Niagara County Tourism and Vacations
Lockport On the Erie Canal Erie Canal Locks and Boats
Western New York and the Historic Erie Canal

Attractions and Events along the Historic Barge Canal

Erie Canal Flight of Five Lock SystemThe New York State Legislature passed an act in 1816 which convinced land speculators that the proposed Erie Canal would pass through the area now known as Lockport. The Holland Land Company began selling land to speculators, the first being a group of men from the Town of Farmington in Ontario County, New York. These men were members of The Society of Friends, more commonly known as Quakers.

The Comstock family, from Farmington, was among the early settlers. Nathan Comstock built his cabin at north Lockport and John Comstock settled "near the mouth of the cave." Zeno Comstock, the first miller, built his cabin on what we today call Saxton Street, above LaGrange. One year later Nathan purchased the site of the Odd Fellows Home and planted an orchard with 700 trees. These original settlers overcame many hardships to establish their homesteads, removing massive trees and underbrush, clearing the land and avoiding the dangers provided by huge numbers of rattlesnakes.

In 1818, another Quaker, Jesse Haines arrived and settled south of the present High Street. His important contribution was mapping the future City of Lockport. Other Quakers came to the area and built a meeting house church, a school and established a cemetery on the triangle of land which encompassed Main, Market, Chestnut and Elm Street in 1819. The first wedding and burial involved The Society of Friends. The first school teacher was a Quaker woman named Pamela Aldrich.

During 1819, Main Street, originally called Mountain Road, was laid out to connect the Lewiston Road at Cold Springs with the Upper Mountain Road in Cambria. Nathan Rogers worked on the Batavia Road east section from Transit Road to Locust Street. The first eating and drinking establishment, a log tavern, was built on the site of the Farmers & Mechanic Bank.

In 1820, David Thomas, a Quaker, was appointed the principal engineer of canal construction west of the Genesee River. As State Surveyor, Thomas chose the area of the future Lockport as the site of the Locks. Addison Comstock, also a member of The Friends, received the contract for rock excavation. At this time there was no frame house or barn within five miles of Lockport.

(top of page) In January of 1821, advertisements appeared in New York City. Contractors were seeking men to work on the canal in Niagara County. The workers could expect wages, and keep, which meant food and whiskey. The laborers cleared the woods and excavated rocks in preparation of building the locks. Deacon Luther Crocker came to the area at this time. He was a blacksmith and later would do much of the ironwork on the lock gates, valves, railings and bridges for the canal. It was in this year that Erie County was taken from Niagara County.

Dr. Isaac Smith and his wife Ednah, also members of the Society of Friends, arrived in Lockport in April of 1821. He was the first doctor to settle in Lockport. He built a cabin of peeled logs which he then white washed. It was located at about 69 Main Street, the site of the present Bewley Building.

Several prominent Quakers met at a log tavern kept by Esek Brown between West Genesee and West Avenue. At this meeting, Jesse Haines proposed the name Lockborough for the area. Dr. Smith wanted the name Lockport and the majority at the meeting voted for his suggestion.

Canal construction began at the escarpment. The population swelled to 2,000 many of whom were the Irish who came to work on the canal.

Morris Tucker came to Lockport and opened the first general store to provide goods to the growing population. John Johnson, the first baker, settled in town. It was at this time that Colonel William Bond, a land speculator, also appeared in Lockport. Law and order was to be provided by Almon H. Millard, the first sheriff of Niagara County.

In 1822, Lyman Spalding, a member of the Society of Friends, opened a store at the location of 60 Main Street today. He would later be involved in building a flour mill and developing other industries. John Pound and his brother Samuel started a butcher shop on the triangle between Main and Canal Street. John Birdsal and Elias Ransom Jr. were the first lawyers to settle in Lockport and formed a partnership.

On August 1, 1822 a local advertisement was placed by Culver and Maynard, two canal contractors, seeking to buy pork, flour, whiskey, oats and hay for canal workers.

(top of page) Hiram Gardner, another lawyer took up residence and Gideon Hershey opened the Exchange Coffee House. To make access to the growing village easier, a narrow road was cut through the forest from Wrights Corners to Lockport.

