Unnknown Stories of WNY: The Beachers

The story of buffalo early Irish immigrants who made their home on the outer harbor.

BUFFALO, NY - In the 1840's Buffalo was not an overly welcoming place for the early Irish immigrants. Most businesses put up NINA signs, which stood for "No Irish Need Apply". The only jobs that were open to them were the most dangerous, mainly in the grain elevators. They began as scoopers, being sent to the bowels of the silos. The risks were many, suffocation, explosion, being crushed by the mills. But they had their sights set on bigger things.

As for how they lived, a small community began to sprout up on the outer harbor seawall. The Irish, along with some Portuguese immigrants, collected whatever scraps they could in order to build their homes. They became known as "The Beachers", and as time went on, and the city grew, other dangerous jobs became open to them, mainly firefighters and police officers.

Ultimately, The Beachers eventually became more and more a part of early Buffalo, but it was a cold, hard beginning for them on the beach.

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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