The History Center of Niagara

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Great News! You can now follow The History Center on Instagram!Downloading the app to your phone is free and easy! See r...
12/23/2019

Great News! You can now follow The History Center on Instagram!

Downloading the app to your phone is free and easy! See rare historical photographs and what The History Center looked like almost 30 years ago! Follow us at: niagara _history to get the latest information on upcoming events and exciting new exhibitions.

https://www.instagram.com/niagara_history/?hl=en

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!  The biggest postcard period in America was between 1905-1915. Most postcards were ma...
12/23/2019

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

The biggest postcard period in America was between 1905-1915. Most postcards were made in Germany during that time. Prior to 1907, only the address could appear on the back and still be delivered for one cent. These postcards really have such an interesting history.

Happy Holidays this season from the History Center! To our sensibilities, these images may not be very appealing, but po...
11/27/2019

Happy Holidays this season from the History Center!

To our sensibilities, these images may not be very appealing, but postcards like these were quite common in the early 20th century. How nice would it have been to receive one of these postcards?

Thank you to everyone who helped make The Everett Fitchlee Event at the Elks a success! We couldn't have done it without...
11/27/2019

Thank you to everyone who helped make The Everett Fitchlee Event at the Elks a success! We couldn't have done it without you. Photos graciously provided by, Norm Pearson.

11/13/2019

FDR is coming to The History Center on December 7th, and not as stated in a previous PR announcement. We hope to see you there! Please call (716) 434-7433, or email [email protected] for more information.

The old Lockport fire tower (1887-1910). It was built next to the "Big Bridge" at the corner of Main and Church streets ...
11/05/2019

The old Lockport fire tower (1887-1910). It was built next to the "Big Bridge" at the corner of Main and Church streets and stood 100 feet high. The fire bell was memorialized in 1986 after the tower had been dismantled for nearly 76 years.

An old postcard of a local parade in downtown Lockport.
10/28/2019

An old postcard of a local parade in downtown Lockport.

Remember when the streets looked like this? The trolleys still ran throughout the streets in Lockport until 1938. Here, ...
10/23/2019

Remember when the streets looked like this? The trolleys still ran throughout the streets in Lockport until 1938. Here, the photo looks out over Locust Street, Lockport, N.Y.

The History Center recently went on its annual Fall Bus Trip to the Seneca Iroquois National Museum in Salamanca on Satu...
10/21/2019

The History Center recently went on its annual Fall Bus Trip to the Seneca Iroquois National Museum in Salamanca on Saturday, October 19. We toured their exhibits and viewed their displays of artwork, beadwork, and basketry. The changing autumn leaves were a sight to behold.

The museum has also recently opened the Onöhsagwë:de’ Cultural Center that houses new exhibits on traditional medicine, and craftsmanship.

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the evening and helped make this event a success!

10/16/2019

"The Ghosts of the Van Horn" event has been canceled on Thursday, Oct. 24th due to illness. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, but hope that we can continue this event in the future.

There are still tickets available for The History Center's Family Nights this fall season! It's sure to be a blast for b...
10/09/2019

There are still tickets available for The History Center's Family Nights this fall season! It's sure to be a blast for both children and adults with some super fun hands-on activities for all to enjoy! For pre-registration and more information, please call 716-434-7433, or email [email protected].

Photos of The History Center's Oktoberfest, 2019.
10/09/2019

Photos of The History Center's Oktoberfest, 2019.

Photos of The History Center's Oktoberfest, 2019.

Join us today at 2 p.m. at the History Center, where residents will be taking a look at three international bridges from...
09/26/2019

Join us today at 2 p.m. at the History Center, where residents will be taking a look at three international bridges from Niagara County to Canada. Ray Wigle will show images of the past and present spans connecting the two countries over the years.

There have been new bridges and major changes to existing bridges in the past 170 years. Learn about the first suspension bridge by the same engineer who later designed the Brooklyn Bridge.

Admission to this program is free and open to the public, so bring a friend. For more information call the History Center at, 716-434-7433.

