Grosvenor Room at the Central Library; Image courtesy of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library

Grosvenor Room at the Central Library; Image courtesy of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library

"Learning about Charles Cary Rumsey" by Mary Beth Parrinello

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Maybe you are thinking where you,too, can get more information on Charles Cary Rumsey (C.C.R.) (or thinking "this woman has too much time on her hands"!) I will share with the world several places - besides Google" - yes, it IS possible.

This week's spotlight is the Grosvenor Room at the Central Library (a.k.a "the Downtown Library" to some). It is a treasure trove of Buffalo and East Coast history. Sanbon Maps of streets, microfilms of Buffalo newspapers, books from 100 years ago on specific Buffalo interests may be found. There are even shelves of year books from local high schools! No, Pad (as his family called him) Rumsey's Nichols book is not there...

In addition to old "City Directories', the "Blue Books", which give names, addresses, and club membership of Buffaloians who met their criteria, there are "The Scrap Books".

"The Scrap Books" are indeed special collections of newspaper articles in leather bound books. There are specific topics. Several shelves are "biographies". These are actually obituaries. As a life long reader of the Buffalo News from the time it was the Evening News, I find it interesting how many details of the person's life were given, as opposed to today.

In reading C.C.R.'s, you can find his life story: the years in Paris, his polo career, his more famous (and controversal) art works. Specifics about the Long Island car crash that took his life, including the extact location, are there. I thought it was interesting his siblings addresses were listed. OF COURSE, I went to view what is there today, and that will be a subject of another blog.

A visit to the Grosvenor Room is FREE and fun. You may want to spend the whole day there!

For comments and questions for Mary Beth, please email us.


When not time traveling, working out, or hanging out at the Burchfield Penney, Mary Beth Parrinello is the religion teacher in the Montessori program at Nardin Academy in Buffalo, N.Y. She also volunteers her time at Westminster Presbytarian Church, C.G. Jung Center, and Junior League of Buffalo, which was founded by Mary Harriman Rumsey, Charles Cary Rumsey's wife!