Aldrich Place is a short street in South Buffalo between South Park Avenue and McKinley Parkway near the Buffalo-Lackawanna border. The street is named after a man who was one of the first settlers in that part of South Buffalo.
Alexander Aldrich came to Buffalo from England as a young man with his wife, Lucinda. In 1855, Mr. Aldrich purchased a 50-acre farm that included the land that is now Aldrich Place. His farm stretched from the present day South Park Avenue to McKinley Parkway, south to the railroad lines and north to Downing Street. His farm mainly raised celery, black walnuts and flowers. At the time, this section of South Buffalo was famous for its celery. He built a greenhouse for the flowers on the South Park Avenue side of his property, selling to people on their way to Holy Cross Cemetery.
In those days, the Aldrich farm was located in a sparsely populated neighborhood. Lucinda would tell stories of days when Native Americans would peer in the window. They were curious about the light coming out of the windows and wanted to watch what a white family did at night.
During the Civil War, Alexander and Lucinda traveled to Washington, DC. While there, Alexander had his photo taken with President Lincoln on the steps of the White House. If any members of the Aldrich family are reading this, I’d love to see the photo if it still exists!!
Alexander and Lucinda had three sons – Henry, Wallace, and Albert – and a daughter, Sally, who became Mrs. Ace Reed. Henry was a taxidermist. Albert was in charge of most of the excavating and grading for the South Park Botanical Gardens. To do this work, ten teams of horses were used; Albert hired his neighbors to assist in the work.
Mr. Aldrich later sold his farm to the Pixley Land Company for development in 1903. The Aldrich family house was moved to Downing Street and converted into apartments.
Alexander Aldrich died in 1897 and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Orchard Park.
Alexander’s grandson, Robert Reed, was the first mayor of Lackawanna.
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Memorial to Farmer-florist. Courier Express Se. 1, 1940, sec 6 p3