On February 7, 1887, my grandparents, Frank Kolkowsky and Frances Kleister married at St. Stanislaus church in Buffalo, New York. Since we were headed for Connecticut on this trip, I couldn't miss the opportunity to stop and see the church.
The old Polish section of Buffalo has suffered much of the same fate as Detroit. Homes have disappeared, but at least the remnants have been cleared away to leave vacant lots. As a result, as you approach St. Stan's, there is a relatively unobstructed view of the towering dual steeples.
The church itself has been well-maintained. and recently celebrated its 140th anniversary.
In the late 1800s, Buffalo had become home to the second largest Polish-American community in the United States. St. Stan's, founded in 1873 grew to a membership of 20,000 before the second Polish parish was formed in 1892. There would eventually be fourteen Polish Catholic parishes in Buffalo.
The interior of the church is well represented on the church website.
Buffalo City Directories also give several addresses for Frank Kolkowsky and the Klaister family near the time that Frank and Frances were married. Both lived relatively near the church with this being the view of the church from the vacant lot where Frances' home stood.
Little remains close to the church to indicate the thriving Polish neighborhood that was one centered there. But that building in front of the church in the first two pictures dates from around 1919 when it held a retail butcher shop that now is strictly a wholesale operation.
According to the 1893 Buffalo City Directory, Frank was self employed as a carpenter and contractor on Brownell at the corner of Broadway. There is no obvious trace of that location now, of course. One corner is occupied by that second polish catholic parish as a parking lot, though. Perhaps he was engaged in its construction. By the spring of 1895, Frank and Frances had moved on to homestead in Minnesota's Sturgeon Lake Polish community.
For genealogist who might wish to come upon this page:
Frank's name of Kolkowsky is sometimes spelled Kolkowski or Kolkosky. It even shows up as a Kulkowski. HE was born in Poland in 1867 and lived in Portland, Los Angeles and Florida. He had a brother Kostek (Constantine) in Chicago.
Frances Klaister, born in 1870, is the daughter of John Klaister and Anna Domachowski.