In response to the outbreak of the Patriots' War in Canada - the citizens of Buffalo asked that the US government provide for their protection in the event of an attack. Many people vividly remembered when their village had been nearly burned tot he ground by the British during the war of 1812.

In 1837, the federal government leased the highest ground within the city limits from Ebenezer Walden and established an Army post, The new post, erected in 1838, was called the Buffalo or Poinsett Barracks (Joel Poinsett was the Secretary of War from 1837 to 1841 and is perhaps better known for giving his name to a popular holiday plant, the poinsettia). Built between 1838-40, the Buffalo Barracks was the largest US military installation at the time. At its height, the barracks housed over 600 men as well as several wives and children. The house was originally built as officers' quarters.

In 1845, the army barracks were moved to Fort Porter.
Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site