We received a phone call last week from a man searching for the original owner of his vintage 1972 Ford Mustang Sprint. ...
09/03/2019

We received a phone call last week from a man searching for the original owner of his vintage 1972 Ford Mustang Sprint. This was a special edition model made to commemorate the 1972 Summer Olympics. The car was sold to Lockport Motors and he has the original invoice (shown below). If anyone has any information on this vehicle, is a former employee of Lockport Motors, or may know who the original owner is, please call Jon at 716-553-0471.

Thanks to everyone who joined us for Rob Gibson's tintype photography demonstration last Friday, August 9th!
08/13/2019

Thanks to everyone who joined us for Rob Gibson's tintype photography demonstration last Friday, August 9th!

Amazon Prime Day is today, July 16.Did you know you can help the History Center by simply making purchases on Amazon? Th...
07/16/2019

Amazon Prime Day is today, July 16.
Did you know you can help the History Center by simply making purchases on Amazon? The History Center is participating in the Amazon Smile Foundation.

Whenever you make a purchase on amazon.com, the History Center will receive 0.5% of the purchase. There is no additional cost to you.

To participate in amazon smile, and to donate to the History Center, go to smile.amazon.com. and select "change your charity." (see screenshot below) This will allow you to search for the "Niagara County Historical Society" and select us as your designated charity.

It's easy to participate, and every little bit helps.
Thanks in advance for your support!

James Schuler pictured with his dogs. He was the founder of Schuler Quarry former located on Chestnut Ridge near Cold Sp...
06/01/2019

James Schuler pictured with his dogs. He was the founder of Schuler Quarry former located on Chestnut Ridge near Cold Springs Cemetery.

Winter on Locust St. in Lockport. C.1888.
05/29/2019

Winter on Locust St. in Lockport.
C.1888.

C.1899. Ice castles in Niagara Falls during a winter carnival held by the Niagara Falls Tourist and Convention Center.
05/27/2019

C.1899. Ice castles in Niagara Falls during a winter carnival held by the Niagara Falls Tourist and Convention Center.

Gorge mill races in Niagara Falls. The mill races powered the water wheels for the factories.
05/25/2019

Gorge mill races in Niagara Falls. The mill races powered the water wheels for the factories.

Olcott Beach c.1920
05/22/2019

Olcott Beach c.1920

The Farmers' and Mechanics' Savings Bank was established in 1870 and the building is from 1905 on the corner of Pine and...
05/19/2019

The Farmers' and Mechanics' Savings Bank was established in 1870 and the building is from 1905 on the corner of Pine and Main Sts. It is empty, sorry for the correction.
The Charles Rand Penney collection at our Erie Canal Discovery Center contains many artifacts from the historic Farmers' and Mechanics' Bank.

An old postcard of High Street in Lockport.
05/17/2019

An old postcard of High Street in Lockport.

The exterior of Lockport's Union Station in 1973. The train station was closed in 1940 and opened reopened in 1971 as a ...
05/14/2019

The exterior of Lockport's Union Station in 1973. The train station was closed in 1940 and opened reopened in 1971 as a restaurant. The majority of the structure was later destroyed by a fire in 1978.

The Hodge Opera House the morning after it caught on fire on February 25th, 1928. It took eleven million gallons of wate...
05/10/2019

The Hodge Opera House the morning after it caught on fire on February 25th, 1928. It took eleven million gallons of water to extinguish the fire. The water later froze in the 3-degree temperatures.

C. 1900. Main St. looking east toward 'Big Bridge' in Lockport.
05/08/2019

C. 1900. Main St. looking east toward 'Big Bridge' in Lockport.

This weekend! Celebrate the opening of the 2019 Erie Canal season on Saturday, May 11 in Lockport. Festivities begin at ...
05/07/2019

This weekend! Celebrate the opening of the 2019 Erie Canal season on Saturday, May 11 in Lockport. Festivities begin at 3:30 PM at the Erie Canal Discovery Center with the presentation of the Key to the Locks Award to John McKee, Chief Lock Tender of the Lockport Locks.

At 5 PM, join local and state dignitaries outside Steamworks on Canal Street for the Lock Tenders Tribute Event, which will honor legendary 19th Century Lock Tender Michael Oates, and the community will celebrate the designation of Lockport as a gateway location on the recently-designated Empire State Trail.

The canal-opening activities are sponsored by the Niagara County Historical Society and the Lockport Locks Heritage District.

