Sloan’s Early History
After the American Revolution, much of the area (including what is now the Village of Sloan) was
purchased and surveyed by the Holland Land Company. The old trail which led from Buffalo to Batavia
became well travelled and, in 1850, was transformed from a mud path to a wooden plank road, including
toll booths. This street is now known to us as Broadway.
Five railroads were built across the area from 1850 to 1880, playing an important role in the
establishment of the Village of Sloan, which was incorporated on March 17, 1896. Our village was named
in honor of Mr. Samuel Sloan, the President of the Lackawanna Railroad.
The Lackawanna and New York Central Railroads helped employees acquire lots on which to build
homes and live close to their employer. The railroad even furnished the labor and materials for the first
Village Hall which also housed the courtroom and fire hall. This building is now known as the John A.
Piekarski Community Center located at 140 Halstead Avenue.
At the turn of the 20th century, much of the land was either wooded or had been developed into pasture
lands allowing many villagers to raise livestock and poultry. A creek ran through the center of the village
with a large wooden bridge crossing the creek on Halstead Avenue. It was common for the creek to flood
each spring. Flood waters surrounded Public School No. 9 on Halstead Avenue and temporarily closed
the school in 1911.
The “Old Wooden School” PS No. 9 was on the south corner of Halstead Avenue and Gates Street. This
building is still in use today as a private residence. These flood conditions later were eliminated with the
installation of storm sewers and, in 1933, the WPA installed a concrete tile line and the entire creek was
covered. The outlet for the water then emptied into the storm sewer of the City of Buffalo
Existing dirt roads were graded and made reasonably passable for horse-drawn wagons and carriages.
These new streets were named in honor of Lackawanna railroad officials: Mr. William Halstead was the
railroad paymaster; Mr. Gates worked in the stores and supply department; Mr. Griffith was a master
mechanic; Mr. Adam Boll operated a dairy on Broadway and, of course, Lackawanna Avenue was
named after the railroad itself.
Plank sidewalks were built on one side of these thoroughfares. Early in the Spring of each year new
planks replaced rotted timbers, thus assuring safety for pedestrians. Back in those early days, open
ditches between the dirt roads and sidewalks carried away surface and waste waters from the homes.