When Niagara County was separated from Erie, it became necessary to choose a county seat. A rivalry existed between Lewiston and Lockport for this honor. Lewiston seemed to have the advantage because it had its own newspaper and could lobby for county seat. Daniel Washburn and Dr. Isaac Smith traveled to Lewiston and convinced Bartimus Ferguson, the owner of the printing press to relocate to Lockport. They traveled through the night with the printer, his family, household goods and the press. In the morning the first edition of the Lockport Observatory appeared in the village of Lockport before Lewiston was aware of what had happened. The paper helped Lockport become the county seat of Niagara County. Colonel Bond deeded two acres for the county buildings. The first post office opened and Mr. Boughton was the postmaster. Another log school building was constructed on the west side of the village by R. L. Wilson. A riot of canal workers in December of 1822 resulted in Lockport's first murder, that of a man named Jennings.

The locks were the idea of Nathan Roberts. A sixty foot drop existed at Lockport and a way had to be devised to raise and lower the packet boats to complete the journey to Buffalo. Roberts's idea was a twin flight of locks with five locks each. In 1823, work began on the lock construction. These locks were crucial to the completion of the canal. While work on the locks was under way, the first tunnel for carrying surplus canal water around the locks was bored by the contractors. It was soon realized that this raceway could be harnessed for power.

To assist in the construction of the canal, a young man named Orange Dibble invented a horse operated crane that could lower a wooden bucket to the bottom of the cut and when it was filled with rock it could be lifted to the bank above.

In the summer of 1823, the canal east of the locks opened for navigation and goods were then portaged around the locks.

A tavern called The Mansion was where the first Niagara County Court was held by Judge William B. Rochester. The Eagle Hotel opened on the corner of Niagara and Prospect. The Washington House also opened. This would be the future site of the reception held for General Lafayette when he visited Lockport.

The first Presbyterian Church opened on Court House Square. The Methodist Church was built on Genesee between Pine and Cottage.

(top of page) It was in 1823 that two slave hunters from Kentucky arrived and attempted to arrest Joseph Pickard, a black barber. A crowd of Irish canal workers thwarted them. Lockport became a stronghold of anti-slavery. The Quakers, who held powerful positions in the Village of Lockport, were against slavery and became Abolitionists.

On July 25, 1823, Lockport recorded its first earthquake, jarring furniture and crockery.

The year 1824 marked the opening of the canal from the Hudson River to the foot of the locks. Western freight was portaged to Pendleton and reloaded on boats. Passengers from packet boats were taken to Pendleton in "Dearborn carriages" and then re-embarked for Buffalo.

A floating museum and library called the "Encyclopedia of Albany" were seen at the foot of the locks. Lottery tickets were sold on the boat.

The first fire company was organized in Lockport under the name Protection Fire Company.

Orsamus Turner, who first came to Lockport in 1822 became the first editor of the Lockport Observatory newspaper. He eventually purchased the paper and an important event occurred in this printing office. It was the first time a composition roller was ever used in printing.

Bucket brigades were organized to help fight fires. Each member was to report to a fire with his bucket or face a fine of 25 cents.

Eli Bruce was elected sheriff and was the first to occupy the combined jail, courthouse and sheriff's quarters.

On February 10, 1824 a dispensation was granted to Lockport Masons for a Lodge to be named the Lockport Lodge.

Flight of Five Locks and Historic Canal Towpath in WNYJune of 1825 was a very busy month for the people of Lockport. On June 6, General Lafayette paid a four hour visit to Lockport and received a hero's welcome. On June 17, 1825, many citizens of Lockport attended the hanging of the Thayer Brothers in Buffalo.

(top of page) On June 24, the capstone of the locks was laid. During this year, the locks and Pendleton Cut were completed. The first locks were 90 ft. long by 15 ft. deep. Boats could carry 75 ton loads. The average canal tows were single, one boat to one horse or mule.

The Court House and Jail were completed. They were located in the same building. Spalding began building his flour mill. The Baptist congregation was formed but for a while used other churches.

