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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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 we use the drive through window or ATM machine. Early residents of Middleport were fortunate to have two private banks available, one owned by Linus S. Freeman and the other by Charles B. Taylor.  Harvey Hoag would later take over the banking from Mr. Taylor and ran the bank in connection with his drug store. In 1908 the First National Bank was formed with capital totaling $25,000.  The Community Trust More Info »

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Middleport Industrial Chart 1881

The art in this industrial chart produced in 1881 was attributed to two artists, Philleo who sketched the bodies and other figures  and Pollard who was responsible for the faces.  W.F. Pollard and Company were responsible for cartoons and commercial advertising in the local Middleport Times and the Middleport Mail who fought for newspaper supremacy within  the village. W.F Pollard and business partner Arthur Whittaker set out for points west around 1893, finally settling in Spokane, Washington where they did some of the first advertising for two daily and 4 weekly newspapers.  Their business  was eventually sold to the Spokane “Spokesman Review” where Pollard remained as an employee while Whittaker returned to Middleport. An original of this chart can be viewed at the office of More Info »

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Park Inn mystery solved

Some time ago, a question came up about the location of the old trolley station here in Middleport. We learned of the location of a Park Inn on the corner of Main and the park owned by Mr. and Mrs. Fred Dreher. It is located on the insurance maps of 1911 on the corner of Main and Park Ave and with some luck, Jesse Bieber shared this postcard with me which we believe  is the Park Inn.  If anyone has any other pictures or information about this establishment, we would love to hear from you.

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Wildcat Creek – powering Middleport’s growing businesses

by Anna Wallace, former Village Historian In most of the printed material we read, the growth of Middleport is attributed to the Erie Canal. But some time ago, Elmer Vary, then our native and most senior citizen, felt that a great deal of credit should be given to Jeddo Creek or “Wild Cat Creek” as it was known. This creek and its four ponds furnished the employment for more than 400 at the 16 manufacturing firms who used the water to power their steam engines, water wheels or both. At one time, the creek flowed all year around, and was a fisherman’s paradise. All kinds of fish were caught. In 1872, about halfway between the railroad and Route 31, the R.T. Chase Cheese Factory made More Info »

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