Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park
Summer is full of cook-outs, enjoying the beautiful weather with friends and family, vacationing, and celebrating the multitude of freedoms that we are blessed with here in the United States of America. It is also a great time to celebrate and remember those who brought us these great freedoms. There were many sacrifices and major historical events that occurred to bring us to this beautiful summer.
I encourage you to to remember these sacrifices by visiting the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park located in the marina at the Waterfront at Canalside. The park is open every day from 10 am-5 pm April until October. It proudly boasts being ranked #4 on Trip Advisor’s list of ‘Best Things to do in Buffalo.
The Park features three different naval vessels: USS The Sullivans Destroyer, USS Croaker Submarine, and the USS Little Rock, guided missile cruiser. The Destroyer is named after five heroic siblings: George, Francis (‘Frank’), Joseph (‘Joe’), Madison (‘Matt’), and Albert (‘Al’) Sullivan from Waterloo, Iowa, who served on the USS Junea (CL-52) during World War II. The siblings agreed to serve for the US Navy on the promise that they would all serve together. In fact their family motto was: “We stick Together”. On November 13, 1942 the USS Junea was sunk. Thus in the Battle of Solomon Islands all five brothers lost their lives. The Solomon brothers are the first group to ever have a US Naval Vessel named after them.
USS The Sullivans 537 displayed at the Park is the second of the two ships named after them and exemplifies the largest and significant class of U.S. destroyers utilized in World War II. This particular vessel earned nine battle stars for service, rescued many a survivor from planes and ships that went down during war. She served in: Philippines, Carolines, Marshalls, Mariannas, Korean War, and the Cuban Blockade.
The second vessel is a submarine that is identified in the National Registry of Historic Places. The USS Croaker is 311 feet long and weighs 1,525 tons. She launched on December 19, 1943 to fight against the Japanese in World War II and was not decommissioned until December 20, 1971. During her service she earned 3 battle stars and claimed eleven enemy vessels.
The third vessel at the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park is the USS Little Rock. This cruiser is well worth the tour. She is the only guided missile cruiser on display in the United States. She is also the sole survivor of the Cleveland class. The USS Little Rock was the first ship to bare the name of Little Rock, Arkansas. She is an impressive 610 feet long and weighs 10,670 tons.
Along with these three vessels, the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park also displays military aircrafts, tanks, and World War II artifacts in their history exhibits. Admission is only $10 for adults (17 years of age and older), $6 for seniors and children (5 years and younger). Please visit: www.BuffaloNavalPark.org for more details.
The Naval Park is located about thirty minutes from the Asa Ransom House, a 10-room Country Inn in Clarence. Some rooms have porch or balcony, all have private baths, most with fireplace. Dinner is served daily except Monday’s. Please view the rooms, menu and Inn at www.asaransom.com
The Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum
Visiting the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum is taking a step back in time. The collection of historic automobiles, bicycles, Pierce-Arrow memorabilia and documents is unlike any other in the world.
Here you will find a selection of some of the most compelling pieces and their stories with a focus and emphasis placed on Pierce-Arrow, E.R. Thomas Motor Car Company and other Buffalo-made automobiles and their accomplishments.
1903 Pierce Stanhope
The 1903 Pierce Stanhope followed the Motorette and was built on light frame tubing and featured a folding top. The four-passenger automobile included two hidden folding seats in front and had two forward speeds as well as a reverse gear.
The George N, Pierce Company produced 50 Stanhopes in 1903, and sold them each for $1,000.
The Stanhope, one of the earliest Pierce models, helped pave the way for later, larger models like the Arrow and Great Arrow.
The 1909 Thomas Flayer 6-40 Flyabout
Edwin Thomas (1850-1936) began in the transportation industry by selling gasoline propulsion gear for bicycles in 1896. Thomas manufactured automobiles at the Thomas Motor Company Factory at 1200 Niagara Street, Buffalo, NY. The building still stands today and serves as the headquarters for Rich Products.
In 1908, a Thomas Flyer 6-40 Flyabout, beat out six competing cars from three other nations in the 22,000 mile, New York to Paris Race. What began on 11:15 AM, February 12, 1908, in Times Square, turned into a marathon that lasted 169 days, with the Thomas Flyer taking the historic checkered flag.
The Buffalo Filling Station by Frank Lloyd Wright
In 1927, world-renowned architect Frank Lloyd designed a unique fuel filling station and intended to place it on the corner of Michigan and Cherry Street, but was never built. In 2002, initial planning began to construct the filling station as a one-of-a-kind installation housed in a glass enclosure attached to the main hall at the Pierce-Arrow Buffalo Transportation Museum. The architecture was truly ahead of its time and features a second story observation room. The room was complete with a fireplace, restrooms, a copper roof, two 40 foot poles (Wright called them “totems”) and an overhead, gravity-fed gas distribution system for fuelling cars.
The Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum is much more than an area attraction, it’s a destination, thanks to the museum’s impressive collection and Buffalo’s wealth of Automobile and transportation history.
For current hours: www.pierce-arrow.com Tours: reservations are required for a guided tour. Call 716-853-0084 to check availability.
The Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum is just 18 miles from the Asa Ransom House in Clarence, New York. The Inn awaits visitors to one of its 10 inviting fireplace of porch guest rooms. Full country breakfast included, dinner is also available every day except Monday. View Rooms and menu at www.asaransom.com
We look forward to your visit. Bob Lenz – Innkeeper