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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Buffalo in Erie County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna

The Industrial Heritage Trail

 

—Part 1: The Move From Scranton —

 
Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, June 3, 2015
1. Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna Marker
Inscription. The history of steel production in Lackawanna has its roots in the Lackawanna Valley of northeast Pennsylvania. It was there that the Lackawanna Iron and Steel Company was formed in 1891, the result of a previous consolidation of various iron and steel companies dating back to 1840.

In 1899, the Lackawanna Iron and Steel Company considered abandoning the Scranton area and relocating. A major factor for this relocation was the increasing cost of shipping ore to Scranton, and lack of rail lines from Scranton to the company's newly emerging Midwest markets.

On March 23, 1899, Mr. Walter Scranton and Mr. Henry Wehrum of the Lackawanna Iron ans Steel Company traveled to Buffalo to visit potential locations for their steel plant, drawn by the area's easy access to Great Lakes shipping and numerous rail lines. It was originally assumed that the best location would be along the Niagara River, but they concluded that it would take too long to improve the waterway to handle the large ships required to deliver the ore. That afternoon they traveled to the only other available spot, an undeveloped shoreline area in Lake Erie in what was then the western part of the Town of West Seneca. Within a day, the decision was made to purchase the site, approximately 1,500 acres.

The Lackawanna Steel Company, circa 1908.

In order
Southward image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, June 3, 2015
2. Southward
Marker is on the second tower from the left; the next to last tower in distance away from this view.
to avoid land speculation, the negotiating and purchasing of the site was left to John J. Albright, a local businessman and investor, and attorney John Milburn. As Mr. Milburn was also chairman of the Pan-American Exposition, it was largely assumed that the property was being acquired for the Exposition. This fact helped the steel company purchase the property at favorable rates. By the end of April, nearly $1.1 million had been paid for the land, and the Lackawanna Steel Company was formed, with more than $2 million of capital raised by local investors.

1901 map showing the future location of the Lackawanna Steel Company in West Seneca. The Ship Canal and Union Ship Canal have yet to be constructed.

The Steel Plant Museum of WNY.
 
Erected by The Industrial Heritage Committee, Inc.
 
Location. 42° 50.043′ N, 78° 51.284′ W. Marker is in Buffalo, New York, in Erie County. Marker is on Fuhrmann Boulevard ¼ mile south of Ohio Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Buffalo NY 14203, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna (here, next to this marker); The Lehigh Portland Cement Company (here, next to this marker); The Union Ship Canal (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna (here, next to this marker); Improvements in Ship Design (here, next to this marker); Early Lake Erie Water Craft (a few steps from this marker); The Great Lakes (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Buffalo.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. Marker for Milburn House where President McKinley died.
 
Also see . . .  The Steel Plant Museum of Western New York. (Submitted on July 25, 2015, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 25, 2015, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 198 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 25, 2015, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.
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