On April 20,1825 the Canal Commission empowered by the Legislature advertised the sale of available surplus water (the raceway) to the highest bidder. Kennedy-Hatch won the water rights bid. This was the beginning of controversy for many years to come.

In 1826 Lyman Spalding dug a ditch from the lower end of the state by-pass raceway to carry surplus water to the lower level and started grinding flour. He also built a sawmill.

A law was passed establishing Market Street as a state road from Rochester to Lockport along the canal.

It was during this year that William Morgan was kidnapped for threatening to reveal the secrets of Masonry. The Masons of the Lockport Lodge were involved in his disappearance. Although they claimed that he had been released after being held in Fort Niagara, he was never seen again. It remains one of our country's greatest unsolved mysteries. Trials were held in Lockport and Orsamus Turner, the editor of the paper, served some time in jail for refusing to cooperate. The stiffest sentence was given to Sheriff Eli Bruce for his participation in the disappearance. There was a backlash against Masonry and the Anti-Masonry Political Party was formed.

On October 26, 1825 the full length of the Erie Canal was opened. On that day Governor DeWitt Clinton came through Lockport aboard the Seneca Chief and passed successfully through the twin flight of locks.

The first boat from the East the Captain Swan passed through the locks on October 29, 1825.

Asa W. Douglas was appointed the local canal commissioner and established an office on the northeast corner of Main and Pine where the M&T Bank is located today.

(top of page) A group of Albany land speculators bought 100,000 acres of land from the Holland Land Company in 1827. They also purchased a controlling interest of 300 acres below the escarpment for Joel McCollum in what is now known as Lowertown. They realized the importance of using the surplus water from the top of the locks to develop power below the escarpment in Lowertown.

The first County Clerk's office opened on the present site of the Civil Defense Building in 1828. Lot Clark also arrived to represent the Albany Land Company interests. Washington Hunt, the future governor of New York State, came to Lockport.

The first home for the poor opened near the west end of Niagara Street. The High Bridge was constructed over the canal.

During the year 1829, land was cleared, streets were laid out and a building program commenced in Lowertown. The First Niagara County Bank opened on the corner of Chapel and Market Streets. A frame hotel called The Lockport House was built on the corner of Exchange and Market. The Albany Land Company purchased the rights to the surplus water from the canal. They established an office on the east corner of Market and North Adam Street.

Jesse P. Haines made the first map of Lockport. He also donated 1 acre of land for the Quaker Cemetery which had to be moved from the Main Street. Paupers from all over Niagara County were moved to the poor house. However, probably the most important event was that in 1829 the village of Lockport was incorporated.

Edward Chase came to Lockport as a solicitor. He was the brother of Solomon P. Chase, who became a member of Lincoln's Cabinet. Judge Nathan Dayton and Dr. Josiah Skinner built mansions on Market Street in Lowertown. Flour mill owner Edward Bissell had built his mansion on Market Street the year before.

June of 1830 saw the beginning of the Morgan trials with Judge Marcy presiding.

A huge ridge of sandy soil 10 feet high across Main Street was finally graded. This improvement would promote the growth of the area.

In 1831 the building of the Judd Block began.

(top of page) Asiatic cholera epidemic swept across Lockport in 1832. Christ Church, the first Episcopal Church was built on the corner of Vine and Market Street. Lyman Spalding built a stone hotel where the Farmers & Merchant Bank Building now stands. The hotel replaced several taverns located there. Originally called the Central House, it was later renamed The American. This occurred in the year 1833. The Lockport Manufacturing Company, a large 4 story stone cotton mill was built at the junction of Spring, Garden and Exchange Streets.

Dr. George W. Merchant started the Merchant Gargling Oil Company. Also in 1833 the Baptists built a stone church on the southwest corner of Pine and Center Alley. A three story school was built to accommodate children who were paupers. The first hook and ladder company was organized. It was originally located on lower Main Street and was known as Protection Hook and Ladder #1. Later it was moved to Locust Street.

In 1834 Washington Hunt was admitted to the Bar after studying with Lot Clark. St. John's Catholic Church was built. The first fire engine was purchased for the fire company and held approximately a barrel and a half of water.

