Free Business Workshops Fall 2017

NCCC SBDC Free Business Workshops! Our popular 5-part series returns for 5 consecutive Thursdays from 6:00 PM- 8:00 PM at the N. Tonawanda Public Library, 505 Meadow, N. Tonawanda. Click here for more info • October 5: Business Organizational Forms: DBAs, LLCs, & Corporations • October 12: Social Media Basics for Your Business • October 19: Financing Sources and Business Plan Development • October 26: Recordkeeping for Small Business • November 2: Developing a Marketing Plan To register call 716-210-2515 or email: sbdc@niagarasbdc.org

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Girl Scouts Carry On Belva’s Legacy

At a recent meeting of the Belvadear troop in Middleport, I enjoyed sharing with the scouts a little history on our own Belva Bennett McNall Lockwood.   Born in the Town of Royalton in 1830, she championed the rights of women for equal pay, a good education and the right to vote when women were given little encouragement to do any of these. With the theme of “Women of the Year” coming up in 1975, Mrs. Trudy Sworts and Mrs. Doris March, active leaders in local Girl Scouting, came up with the idea of erecting a plaque at the site of Belva’s birthplace on Griswold Street. A committee planned the observance with the help of scout troops 164, 107, 33 and 34 and many scout leaders. More Info »

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What’s New at Middleport Pottery?

In 2014, many of you know I made contact with the head of the Prince’s Restoration Trust, which was refurbishing and reopening the famous Middleport Pottery in Stoke on Trent, England. They even generously presented us with 2 pitchers and bowls made at the newly reopened facility, hoping we would use them to entertain visitors with chicken wings and beer. I had to persuade them that the new tea set they wanted to send would not prove as popular as it would in their area. I have faithfully continues to follow the web site in England and enjoy reading all about the fabulous activities they offer. They also have great video of the whole restoration process and the history of the pottery making industry in More Info »

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Middleport’s Fire Bell Memorial

In a moving ceremony attended by many of our local residents, the Fire Bell Memorial was rededicated this past Memorial Day 2016. The Middleport Fire Department first dedicated their bell memorial in the park on Memorial Day of 1952 in  honor of  the deceased members of the department. The bell used to hang in a tower behind the old fire hall, now better knows to residents as our Village Hall.  After a fire in 1898 that engulfed the tower and the bell, the village lost their alarm system. According to Anna Wallace’s History of Middleport, the bell tower of the Episcopal Church was then used for ringing fire alarms at a cost to the village of $25 per year. In this view of the old Haines More Info »

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Middleport Universalist Church

It was back in April of 1841 that the Middleport Universalists organized their church on a piece of land donated by John Craig. The building of the church was accomplished with smooth, egg shaped stones gathered by the congregation from the shore of Lake Ontario and under the supervision of stone mason Emery Smith. Reverend Linus Everett was chosen to dedicate the church in 1842. In 1870 the Middleport Church was valued at $8 thousand dollars with the only church bell withing the village as well as the first organ. Due to diminished membership, the church closed its doors in 2015 and the building was sold. Many of their books and some other artifacts were donated to the office of the Village Historian, and are More Info »

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History of the Basket Factory

Back as early as 1886, the factory owned by Sylvester Evans and Henry McClean turned out some 2000 baskets daily. By 1893, James Hulihan and Thomas Conley owned the Royalton Basket Company which supplied local fruit farmers with different size baskets ranging from berry baskets to fruit crates. The logs were floated down the canal and held in the log pond until they were needed. The lower level of the building was used to cut the logs into strips while the assembling of the baskets took place on the top floor. Deliveries of the finished baskets were made by horse and wagon to local farmers. Owners of the business at its closing in 1934 were James and Timothy O’Shaughnessey. Today we look forward to once More Info »

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A History of Middleport

All history lovers, especially those who love learning more about our little village, will be pleased to hear that the history written by our previous historian, Anna Wallace, is about to go to press.  During her 30 year tenure as historian, Anna collected stories that go back to the beginning of our community in the early 1800s up to her retirement in 2010. I recently had a visit with her at her residence in Rochester where I shared with her a proof copy of her writings,  now compiled in a book entitled “A Friendly Community, A History of Middleport, New York.” The book will contains lots of interesting facts as well as 130 pictures from old newspapers, post cards and private photos. After a little More Info »

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Myrtle Lewis Wilmot, local artist and philanthropist

Myrtle Lewis Wilmot was the daughter of Middleport residents and inventor Elgie J. Lewis and his wife, May Bathrick Lewis. Born in 1888, she attended Middleport High School from where she graduated in 1904 and then went on to study music at the Julliard School of Music in New York City. She and her husband, Arthur M. Wilmot lived most of their married life here on Terry Street and were active members of the Universalist Church and many other civic organizations. In a newspaper article from 1972, Mrs. Wilmot was quoted that she took up painting when a local art class needed new members. She had never had any formal training but often admired scenes, thinking they might make a good picture. She would spend More Info »

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Middleport’s Grand Hotel

As early as 1825, the corner of Main and State Street in Middleport was known for its stately hotel, then called the Pierce House.  One of the finest establishments in the area, it provided a home away from home for many a traveler who passed through this area. After a fire in 1883, the original wooden building was replaced in 1884 by one made of brick by the new owner, A.D. Rich.  The new building was 118 feet long, 47 feet wide and three stories high. The main floor had a large dining room, billiard and bar room and offices. Upstairs were large sleeping apartments some of which provided a starting home for many local young married couples. After several more proprietors, the building was More Info »

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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 district on Earth”. Rates for the paper were $1.50 for the year according to publisher Lewis A. Jones.

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