Life in the Village of Middleport NY on the Erie Canal
October 14, 2015 1:53 am

You are browsing the archive for From our Historian Archives - Middleport New York.

Middleport Herald, July 12, 1912


While sorting through some old newspapers earlier this week, imagine my surprise when I came across a short article and an ad for Mr. Vary, the inventor I have recently featured on this site. Thought you might enjoy reading what was written in the Middleport Herald, a semi weekly newspaper” circulated throughout the richest agricultural More Info »

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Elmer Vary, Tinkerer and Inventor


In the early 70’s when my husband and I first moved to State Street, we met Margaret and Elmer Vary, our neighbors at 55 State Street.  Little did we know what a treasure of a man Elmer had been to this community for nearly 90 years. His early years were spent from the age of More Info »

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Dry Dock on the Canal in Middleport

This is a photo of the J Haines dry dock that was in Middleport. The photo is dated 1909, and was taken when the dry dock existed on the canal. What is a dry dock? A dry dock  is a narrow basin or vessel that can be flooded to allow a load to be floated More Info »

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Chauncey Norman, founder of NORCO


Chauncey Norman, a long time resident of Middleport, started his own business after working at the Niagara Sprayer for 37 years.  NORCO Machine and Sheet Metal Corporation was started in 1957 with four employees in a building on Kelly Avenue after Niagara Chemical Division closed out its machine shop. Mr. Norman, Harold Austin and James More Info »

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Middleport Inventor, Dr. E. L. Downey and his cure


On the corner of Orchard and Church Street was a broom factory. They operated there for some time, then moved out. Another inventor,Dr. E.L. Downey. Downey took over the broom factory and put up a fluid spray called “Downyside”. In one of his 1904 ads he states his insecticide did not smell like rotten eggs as More Info »

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Name this important Middleport resident


Do you know who this is? He was an important figure in Middleport’s past and he has a road named after him. There is an historic marker on this road that shares some history about this man and his role in Middleport. Any guesses?    

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Before the electric refrigerator…

Before the dawn of the electric refrigerator, the ice box kept things cold. Needless to say, there was a need to harvest and store ice. Iceboxes date back to the days of ice harvesting, which had hit an industrial high that ran from the mid-19th century to the 1930s, just before the refrigerator was introduced More Info »

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Niagara Woodworking was in the news!


What can you add to this old newspaper clipping about Niagara Woodworking? Let us know by commenting below and we will add it to the story! The caption dates this at 1909 and says: “The makers of house trim, sash and doors. It was located on Kelly Ave. and is presently occupied by Barden and More Info »

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Happy New Year

1908 main street

The office of the Village Historian is once again open and ready for your visit. I am now located in the board room at the Village Hall on Main Street and I am busy getting things back into order. My hours will continue to be on Tuesday and Thursday from 10-3 or by appointment.  I More Info »

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Banking in Middleport


In today’s fast paced society, we think little about the ease with which we can deposit or withdraw our savings and do daily transactions with our money.  Many people spend little time in a brick and mortar building since now most of our dealings can be done over the computer or from our car as More Info »

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