Plans were drawn up in 1834 to increase the canal and lock dimensions from 40ft. by 28ft. up to 70 ft. by 56 ft. by 7 ft. Locks were to be rebuilt from 70 ft. in length to 110 ft. The preliminary work on the canal was begun. Washington Hunt built his law office on Market Street in 1835. Today this building stands on the grounds of the Niagara County Historical Society on Niagara Street. It was in this year that the first lithograph sketch of the "Locks" was done by an English amateur artist William Wilson. The public was eager for the enlargement of the canal to begin.

The construction of the Lockport and Niagara Falls Strap Railroad Deport on the canal bank near the end of Chapel Street was accomplished in 1836. The ticket office was located in the Lockport House and cars stopped in front of the hotel. Opposite the Lockport House were the docks where packet boats stopped. Among other events, Thomas Flagler moved to Lockport and a large fire engine was purchased for Lower Lockport. An ad was placed that year offering a reward of one cent for the return of an indentured servant. Washington Hunt was appointed the first judge of Niagara County at the age of 24.

Messrs. Stickney and Yerrington were producing a planning machine which could tongue and groove boards for flooring. The inventor was a Mr. Woodworth of Lockport.

(top of page) Many lost their savings to Benjamin Rathburn in the Panic of 1837. A woman named Papworth was crossing the Gooding Bridge when a plank tipped and she fell through. She was killed. One child was thrown free and another sustained injuries.

The first hospital was built on Canal Street. The English Lutheran Church was established on West Avenue Park. The Patriot War occurred from 1837-1838.

William Hunt was born in Lockport and later became known as Signor Farini, a tight-rope walker, who duplicated all the feats of Blondini over Niagara Falls.

On April 18, 1838 the New York State Legislature authorized the Canal Commissioners to borrow 4 million dollars at 5% interest for enlarging the canal.

Thomas Flagler purchased the Niagara Courier and published it for 6 years. Steam engines replaced horses that had been used the first year on the Lockport Niagara Falls Railroad. A plan of Cold Springs Cemetery was developed. The First Congregational Church was built on the northwest corner of Niagara and Church.

President Martin Van Buren visited Lockport on September 1, 1839. The workers on the first enlargement struck because their wages were cut. They eventually accepted the cut. Senator Henry Clay visited Lockport in July of 1839.

Joshua Wilbur, a pharmacist and future historian of Lockport came in June of that year.

In 1840 construction work started in Lockport for enlarging the canal. All Lockport industry was operated by water power prior to this time. Coffer dams shut off the power and Lockport industry was stopped. Portable steam engines were brought from Utica but proved not as effective as water power.

(top of page) By 1840 Lockport had flour mills, cotton mills, cooper shops, tanneries, asheries and constantly growing business sections in both Lower and Upper Towns. The 1840 Census was 6,088 and had changed from a village of log houses to a village of substantial stone, brick and frame houses. The cheap frame buildings were being replaced by stone and brick buildings. The Lockport Glass Works opened. The question of slavery split the Methodist Episcopal Church. The Alexander McLeod trial was held. The north tier of the locks was completed. The famous Lockport House burned.

In 1842 the steam boat arrived on the canal. A trip from Lockport to Niagara Falls cost 50 cents. In January, Jesse Hawley the canal advocate died. Washington Hunt erected Wyndham Lawn on Old Niagara Road. Dr. Isaac Smith, the first physician in Lockport, died on April 13, 1842.

Railroad across the Erie Barge Canal in Lockport, NY

The first conviction for murder occurred in Lockport. The result was the only hanging in Niagara County. Alfred Holmes was the prosecuting attorney and Washington Hunt defended David Douglas. This execution led to John Greenleaf Whittier writing the poem Human Sacrifice condemning capital punishment.

In 1843 a $5 bounty was placed on wolves. Twogood and Company established a glass company at the corner of Gooding and Grand near the brow of the hill. The Universalist Church was built on the southeast corner of Church and Niagara.

A deed of land was given to the Quakers at Lincoln and Pine for a burial ground in 1845. Hildreth, Marks, Keep and Webber took over Twogood's glass company.

