“They put planks on the front stairwell and drove those cars right in.”
Jack VanSlyke recalled this memory while standing at the entrance of the armory’s drill room (now the restored Grand Ball Room). “Twin City Auto” was the Buick dealership in the Tonawanda area in the late 1920s. With one dramatic sweeping hand gesture, VanSlyke described how the cars were driven up the steep front stairwell, through the entrance way and past the gigantic wooden doors onto the drill floor.
VanSlyke also had fond memories of his boy scout troop meeting at the armory. He recalled his troop forming a human pyramid on the drill floor, and, as the youngest member of his troop, he was the one to climb to the very top with “two flags to wave.”
When asked if the armory looked different in the 1920s compared to today, he replied “Nope, looked pretty much like this.” We’re just missing a set of basketball hoops and the rifle cases that used to line the Grand Ball Room…
**Thank you to everyone who shared their stories with our staff this past Sunday. Keep checking back for more unique stories of this historic building.