Town of Niagara History: Commerceby jmaloni
Although the Town of Niagara began as a farming community, to date there are only two farms left within its borders.
Much of the remaining landscape has been converted to medical and commercial facilities. This transition began with the arrival of neighborhood grocery stores and gas stations. A few notable firsts include Loblaws grocery stores and later in 1964 Marine Midland Bank, both on Military Road. The Niagara Falls Public Library bus would stop in the parking lot to service the town.
A current shopping destination in the town is Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls USA, located on the west side of Military Road just outside the City of Niagara Falls. This shopping mall began as Maxam's Plaza and for some time featured a roller skating rink.
While today there is not a single post office within the town's borders, the City of Niagara Falls Post Office is in charge of deliveries. There were formerly offices for mail in Mayle's Blacksmith Shop at Pletcher's Corners and a substation at Hodge's Hardware Store. Before Niagara Falls was incorporated as a city, there were also offices in the three villages: Niagara Falls, Suspension Bridge and LaSalle.
The first telephone service was available to just a few homes around 1910. By the 1930s public pay phones became available. Private lines were introduced in the 1960s. The advent of the cellular phone has lead to the demise of the pay phones with only a handful remaining throughout the area.
This historical note is reprinted by permission of the Niagara County Historical Society. Research was done by Town Historian Dorothy Rolling.