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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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 Arnold formed their own firm and became known for their work in metal fabrication, arc welding and machine work.  In 1961 the business moved from Kelly Avenue to a former Niagara Chemical Division building on Maple Avenue at the foot of Cemetery Street and added six additional employes. Chauncey Norman retired in 1971 and passed away in 1993. Photo courtesy of Bill Arnold.

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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 Robeson Corp. Lower photo shows workers from left, Art Webber, Art Vale, Frank Owens, Tim Riordan, and Bill Mahar. Photos are through the courtesy of Tim Riordan.” “

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Search your ancestry at the library

Interested in learning about your family tree? The Royalton Hartland Community Library now offers FREE access to Ancestry Library Edition, one of the most important genealogical collections available. Unlimited access is provided within the library, on Public Access library computers or your laptop using library WiFi and the link you are provided at the library. We have a new multi-computer workstation that has public access computers for our patrons to use. Stop in and see all that we have to offer! It’s all free and available when you stop in to the library at 9 Vernon Street in Middleport and use the library’s subscription to this valuable service.

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Train Travel comes to Middleport

The opening of the canal in 1825 was responsible for much of the growth of this little village of Middleport, New York.  It wasn’t much longer before the first train came chugging through Middleport, again changing how people were able to transport goods and families to the west. The first train came through  in June of 1852 and by 1853 some 11 trains were traveling through or community per day.  By 1888 there was a train every hour all day long and that put a serious dent into the commerce on the canal. The Hotel Rich had a livery service from the station to the hotel for anyone who needed a place to stay.  Middleport became well known for the hospitality it showed to travelers More Info »

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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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