This vintage postcard shows an historic site known as “The Milburn Residence” in Buffalo, New York, at the time that the tragedy occurred which has made it famous. The Milburn Residence is not only historic to Buffalo, but to the United States as a whole, as it is the home that President McKinley was taken to after being shot.
The original writing on this vintage postcard says “Milburn Residence, Delaware Ave. Buffalo, NY. – On Sept 5, 1901, President McKinley visited the Pan-american Exposition in Buffalo, that day having been set apart in his honor and called “President’s Day.” On the afternoon of the following day, while holding a special reception in the Temple of Music he was shot twice by a cowardly assassin. The wounded president was first taken to the Emergency Hospital in the exposition ground for immediate treatment and then removed to the residence of John N. Milburn, an intimate friend and president of the exposition, where he passed away on Sept. 14th, 1901.”
The Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, NY was proposed as an exposition that would showcase the Americas, north and south, to promote commercial and social interests among the States and countries of the Western Hemisphere. The U.S. Congress felt that the city of Buffalo could handle the task of designing and constructing such an exposition. Work began in 1899 on 350 acres where elaborate buildings were constructed which themselves were considered architectural feats.
The Rainbow City, as the Pan-American was called, was only a thirty minute ride from the heart of downtown Buffalo. A visitor arrived to find large gothic buildings complete with domes, towers, and minarets all in various colors that on a sunny day were spectacular. Gardens and statues combined to give a very expensive and affluent look to all the exhibits of the Western hemisphere.
The Pan-American Exposition was also a celebration of electricity, so great planning went into the night time effects. Drawing power from the famous turbines, designed by Tesla, at Niagara Falls, the expositions lit 240,000 eight watt bulbs all at once. They did not come on in a flash of light though, but in a gradual increase in brightness until every building was lit with the grand finale being the the Electric Tower which was studded with 44,000 lights.
It was such a tragedy that President McKinley was assassinated here at this great Exposition, and that the Milburn Residence in Buffalo became famous as the home where he died. The home no longer stands, and can not be seen today, so this old postcard is a nice historical document to record some of the event.
This image of the Milburn Residence is also part of our Vintage Buffalo, NY Wall Calendar created from this and other vintage postcards of Buffalo.