A dairy in Middleport

Harry Shaw started a milk business from his car. He would load the milk from the family farm on Griswold St. and sell it in glass bottles. He built a little block building on South St. in Middleport for his dairy. After the milk was processed in Lockport at the Gascoyne Dairy, Shaw would deliver it in the Village of Middleport. He sold homemade ice cream there too. At Shaw’s Dairy it cost 5 cents for a double dip cone in the summer. He had chocolate milk in the winter. He sold the milk to the school. The kids especially liked the chocolate. Shaw’s son, Donald Shaw, ran the dairy later on and then sold it to Frank Houseman. Competition was tough and it went More Info »

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Farming memories

My father owned a large farm north of Middleport known as the Mather Farm. My father, Jay B. Mather, farmed what was the old William Van Horn farm on the Stone Road. Stone Road at one time was known as the Plank road. All of this land was purchase from the Holland Land Co. in Batavia. Before my family farmed it, William Van Horn raised the hay for the mules that drew the boats on the canal there. I was born on this farm site and lived there until 1980. The bricks that were used to build the big house and the carriage barn on the farm were made at a brickyard, which was north of the Van Horn Farm on the Stone Road. The bricks More Info »

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The Lamp Lighter

By Edwin T. Sheldon I was born in 1941 at 25 Francis Street. I spent the first 25 years of my life there. I have been reading over the information on the Erie Barge Canal but there was no information on the old Lamp Lighter. I remember that in the 1940s, there was a small tugboat parked at the old Basket Factory pond that was used to fill the old kerosene lamps along the canal. As young boys, my brother, Robert, and I would go there from school to fish. The man who ran the tugboat would let us ride up and down the canal with him while he filled the lamps. I do not recall the man’s name but he worked for the State More Info »

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Westy’s by the bridge

In the 1950’s and into the early 60’s, there a little ramshackle store called “Westy’s” that was situated next to the bridge tower. It was run by an old man named Raymond Midaugh. He used to sell candy, cigarettes and in the fall cider, both hard and soft. In the back room (there were only 2 rooms), there was what seemed to be a never ending euchre game being played by some ancient old men. I remember Westy’s was the first place to sell Atomic Fireballs candy. This was in 1954. I was 11 yrs. old then. I remember those days like it was last month. John O’Stewart, Plaquemine, La.

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Down on Main Street

Being a former long-time resident of Middleport, I found the article in the Union Sun and Journal about the Village’s sesquicentennial celebration very interesting. I was eight years old the year of the bicentennial and my parents purchased a derby hat for me for the occasion at Harputer’s store on State Street. (No, I’m sorry, that was Sam’s Grocery Store—Harputer’s was on Main Street near Jones Hardware.) I still have and display the two commemorative plates from 1959 even though I live in Lockport now. I remembered more of the establishments that no longer grace Main Street. There was J & J’s, the after school hangout, the Fenton Hotel that my friends and I used to explore, hoping not to get caught. Then there was More Info »

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Fire damages heart of Village

A Saturday evening in July 1999 brought eight fire companies and 100 firefighters to Main and State Streets to fight what would become a seven hour long battle. The fire, which started 2 State Street, quickly spread through 4 State Street and then to an adjacent building at 17 Main Street. Heavy smoke billowed from the second story windows causing major damage to all the buildings. Several firefighters sustained minor injuries but were later released from Medina Memorial Hospital.The Jones Hardware store sustained heavy damage but fortunately Jones had vacated the apartment above the store just the week before. A grassroots organization worked hard to get that building renovated and today it houses the comfortable and popular Alternative Grounds Caffe. Watch a video of shots More Info »

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Good eating at the American Hotel

Thanks to Margaret Droman for this memory. The American Hotel on Vernon Street next to the railroad tracks, run by Frank and Fanny Antonucci, was a popular place for locals to enjoy some good home cooking. There was a daily 75 cents special with a salad and vegetable on one side of the plate and meat on the other.  A popular special was 2 hamburgers with onions, mashed potatoes and gravy.  Bologna roast was another favorite as was the lasagna and of course fish on Fridays.  Spaghetti was served with sausage or meatballs. Pie was available for 15 cents extra and since Fanny had never made pies before, a lady was hired to help with the pie making.  Dough for the crust was made every More Info »

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Help solve a mystery

Recently a resident from Middleport brought a picture to this office asking for some help with identification.The picture was found behind another when it was taken apart for framing and has no identifying information such as a date or name of the artist. It looks almost like the head was added to a prepared drawing of a child. The owner wonders if maybe an itinerant artist prepared the main portion of the picture and then added the head when requested by the parents of the child.  Maybe someone has something similar in their possession and might be able to help with information about the artist.  We’d love to hear from anyone who can give us some information.

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Commencement at Union School

A  1901 clipping from the local Middleport paper: The annual commencement exercises of the Mdpt. Union High School will be held at the opera house this eve. at 8:15, June 26, 1901. The class motto is “Climb though the rocks be rugged”. Grads. in the academic course are: Misses Clara Louise Bates, Gertrude Louise Benson, Cornelia Lucy Freeman, Martha Eleanore Pollard, Elizabeth Loretta Bray, Bernice Mary Freeman, Lucy Freeman Graves, Messers Leslie Willard Allen, Charles Floyd Ewing, William Henry Watts.  In the advanced academic are: Messers Elijah Henry Seaman, Frank William Sterritt, Glenn Henry Wakeman.  Music for the occasion was furnished by Hammond’s orchestra.  Mr. W. J. Sterritt presented the diplomas in his usual graceful manner making a few remarks appropriate to the occasion

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Belva stamp anniversary

On June 18, 1986, the United States Postal Service officially released the Belva Ann Lockwood stamp as part of their Great American Series.  Born on October 24, 1830, this Royalton resident went on to become an admired public figure and a very influential woman of the century.  The Lockwood Bill gave female attorneys the right to pursue their cases in courts.  She also became the first female nominated by a political party to the office of President of the United States, first in 1884 and again in 1888.      

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