On November 6, 1845, the second telegraph line in the United States and the first to charge for messages was completed. The Lockport office was on Canal Street. Mr. Boughton was the first telegraph operator.

A railing on the Main Street Bridge fell into the canal while a crowd leaned against it to hear Abolitionist Alvin Stewart speak. Two people drowned.

William E. McMaster of New York City took rooms at the Eagle Tavern to allow the public to examine his paintings and have likenesses done.

(top of page) In 1846 the Lockport Glass Works Company built a modern plant on Green and Transit. The Union School House was erected.

In 1847 it was reported that one of the frequent fights that broke out on the canal resulted in the death of a raft captain. The New York State Legislature passed a law during this year authorizing companies to build plank roads and collect tolls. Lockport seemed to be the center of this craze. A dozen companies were formed to build toll roads in every direction from Lockport.

Lyman Spalding built boats on the canal and operated a line. The second set of locks was completed. They now allowed for twice as much boat traffic. An enlargement of the Hydraulic Race quadrupled available water power. Most importantly, on March 31, 1847 the Lockport Public School System was founded by a special act of the New York State Legislature. The Union School was passed.

In 1850 Washington Hunt was the Governor of New York. A railroad started through Niagara County. Thirty thousand boats passed through the locks. They collected $50,000 in tolls. During this year the Village records were destroyed by fire on October 31. The fire was in the Merchant Block where the Masonic Lodge is now located.

The Lockport Gas Company was organized in 1851. Mr. Flagier became the director and president of the company. On December 31, 1851 the first gas street lights were turned on.

Water reservoirs were constructed in three places in Lockport: Main and Locust, Pine Street and the west end of West Avenue.

In 1852 General Winfield Scott visited Lockport.

Millard Fillmore came to Lockport in 1853. In that year a city charter was patterned after that of the City of Buffalo.

On November 2, 1854 Lockport's big fire began in the Lockport House Hotel and destroyed 26 buildings and ten acres of the village were burned.

(top of page) In 1856 the Lockport Hydraulic Company was formed in 1857 Governor Washington Hunt and Senator March acquired the Albany Land Company and organized the Hydraulic Power Company. Alfred Holmes became the first elected Niagara County Judge in 1857. This was also the year the cornerstone for St. Patrick's Church was laid at Church and Caledonia. The Lockport Manufacturers Building was erected on Market and Exchange.

The year 1859 was important to the development of industry in Lockport. Birdsill Holly arrived in Lockport from Seneca Falls to manufacture sewing machines. Later that year the sewing machine company was absorbed by the Holly Manufacturing Company. Race, Matthews & Co. were builders of fire engines in Seneca Falls who also followed Holly to Lockport. He was their inventor and chief engineer. Their company manufactured diverse articles but Holly's chief interests were fire engine pumps and fire protection methods.

On August 24, 1859, Benjamin Moore built a stone flour and grist mill. Today that building is called The Old City Hall. July 30th of that year a hot air balloon ascension took place on their old fair grounds.

In 1860 the Lockport School System consisted of 7 small district schools generally one room stone buildings. There were several private schools. On March 18, 1860 Susan B. Anthony spoke on anti-slavery at the Universalist Church. There were at least 3 well-organized baseball teams: The Niagara, The Union and The Lockport. Games were played at the Courthouse Square. A house and a lot at 63 Locust Street was taxed at $3.31 in 1860. At this time the canal enlargement was complete.

In 1861 William H. Bush was the owner of the Oyster Saloon located under the Exchange Bank. He learned of Lincoln's call for 75,000 volunteers before official notice was given. He posted signs on the Pine Street wall of the saloon asking for recruits to sign up offering to lead them as their captain. This has been acknowledged as the first volunteer regiment of the Civil War. The 28th, 151, 129 and 8th Heavy Artillery together with other regiments from Niagara County camped and drilled on the Old Fairgrounds at Washburn and Willow Streets.

It was noted in 1862 that for three days straight 175 boats a day passed through the locks. On September 22, the canal was full of dead fish, mainly pike and bass. The cause was unknown.

