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Bicentennial: Town of Niagara is celebrating history

by jmaloni
Thu, May 31st 2012 08:50 am
Niagara No. 1 was organized in 1938, but closed in 2002.
Niagara No. 1 was organized in 1938, but closed in 2002.
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The Town of Niagara is celebrating its bicentennial this year. Here's a look back at a bit of its history.

•Education: The second district was a one-room framed building at the corner of Lockport and Tuscarora roads. It was built in 1842, rebuilt in 1878 and finally closed in 1955. It is currently on the National Register of Historic Places and is owned by the Town of Niagara Historical Society and is used as a museum.

Young's School, another one-room framed structure, was built north of the six corners at Military, Porter and Packard Roads. In 1933, a brick school was constructed on the east side of Military Road, north of Lockport Road. Later additions were made and the school was known as Military Road Elementary School. It was closed in 1991 as the last school operating in the Town of Niagara. Charles Clark was a principal of this school; he became the first superintendent of Niagara-Wheatfield Central School District in 1955. His wife, Margaret Goff Clark, was a teacher and an author of children's books. "Freedom Crossing," one of her more notable works, detailed the Underground Railroad.

The fourth district was located on Cayuga Drive in the Village of LaSalle, later annexed to the City of Niagara Falls. Prior to the centralization of the school districts in the 1950s, high school students attended LaSalle, Trott Vocational, South Junior or Niagara Falls High School.

•Fire Protection: Two volunteer fire companies protected the town until February 2002 when Niagara No. 1 closed its doors. Niagara No. 1 was organized July 20, 1938, and was located on the east side of Military Road north of Lockport Road. Niagara Active Hose was organized in July 1940 and was located on Lockport Road in Belden Center. This company relocated to the old Niagara No. 1 site in June 2005, with auxiliary halls on Young Street and in Cayuga Village. A Pierce-Arrow provided the first ambulance service in the early 1940s. For many years, the fire companies held field days. Lately, the Lion's Club and the Town of Niagara have been holding Strawberry Socials in lieu of field days.

This historical note is reprinted by permission of the Niagara County Historical Society. Research was done by Town Historian Dorothy Rolling.

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