Kenmore Hotel and West Ave. in Lockport c. the early 1900s.
05/06/2019

Kenmore Hotel and West Ave. in Lockport c. the early 1900s.

The Palace Theater in Lockport c. 1935.
05/04/2019

The Palace Theater in Lockport c. 1935.

This photograph depicts the Niagara County Jail and Sheriff's home as it was c.1930. The jail relocated from Niagara St....
05/02/2019

This photograph depicts the Niagara County Jail and Sheriff's home as it was c.1930. The jail relocated from Niagara St. in Lockport to Niagara St. Extention down the road in 1961. The building shown was demolished shortly after.

The History Center will be closed Saturday 4/20- Monday 4/22. Enjoy the holiday weekend!
04/18/2019

The History Center will be closed Saturday 4/20- Monday 4/22. Enjoy the holiday weekend!

Did you know the History Center participates in a monthly radio show? "Niagara's Greatest History" is broadcast every se...
04/17/2019

Did you know the History Center participates in a monthly radio show? "Niagara's Greatest History" is broadcast every second Wednesday of the month at 11 am on WLVL (1340 AM – 105.3 FM). Each show addresses a different historical theme regarding Niagara County. Our next show is on May 8th!

The Erie Canal Discovery Center will resume its seasonal hours starting May 1st. The Discovery Center will be open 7 day...
04/12/2019

The Erie Canal Discovery Center will resume its seasonal hours starting May 1st. The Discovery Center will be open 7 days a week, 9 AM- 5 PM until October 1st.
Be sure to stop by!

African American businessman and education- rights advocate, Aaron Mossell donated bricks to build Lockport's First Afri...
04/08/2019

African American businessman and education- rights advocate, Aaron Mossell donated bricks to build Lockport's First African Methodist Episcopal Church in the late 1870s. The church is located on South St.

We're accepting submissions to name our Blues Concert Fundraiser!!! The History Center is hosting the event at The Palac...
04/05/2019

We're accepting submissions to name our Blues Concert Fundraiser!!! The History Center is hosting the event at The Palace Theater in Lockport on February 29, 2020.

The winner of the contest will be chosen by a selection committee and will receive four concert tickets. You can message us on Facebook with your submissions. The contest ends on Wednesday, May 3rd at 5:00 PM.

The original Baptist Church of Lockport. The church was built in 1867 and was originally located on Pine St. It was torn...
04/04/2019

The original Baptist Church of Lockport. The church was built in 1867 and was originally located on Pine St. It was torn down in the 1950s and a new church was built on the corner of Pine St. and Genesee St.

This photo was found in our collection and depicts the Lockport Reds, the city's minor league baseball team from 1947-19...
03/25/2019

This photo was found in our collection and depicts the Lockport Reds, the city's minor league baseball team from 1947-1951. The photo is not dated and we have no information about any of the men in the photo.
If anyone recognizes any of the players, we'd love to hear more about them.

The Ashley Mansion was bought by Lockport Lawyer and Real Estate Entrepreneur Eugene M. Ashley in 1885. The mansion, loc...
03/21/2019

The Ashley Mansion was bought by Lockport Lawyer and Real Estate Entrepreneur Eugene M. Ashley in 1885. The mansion, located at 252 Genesee St, passed through the hands of many owners until it was converted into the Governor Hunt Apartment Buildings during the 1930s. The mansion was destroyed by a fire in 1940, and the lot is now a part of the Prudden and Kandt Funeral Home.

The Olcott Methodist Church was built in 1901, and replaced earlier Methodist churches built in Olcott. The Civil War mo...
03/19/2019

The Olcott Methodist Church was built in 1901, and replaced earlier Methodist churches built in Olcott. The Civil War monument (in the bottom right corner of the photo) was built in 1899, and relocated to the Methodist Church lot in 1923.

02/07/2019

This is a full-time, 9-5 position with a daily lunch break from mid May - mid August, 2018. It includes working alternate Saturdays with a weekday off.

Work would be done at the 215 Niagara St. site and Erie Canal Discovery Center, 24 Church St., both in Lockport.

The supervisors would be the curator and assistant director.

The job entails good organizational skills, Microsoft Office program knowledge, good customer relations, being highly motivated, phone skills and multi-tasking ability.

