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flag  History of Dunkirk, New York, USA

Journey back in time to Dunkirk, New York, USA

Visit Dunkirk, New York, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Dunkirk, New York, USA - Central Ave.

First settled about 1805, it was known as Chadwick’s Bay but was renamed because of the supposed similarity of its harbour to that of Dunkirk (Dunkerque), France. The opening of the Erie Canal (1825) and the arrival of the Erie Railroad (1851; now part of the Consolidated Rail Corporation) stimulated Dunkirk’s growth. It developed commercial fishing, shipped agricultural products (particularly Concord grapes), and acquired diversified industry (now chiefly stainless steel).


There is MUCH more to discover about Dunkirk, New York, USA. Read on!

Dunkirk Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Central Ave.
Dunkirk, New York, USA

Central Ave.
Dunkirk High School
Dunkirk, New York, USA

Dunkirk High School
Rusch's Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge, Dunkirk, N.Y.
Dunkirk, New York, USA

Rusch's Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge, Dunkirk, N.Y.

Discover Dunkirk: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1854 - Dunkirk
Dunkirk, an important post-town of Pom- fret township, district of Buffalo creek, Chautauque county, New York, on Lake Erie, at the western terminus of the New York and Erie railroad, 469 miles from New York city. It is beautifully situated, the ground rising as it recedes from the lake, so that at a distance of a mile from the shore it is 100 feet above the level of the water. The vicinity is free from local diseases, and the climate delightful. The railroad company are making preparations fur an extensive business. Individual enterprise also is actively engaged in developing the resources of the place. In 1824 the United States government erected a lighthouse on the W. point of the bay, and subsequently a beacon light at the principal channel. Since then, a breakwater has been thrown across the harbor, making it one of the best protected on the lake. It is much resorted to by vessels in bad weather: it is free from ice somewhat earlier in the spring than that of Buffalo. From its... Read MORE...

1888 - Near Dunkirk, N. Y., a gas well was yielding one million feet per day on the 21st.

St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
January 28, 1888
1895 - Dunkirk
Dunkirk, a port of entry in Dunkirk township, Chautauqua co., N.Y., on Lake Erie, and on the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad, 40 miles S.S.W. of Buffalo, 48 miles E.N.E. of Erie, and 460 miles W.N.W. of New York. The Western division of the Erie Railroad terminates at this place, which is the N. terminus of the Dunkirk, Alleghany Valley & Pittsburg Railroad, extending to Titusville, Pa. It has a safe and commodious harbor, with wharves for the accommodation of the numerous steamboats and sailing-vessels that ply between this town and other lake ports. It contains a large opera-house, 2 banks, 10 churches, an orphan asylum, a monastery, a public hall, 10 graded schools, and printing-offices which issue 2 daily and 2 weekly newspapers. Here are extensive warehouses and work shops of the Erie Railroad, also several iron-works, a foundry, 1 or more lumber-mills, and a manufactory of agricultural implements. The Brooks Locomotive Works of this place employ about 1250 men. An... Read MORE...

Wire Window Screens Prevented Easy Access to the Fire Escapes - Nothing Saved from the Building.

Dunkirk, N. Y., Dec. 14 - From the smoldering ruins of the Fredonia State Normal and Training School, which was destroyed by fire at 6 o'clock this morning, one charred body has been recovered, and it is now certain that seven persons perished in the fire.

There were seventy-five young women students in the building, of whom six perished. The other victim was the aged janitor. The dead are:

FIZZELL, MAUD F., Bradford, Penn.
HATHAWAY, BESSIE, Cannonsville, N. Y.
JONES, IRENE, Busti, N. Y.
MORRIS, PHINEAS J., janitor.
STORMS, CORA, Boston, N. Y.
WILLIAMS, MAE, Lake Como, Penn.

The young women occupied rooms on the third floor of the building in company with a matron. Those who succeeded in escaping did so by descending the fire escapes. The body recovered from the ruins is supposed to be that of MISS STORMS. It was burned beyond recognition. To... Read MORE...

Dunkirk is the wettest city in New York, averaging 130 days of precipitation each year.

National Weather Service
2023 - Here's a list of places to go and things to do in Dunkirk:
Dunkirk Lighthouse and Veterans Park Museum: Start your visit with a trip to the Dunkirk Lighthouse, which offers panoramic views of Lake Erie. You can also explore the Veterans Park Museum on-site, showcasing military history and artifacts.

Point Gratiot Park: This scenic park is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic by the lake. The park features a beautiful beach, a playground, and plenty of green space for relaxing.

Chadwick Bay Marina: If you're a boating enthusiast, or simply enjoy waterfront views, the marina is a great place to visit. You can take a walk along the docks and admire the boats or enjoy a meal at the marina's restaurant.

Dunkirk Historical Museum: Explore the history of Dunkirk and the surrounding area at this museum. It offers exhibits and artifacts that shed light on the town's past.

Dunkirk Boardwalk: Take a peaceful stroll along the Dunkirk Boardwalk, which runs along Lake Erie. It's a great spot for a morning jog or a romantic sunset... Read MORE...

Discover MY Roots: Dunkirk Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Dunkirk, New York, USA

We currently have information about 11 ancestors who were born or died in Dunkirk.

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Ancestors Who Were Married in Dunkirk, New York, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were married in Dunkirk.

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Genealogy Resources for Dunkirk

Our Dunkirk Gift Ideas

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Updated: 10/13/2023 11:01:18 AM