Waterfront Memories & More was born when the lifetime personal collections of Bert Hyde and Peggy Szczygiel merged, and was shown at the Buffalo River Fest. Soon after, families began donating their collections. It was evident that a permanent place was needed to showcase the heritage of the area.
Waterfront Memories & More soon took up home at The Valley Community Association’s Helen Beaman Center at 208 Elk St. It wasn’t too long before the place was filled with donated memorabilia from members of the community.
In 2010, with the help of former assemblyman Mark Schroeder, The Valley Community Association opposed the ice boom being relocated on the shore of the Buffalo River, and was able to negotiate an agreement with the New York State Power Authority. The outcome of this agreement is a 1-acre park and, within it, a building to house Waterfront Memories & More, which has now become a waterfront destination.
About the Founders:
Bert Hyde and Peggy Szczygiel always had a love and passion for their community, and wanted to show off their love to the people of Buffalo. Integrating a love of Buffalo history with a great friendship, their common vision of creating a neighborhood museum was realized.
Their community involvement began in the First Ward over thirty years ago after a child’s unfortunate accident on a piece of unstable playground equipment. This ignited a fire in these women and The First Ward Community Association was born.
Driven by a zeal for community activism, Hyde, Szczygiel and others joined forces to help guarantee the First Ward’s children and parents that they too had a voice in helping their neighborhood get the attention, protection and care that other neighborhoods in the City have.
Over the years, with their involvement in the First Ward Community Association, The Valley Community Center and the Helen Beaman Center, Hyde and Szczygiel have demonstrated continuing dedication to community building. They have created a one-of-a-kind reservoir for Buffalo-related documents, photographs, newspaper accounts, family, school and church histories.
Waterfront Memories & More offers the community a place to discover and research Buffalo’s rich, waterfront neighborhood history…and more.
Museum Location & Hours:
41 Hamburg St.
Buffalo, NY 14204
10:00am to 2:00pm Tuesday & Saturday
(Other days and times by appointment)
First Ward Historian — (716) 603-7242
South Park High School Historian — (716) 432-7288