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A Buoyant Future for The Buffalo Tugboat

A 96-year old tugboat named “The Buffalo” ventured through the United State’s historic waterway. Making its way up the Erie Canal from the Town of Waterford, The Buffalo landed on the shores of the Queen City earlier this summer. Owner of The Buffalo, Andrew Palmer has always been the nautical one in the family. He was in the navy for eight years and has been fascinated with ships and tugs for as long as he can remember.

When his brother Jonathon saw The Buffalo for sale on an internet auction, he knew he had to purchase it, leading to Andrew buying it. Andrew hopes that the TLC needed for the The Buffalo will be completed by 2022 for the 100th year anniversary of the tugboat that was built in Buffalo in 1922.

Andrew has a passion for the nautical history of Buffalo, something he believes to be in need of a boost.

“No one thinks about it. The fortunes being made in the canal and Great Lakes allowed architects to come here. Opportunities were created through Erie Canal and Lake Erie. Transportation was so much cheaper,” he said.

Andrew hopes to have a useable vessel for non-commercial focuses. He wants to create something for the people who are interested in the history of Buffalo.

“We want to create something people can enjoy. Who wouldn’t want to ride in a 100-year old tugboat that was built in the city around the harbor?” he asked. “This project is all about Buffalo, and focuses on bringing ‘The Buffalo’ back to the city.”

Andrew told me about the mighty adventure he and The Buffalo endured.

“It was insanity. We did 350-miles through the canal. We pushed it with another boat because we didn’t want to mess with it.”

Along with his brothers, Palmer owns a business called The Lardon Group, a company that provides consumers with a large variety of services and products. The Lardon Group has been around since 1966 and has expanded to five companies: Vargo, Lardon Disposal Services, Lardon Construction Corporation, Gateway Land Management, and Southtowns Supply.

Photos courtesy Butterfly Wishes Photography

Written by Sara Ali

Sara Ali

Sara is a freelance writer living on Buffalo's West Side. She works full time in human services, part time in freelance, and is currently working towards her endeavor to create a nonprofit focused on telling the stories of the refugee and immigrant communities.

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