Grand Island - LINKS


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The text below is largely excerpted from
Rob Roy Macleod, Cinderella Island, pub. by the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce, 1969

While the farms and orchards prospered, prominent Buffalonians discovered that there was an ideal recreation and watering place, with nearly 25 miles of shore line, right at the front door of the city. This discovery brought [Grand] Island's golden era.

The Falconwood Club was organized in 1858 and took its name from the eagles and hawks which nested in the tremendous trees surrounding it. The site is now part of Beaver Island Park.

The Falconwood Club [clubhouse], built in 1882 and designed by Joseph Lyman Silsbee, was imposing, even by present day standards. Located in a 45 acre tract overlooking the West River, the large main building housed a bar of considerable elegance, a bowling alley, an assembly hall and a number of guest rooms.

A 12 foot verandah ran the full length of this building, providing a view of the well-kept lawn sloping down to a wharf which projected 110 feet into the river. Tremendous trees, with trunks four to five feet thick,dotted the property.

Each of the clubs had its own fast steam launch. Typical of these was the Falcon for Falconwood, with its glass enclosed cabin on the main deck and an awning-shaded promenade deck above.

Families spent their summers at the club, with the man of the house making the daily run to Buffalo and back on a launch which could drop him in the center of the city at the foot of Main Street.

Tired business men of that day found the Island provided them with a vacation each evening and week end.

See also: Highlights of Buffalo's History, 1882

Page by Chuck LaChiusa
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