In 1863, Birdsill Holly demonstrated the efficiency of his fire hydrants in the Village of Lockport. In 1864 substantial stone buildings were erected on the canal and the new complex was called Holly Manufacturing Company. On July 5th the Hydraulic Race Co. advertised for bids on a 19 and a half foot tunnel from above the locks to the Holly buildings.

(top of page) Birdsill Holly devised works system to provide a uniform and reliable supply of water to homes and fire hydrants. The Village of Lockport contracted with the Holly Manufacturing Company to install the new system of fire protection.

On April 11, the New York State Legislature passed an act making Lockport the first city in Niagara County. The first election in the City was held on May 9, 1865. Benjamin Carpenter was chosen as the first mayor. The first Common Council Meeting was held in Joshua Gaskill's office. Later they met at the Arcade on Pine Street later known as the Eagles Temple. It was in this year that the city police force was formed. The Washington House where Lafayette was entertained was destroyed by fire.

In 1866 the Holly Manufacturing Company occupied the site at Gooding, Lock and Caledonia Streets.

On February 2, 1867 Washington Hunt died in the City of New York. That was the year that the Sisters of St. Mary Namur moved into St. Joseph's Convent.

The "Niagara" grape originated on the Odd Fellows farm, owned by Claudius Hoag in 1868. Williams Brothers Co. started as Lerch & Williams in that year. Lockport built the Hydrant Hose House on Cottage Street. A new brick schoolhouse was constructed at Adam & Clinton Streets.

On July 21, 1869 a second tunnel was being blasted on the west bank of the canal to join the first underground Holly tunnel to be used for water power.

Richmond Manufacturing was organized and constructed a tunnel to join the main tunnel from Holly.

Birdsill Holly received a patent for a system of water supply for cities on September 14, 1869.

The utilization of water power from the canal by overhead cables to Upper Town destroyed the monopoly on power held by Lower Town in the year 1870. It was also in this year that the Farmers & Mechanics Bank was chartered.

(top of page) In 1871 work began on the Hodge Opera House. The following year, 1872 an iron cable from Buffalo to Lockport was laid on the bottom of the canal for the steam tug Governor Clinton. This was an experiment. Alonzo Mansfield purchased Lockport Glass Manufacturing Company at that time. In 1873 a Farmers Club and Fruit Growing Society was organized.

In 1876 Birdsill Holly designed a 18 story skyscraper to be erected on Goat Island. It was proposed that this would be a wonderful tourist attraction for the area. The idea was rejected. In that same year Holly used his home at 31 Chestnut Street to prove that buildings could successfully be heated with steam heat. His central steam heating system would forever change the way homes and buildings were heated.

Ann Eliza Young, former wife of Brigham Young, lectured on Mormonism at the Hodge Opera House.

The Lockport Horse Car Railroad began operations in 1876. In that year S.S. Gooding Co. Inc. was established. He was a printer and lithographer.

The First National Guard Unit formed The Separate Co. of the 31st Brigade N.G.S. more commonly known as the Niagara Light Guard.

In 1877 the Holly Steam Combination Co. was organized with a capital of $25,000. On December 29 of that year, prominent citizen Robert Dunlap disappeared. An extremely important event of the year 1877 occurred when the City Council decreed an end to segregation in schools.

The Holly Steam Combination Co. was incorporated in 1877 and John D. Walsh became associated with Birdsill Holly.

March 2, 1878, an experiment to heat Lockport by steam proved successful. Three miles of pipe were laid to a control boiler house and 50 different dwellings, including a large school were heated.

Richard Crowley was elected to Congress. It was hoped that he might someday be a candidate for President of the United States. In 1878 the Lockport Glass Manufacturing Co. burned and was rebuilt on a larger scale.

(top of page) The first phone in Lockport was installed in the American Hotel on the southeast corner of Main & Locust Streets in 1879. On August 21, Lockport was shaken by another earthquake.

In 1880, a large, modern 4 story building was erected on Elm Street to manufacture equipment for steam heating.

That year also saw the first telephone directory printed for Lockport by M.D. McNeil, the proprietor of the New York Tea Store.

On January 19, 1881 the Holly Steam Combination reorganized and the name was changed to American District Steam Company.

