June 22nd, 2008

Tonawanda, NY after World War II

When: January 1946, but contemporary details welcome
Where: Tonawanda, NY

I'm writing a Band of Brothers fanfic and part of it is set in Tonawanda, NY. I've studied the Google maps and the Wikipedia articles.

A young man has come to Tonawanda to fulfill a promise to a friend he lost in the war the year before. He is from Oregon, has never been to western New York before, and is suffering from a deep, deep depression.

Details requested

1) The name of a hotel that would have been open in 1946 and preferably on Tonawanda's Main Street.

2) The name of a diner or other cheap restaurant a short walk from such a hotel.

3) Which Catholic parish was more active at the time: St. Francis of Assissi, or St. Christopher?

4) A description of what the sidewalks of Tonawanda are paved with, and what trees, if any, they are lined with.

Currently, I am making up these details, but since the other locations of the 4-narrative story have a certain level of verifiable detail, I am hoping to give this one the same verisimilitude.

Would also appreciate wintertime (January) impressions of the Niagara River, links to photos, any parkland or woodland by its shore if any, the Erie Canal (does it freeze? are there boats or barges in winter?), and other wintertime details.

Consulted: Historical Society of Tonawanda website, City of Tonawanda website, Town of Tonawanda page, Diocese of Buffalo, St. Christopher's Parish website, St. Francis of Assisi parish web profile, Google Maps and Wikipedia

Thanks in advance to any helpful Tonawanda or area residents.

EDITED: the location and rephrased the question.

EDITED 2: Thanks to the responses so far, but I felt the need to explain that Niagara Falls makes no appearance in this story.

How far does the Bell toll.

Time and Place: The equivalent of Early Medieval Europe, or anyplace the have bells
Googled: Big Ben, church bells, bell ranges, sound of bells, bell sound distance,temple bells...

Given a preindustrial society, so that there is a minimum of noise pollution, how far away could you hear a church bell? I'm assuming a small church bell or large farm bell about 24-36 inches tall. The only mention of the range of the church bells was that they needed to be heard on the edges of the community, but I'm not finding anything about how much area that would cover.

Would it be safe to say that the bells could be heard 5-10 miles away? A couple of hours hike?
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