My stylist handed me a scarlet red cloak and a masquerade mask that was similar to the garment worn in the Romantic Victorian Era. The velvet cloak was a symbol of wealth, power and class. It was used to conceal a woman’s identity, keep her warm or to disguise her pregnancy.
My 1900’s photoshoot resembled the costumes and outfits worn during that period. It was taken place at the Buffalo History Museum in Buffalo, New York. The photographer snapped away, and then I changed into my next outfit. This time I was a musician who played the banjo underneath an oversize sun hat and a colorful furry accessory. The costume photoshoot was an amusing interactive section of the museum; in which visitors are allowed to “Create Your Own Historical Portrait.”
Afterwards, my self-guided tour officially began. I started on the lower level. There were exhibits on the “Model Railroad.” This exhibition was pretty fascinating because of the beauty of the formerly used railroad models that were also known as street cars. They were made from brass and was in operation up until the 1950’s. The street cars ran throughout the towns similarly to how cars drive on the road in between residences and commercial properties. Then there was the wooden railroad ticket booth that had the train schedule written on a chalkboard. All aboard!
Additionally, on the lower level, there were the “Street Shops.” It was like window shopping! There were items in the store such as clothes and shoes was an awesome depiction of the stores of the 19th Century Era. I proceeded to check out the “War of 1812 Exhibit.” This exhibition was interesting because the soldier’s uniforms, guns/weapons and other items used during the war were on display. Then I walked into a connecting room that hosted the “Pioneer Gallery.”
I was in the “Buffalo Creek Village” that existed in 1806. On display were the bedroom and a mural of a farmer’s life with the livestock in the background. There was also a weaving machine that was used to make clothing out of wool. I had the opportunity to join in on the feast at a table filled with bread, fruits, and vegetables. This exhibit depicted the typical meal of a pioneer. Of course, the food wasn’t real, but it was fun to pretend to be a pioneer just for the moment. In all reality, in comparison to now, life was very different back then.
There weren’t cell phones, so the pioneers communicated with their families by writing letters. There weren’t GPS to guide the pioneers on their journey, so they used maps and nature to reach their destinations. There weren’t any IOS devices with apps that are designed to tell the weather. Therefore, pioneers studied the weather and packed enough clothes on their journey that was appropriate for any weather condition. Upon concluding my observation, I walked up the stairs to the main level.
This floor consisted of the library, portico, gift shop, reception and visitor’s center, an auditorium, boardroom, offices and a state court. Thre was a section in the museum that hosted a pictorial gallery of the landmarks and attractions of Buffalo located in the State Court. It was nice to see how the city of Buffalo had its section in the museum. It gave me an opportunity as a visitor to learn more about each landmark and the historical stories behind them. Afterwards, I proceeded upstairs to the upper level.
Wow! The upper level was like stepping into a whole new world of fun and adventure. The “Native American Gallery” featured items like the warrior hats. Inside the Haudenosaunee Longhouse, there were a small wooden bed and two deer skins. One used for a blanket was on the bed while the other deer skin hung on the wall as a decorative piece. Then there were the Longhouse Village Model that resembled everyday lives of Native Americans in their village. It was fascinating to see because some Indians were building longhouses, others were fishing, and women were watching over their children. Everyone was busy tending to their daily tasks.
Additionally, on the upper level there was the “Inside Tim Russert’s Office” Exhibit. Inside was very modern, corporate and professional. This exhibit was a drastic contrast from the “Native American Gallery” that focused on nature and primitive life. The focal point of this exhibit highlighted the accomplishments of Tim Russert, an American Television Journalist and Lawyer who moderated “Meet the Press” a talk show that aired on NBC for over a decade. Russert was born on May 7, 1950, in Buffalo, New York and died on June 13, 2008, in Washington, DC. His memory lives on at the Buffalo History Museum.
After checking out this exhibit, I proceeded to take a look at the “Community Gallery.” There was a dresser drawer that had different items used for everyday life in the 1900’s. I opened each drawer to see what was inside and there were clothes, shoes, bread, and electronics such as typewriters.
Separately, there were two more exhibits on the upper level. However, both were still under construction. They were the “Neighbors” and “Buffalo Made.” I will plan another trip so that I can see both exhibits upon completion.
Overall, I have visited many museums, and I have never seen anything quite like this one! I enjoyed the photo shoot and learning about the railroads/street cars. I loved exploring the Pioneer’s Creek Village, the Native American Gallery and much more. Every exhibit was unique.
The Buffalo History Museum was fun and very interactive. It highlighted everything that I wanted to know about Buffalo, New York all in one visit.
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