A disastrous fire on January 5, 1881 burned the law office of Richard Crowley in the Old Hodge Opera House forever destroying the records of the Susan B. Anthony Trial, the Fort Niagara Murder Case and the Ballard Counterfeiting Case.

Two patents were insured to Holly for District steam in 1881. Records showed that by that year $42 million dollars in canal tolls were collected at Lockport since the opening of this waterway. In 1884 the Order of Red Men was formed.

Eugene and Alfred Cowles established the first aluminum smelting plant in the world in Lockport in 1885. Electric street lights were installed and door to door delivery of mail began in Lockport.

The first formal evening school opened in the fall of 1885. Alonzo McMaster invented the camp wagon.

Lockport Lodge #41 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was formed.

In 1886, Holly envisioned the construction of a surface canal from a point on the Niagara River about 10 miles above the Falls to Eighteen Mile Creek in Lower Lockport, a distance of 15 miles. Power to be developed in Lockport using 155-160 foot drop from the escarpment would have water discharged from wheelpits into the creek. The project would have been perfectly feasible.

(top of page) In 1888 the First City Hospital at 291 West Avenue was deeded to the City of Lockport by Thomas Flagler. It was commonly known as the Flagler Hospital. During this year Western Block was also erected. In 1891 Lockport Felt Company began.

In 1893 the City of Lockport purchased the flour mill constructed by Benjamin Moore in 1859 for the City Hall.

On April 27, 1894 inventor Birdsill Holly died in his home on Chestnut Street, the first building to be heated by steam heat. In 1895 Castles Dairy opened.

On August 19, 1897 an earthquake rocked Lockport. This was the year that Thomas Flagler died.

Trolley service between Lockport and Buffalo began in 1898. The Mortimer Co. established a wallpaper and paints store on Main Street. In 1899 Canal Street changed to Richmond Avenue.

In 1901 the Holly workers went on strike. Artist Raphael Beck sketched President William McKinley at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo. He finished the sketch minutes before the President was shot.

In 1902 American District Steam Heat merged with the Snow Co. The cornerstone of Old Lockport YMCA was laid on November 17, 1900. The Lockport Camp 83 United Spanish War Veterans formed with a roster of 80 members.

Holly Manufacturing Company closed its doors in 1903 leaving 500 Lockport men jobless. Covert Motorette, a horseless carriage, was manufactured by Byron V. Covert.

In 1904 the last casting was made at Holly Manufacturing. On August 10 of that year the Lockport Aerie 825 Fraternal Order of Eagles held its first meeting.

The State appropriated 101 million dollars in 1905 for the enlargement of the canal. The following year, 1906, a contract for construction of a new 19 bed hospital was negotiated. Dussault Foundry Works also began operations. In 1907 the Franklin Mills, the manufacturers of Wheatlet were destroyed by fire.

(top of page) The work on enlarging the canal at Lockport began in 1908. Lockport Memorial Hospital also opened in that year.

The Holly Manufacturing Co. Buildings were destroyed by fire in 1909 as was the Boston & Lockport Block Factory.

Simonds Saw & Steel Co. built their plant here in 1910. This year also marked the beginning of Harrison Radiator. Farley Coal & Oil as well as Upson Co. were started in Lockport. This year witnessed the first Old Home Days.

Harrison Radiator officially began its operation with the shipment of a radiator to the Remington Standard Motor Company in 1911.

The cornerstone for St. Joseph's Church at the corner of Adam and Gardner Streets was put in place. Norton Laboratories came into being in 1915. The first section of the Harrison Washburn Street Plant was constructed in 1917. In 1918, Harrison joined General Motors.

The Hodge Opera House burned in 1925. The YMCA was built in downtown Lockport in 1926.

On February 1928, the Hodge Opera House was again burned. On June 16, 1928 the W.T. Grant Co. opened its doors.

The Lockport Public Library was constructed in 1937. DeSales Catholic High School opened its doors in 1946.

Future President of the United States, John F. Kennedy campaigned in Lockport in 1960.

(top of page) William E. Miller, the Republican candidate for Vice President for Barry Goldwater, opened his campaign office in Lockport on September 5, 1964.

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