The registrar will also need to learn Erie Canal history to assist the education coordinator with school tours of the restored Flight of Five locks.

The candidate will need to learn how to use our Past-Perfect museum software.

There will be some light housekeeping and assisting with moving light objects (books, artifacts),writing, filing, copying, research and working in the gift shop.

Summers are very busy at the History Center, and this position will enable the staff to be more responsive to visitors' needs. We also have more research requests at this time of year.

Eligible applicants must be students who have completed one year of college and are currently enrolled. They must be residents of eastern Niagara County. This geographic area includes Lockport, Newfane, Gasport, Sanborn, Cambria, Wilson, Ransomville, Wheatfield, Royalton, Hartland, Barker, Pendleton, Middleport and Somerset.

Students not residing in eastern Niagara County but attending Niagara Community College or Niagara University are also eligible to apply.

Please contact the History Center at (716) 434-7433 for more information and an application.

Completed applications must be received by March 8.

The History Center of Niagara
01/23/2019

The History Center of Niagara

We received a question about Robin Hood Flour & replied earlier today. Many of you may remember their grain elevator, which could be seen towering over much of Lockport. Here is a photo of the grain elevator & our information:

Robin Hood Flour was made in Lockport at Federal Milling, which began operation in 1907 at Michigan & Park. The company was later purchased by International Milling, later known as International Multifoods, and made flour and other grain products. The Robin Hood grain storage elevator was a local landmark until its 1993 demolition. International Multifoods closed the plant in 2005.

The El Dorado was a 50-room hotel in Youngstown known for both lodging and entertainment. Built in 1891 by Frank Steele,...
01/17/2019

The El Dorado was a 50-room hotel in Youngstown known for both lodging and entertainment. Built in 1891 by Frank Steele, the popular hotel stood on the northwest corner of Main and Ferry Streets. It was known for good food, comfortable accommodations, concerts and dancing, and a view of both the Niagara River and Lake Ontario from its verandas. A historic marker now indicates the site of the El Dorado, which was demolished in the late 1930s.

The El Dorado was a 50-room hotel in Youngstown known for both lodging and entertainment. Built in 1891 by Frank Steele, the popular hotel stood on the northwest corner of Main and Ferry Streets. It was known for good food, comfortable accommodations, concerts and dancing, and a view of both the Niagara River and Lake Ontario from its verandas. A historic marker now indicates the site of the El Dorado, which was demolished in the late 1930s.

Pictured: The Bewley Building in the early 1930's.
01/15/2019

Pictured: The Bewley Building in the early 1930's.

A postcard features Lockport's Bewley Building in the early 1920s.

The girls of the Raymond Hill School pose for a photo in 1937. Does anyone recognize any of the girls in the photo?
11/26/2018

The girls of the Raymond Hill School pose for a photo in 1937.
Does anyone recognize any of the girls in the photo?

Parade on Main St. near the intersection with Elm. C. 1940.
11/25/2018

Parade on Main St. near the intersection with Elm. C. 1940.

Address

215 Niagara St
Lockport, NY
14094

General information

The Niagara County Historical Society Complex presents a glimpse of area life in Niagara County over the last 175 years. The Outwater Memorial Building, 215 Niagara Street, Lockport, NY, is the headquarters for the Niagara County Historical Society. Erie Canal Discovery Center part of the Niagara County Historical Society Museum Complex. This 1863 brick home features a Victorian Parlor, Historic Pantry, Old Toy Room, the Civil War Room and a Changing Exhibit Room. The Outwater Emporium, our unique gift shop, allows you to browse among historic gifts and publications about Niagara County geared towards all ages. Cat's Meow Collectibles are also available in our gift shop. Admission to the 215 Niagara St. Museum Complex is $4 adults, free for children 19 and under with parent or guardian. The History Center includes the Erie Canal Discovery Center at 24 Church Street, which is open May 1 - October 31, 9 am - 5 pm everyday. It is open November 1 - April 30, Friday and Saturday, 10 am to 3 pm. Admission to the Erie Canal Discovery Center is $6 adults, free for children 18 and under with parent or guardian. The History Center also includes the Col. William Bond/Jesse Hawley House at 143 Ontario Street. For hours, please call 434-7433.

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday 09:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(716) 434-7433

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