The community of Middleport has been home to many different businesses throughout the years. Gin mills were very common and old maps show we had plenty of them to keep residents and canal workers well supplied. We also had several nice hotels which gave travelers a place to rest when passing through.
There were plenty of stores to supply everything that canal travelers could possibly need. However, records show that we have had only one blast furnace withing our community. John Van Brocklin opened his business in 1840 at the site where the building still stands today on Vernon Street near the corner of State.
This building has been the home to several other businesses and even was used as for classrooms when the school was expanding.