut up. A survey by Ed and Mike identified toilets and sinks to be removed. Ed and Mike also planned a new shelving system.
      12/30/14 - Ben, Steve and Ron cleaned out the Archive Building. Wood stock, electrical parts, 50-ton jacks and other items were moved to the Guardhouse. Scrap boxes in the Archive Building were bundled. Trash was removed. Tool cabinets were moved to Time-keeper Room. Old light tubes put in boxes. Floors swept.

    • METAL SCRAP - 12/9/14 - Don Williams called Metalico to pick up the 2nd dumpster and to follow-up on our check for the first load.
      12/13/14 - Metalico picked up dumpster.

    • ARTIFACTS - 12/30/14 - Don Williams met with the site manager at RiverBend. Don mentioned that HDC would be interested in steel plant artifacts dug up during construction. Don was warmly received and given a tour of the site. Don may consult for them as they have questions about various steel plant areas. They have ingots and rail cars. Don will put in request for donation to HDC.

    • LIBRARY - 12/6/14 - Nestor brought in 10 boxes of Erie RR personnel files donated by Mike Connor. Steve re-boxed and labeled them.
      12/9/14 - Jim, Donna, Barb, Diane, Ed and Steve worked on sorting, cataloguing and input of files.
      12/20/14 - Diane, Ed, Steve and Shelia continued sorting and cataloguing.
      12/22/14 - Ed, Jim, Donna and Shelia continued sorting and cataloguing.
      12/27/14 - Jim, Donna, Ed, Shelia and Bob continued to sort and catalog our collections. They met with our special guest Tim Bowen. An Irish display is planned in our new cases.
      12/30/14 - Jim, Donna, Ed, & Shelia continued to sort and catalog our collections.


             There is a great deal of work left to do though, and we are appealing to all of our members and friends to help out, either though volunteering your time or making a donation to the museum funds. Below is a link to our 2015 "PRESERVATION FUND APPEAL." If you wish to mail in a donation, make your check or money order payable to:

    WNYRHS, Inc. 100 Lee Street, Buffalo, New York 14210


    2015 WNYRHS PRESERVATION FUND APPEAL
    HOW YOU CAN HELP

    Contact Us: Orchard Park - 716-662-7002       Williamsville - 716-633-7002
    WNYRHS Inc., PO Box 416, Buffalo, New York  14231-0416
    All Donations to the Heritage Discovery Center are Tax-Deductable!

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