Table of Contents
59 Ohio Street at the corner of Chicago Street, Buffalo, NY
|In 1870, Patrick Kane opened a bar on this
wedge-shaped plot and, in 1874, built the
structure above to be a bar and boardinghouse. Kane was part of the "saloon
boss system," by which access to waterfront jobs was controlled by
Kane allotted jobs to men who rented his rooms, ate his food, and drank his alcohol. During the heyday of Buffalo's shipping and milling industry, places like the Harbor Inn prospered, attracting single men into their 'system.'
Only one operating bar remains in Buffalo that was part of the "saloon boss system." It is the Swannie House, at 170 Ohio Street.
- Western New Heritage (online Jan. 2020)
more about the "saloon
boss system," see
"William 'Fingy' Conners, Bishop James Quigley, and the Great Strike of 1899"
An excerpt from Against the Grain, pp. 101-111
by Timothy Bohen
Watercolor study by V. Roger Lall
Watercolor by V. Roger Lalli, with history by David Mott Rote
where noted, photos taken in August 2019
Source: Library of Congress
2019 photo ... The cars are parked at 59 Ohio Street - the site of the demolished Harbor Inn ... Across the street on Chicago St., much of the former Holmes Machinery Co. has been demolished and replaced.
2019 photo ... Across the street: The car is parked at 59 Ohio Street - the site of the demolished Harbor Inn at the corner of Ohio and Chicago Streets ... Note the sign under the tree at the left - as illustrated below:
Details below, starting in the upper left:
Caption: Harbor Inn 1960s, with E. & B. Holmes in the background
Top text: As Buffalo's industries grew, taverns like the Harbor Inn provided gathering places for the many hard-working immigrant laborers and became the heart and soul of the old First Ward.