Cheektowaga Historic Rails to TrailsThe Bellevue Neighborhood was one of the earliest settlements in Cheektowaga, when the Ely family settled there and established one of the first saw mills in Cheektowaga along Cayuga Creek. These family members were abolitionists and maintained an Underground Railroad Station for escaped slaves traveling north to the Niagara River. In the 1880s a group of wealthy businessmen formed the Bellevue Land and Improvement Co. and bought thousands of acres around Cayuga Creek. With the construction of the Buffalo-Bellevue-Lancaster Electric Railway Trolley Line that ran from the city line through Bellevue to Depew and Lancaster effecting the development of the Bellevue area. A powerhouse was constructed to generate electric current for the trolley and around this powerhouse Bellevue Park was established. The park was aproximately 30 acres and had swings and maypoles, a ballpark and by damming up the creek, they were able to create a pond upon which paddleboats were used. The park also had a large dining hall and dance hall. It was one of the most popular spots for family excursions for over fifteen years, till it closed. Traveling gypsies who would establish their camps along Como Park Boulevard would also entertain visitors to the park. They [sic] gypsy women would tell fortunes and the men would entertain the crowds. Remnants of the dam are all that remain of the park, which is now part of the Reinstein Woods. The Bellevue Hotel remains as the only structure, which was part of this era in Cheektowga history. This hotel was a [sic] provided additional entertainment for park visitors as well as a lay over. Another layover spot which is now long gone was the notorious Broken Knuckle Tavern which was often the scene of various fist fights and police intervention. In the early 1900s, Dr. Anna Reinstein, a Russian immigrant and the mother of Dr. Victor Reinstein bought large tracts of land from the trolley firm and developed much of the property in the Bellevue neighborhood. The Reinsteins home is still situated along the Creek on Danforth Street and over 200 acres has become the Reinstein Woods that has become a wildlife sanctuary and is maintained by New York State. [photo captions]Gypsies at Bellevue Park - circa 1900. Canoeing at Belleview Park. The good old summer time - Bellevue Park. The Bellevue Dam 1907 - young boy on the dam is Dr. Victor Reinstein.
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Friday, April 10th, 2015 at 2:01pm PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||17T E 684852 N 4751446|
|Decimal Degrees||42.89325000, -78.73606667|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 42° 53.595', W 78° 44.164'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||42° 53' 35.7" N, 78° 44' 9.84" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Which side of the road?||Marker is on the right when traveling East|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 585 Como Park Blvd, Buffalo NY 14227, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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