The Iron Island Preservation Society of Lovejoy, Inc. was formed in 1994. The originators met in each others homes at the start and then rented an apartment and storefront at 1132 Lovejoy Street. The all -volunteer members met monthly and initiated their mission which is "to preserve and beautify the Iron Island neighborhood and improve the quality of life for the residents". An annual festival was run by the group and was held on Lovejoy Street for 13 years. The members hung dedicated American Flags on the light standards along the business corridor in the summer and put up Christmas decorations for the holiday season. They cleaned Hennepin Park, Davey Street Playground and the entrance to the Lovejoy neighborhood at William and North Ogden Streets. Their fundraising efforts allowed them to place a Welcome Sign at one of the main entrances into the City of Buffalo, The society launched many petition drives to SAVE HENNEPIN PARK, SAVE MEAD BRANCH LIBRARY, SAVE OUR FIREHOUSE, SAVE PRECINCT 11, SAVE OUR K-9'S and many more. The work of the Iron Island members is well-known throughout the area and several awards were presented to the society. In August, 2000, a businessman, Mr. Anthony Amigone, noticed an article in the Buffalo News which told of the preservation efforts of the society and he donated his 1895 former church/funeral home to the group to house their museum. In October, 2000, a Grand Opening was held at the new museum which was attended by family members of Mr. Amigone, members, friends and families and some elected officials. This building now houses a variety of mostly donated items, including a wooden altar from a neighborhood 1896 church, railroad items, military uniforms and much more.
Research is now being done on the history of the building. Recent findings include the fact that there was a small wooden church at this site in 1888 with a parsonage erected to the west at 994 Lovejoy Street. Drawings were gleened from the archives at the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society and further information was obtained regarding Henry Lovejoy who is the namesake of Lovejoy Street. The brick church was erected in 1883 and opened in 1885 and was well-attended by the congregation of the Methodist-Episcopal denomination. A photo of the first board members was also obtained for our records. The building was abandoned for a short while until a funeral director took over in the late 50's. To accomodate services, a building was built inside the church with three viewing rooms. There is an apartment attached which is now used for meetings and various other events. The viewing rooms now contain countless artifacts and one room is the New York Central Terminal Gallery which includes a model of the terminal building.
Contacts are: Linda J. Hastreiter, President, Marge Thielman Hastreiter, Vice President and Curator, Rose Bologna, Secretary. Phone #: 716-892-3084, Messages are retreived daily.