The Friends of Local History will present a lecture by noted DeVeaux historian Lewis F. Buttery, Jr. The lecture, a PowerPoint presentation, will take place Tuesday, Jan. 15, in the auditorium of the Niagara Falls Public Library, 1425 Main St. The program runs from 6 to 8 p.m. It is free and open to the public.
Buttery will discuss the architectural gems that once graced this distinguished campus. DeVeaux School begun in 1853 with a gift through the will of Judge Samuel DeVeaux, who died in the previous year. He was a prominent citizen of the Niagara area and wished to establish a home and school for orphaned boys.
The campus was designed by C.N. Otis, a noted architect. The first buildings were opened in 1857. The school ran until 1971 and was purchased by Niagara University, which used the campus until it was sold to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, which operates DeVeaux Woods State Park today.
There will be photos of all buildings and eras of DeVeaux School included in the presentation. These include Van Rensselear Hall, 1857; the brick barn, 1863; the kitchen and Patterson Hall, 1866-68; the gymnasium, 1870; Monroe Hall and Ambrose Chapel, 1894; and the Schoellkopf Hall and Power Plant, 1930s.
Buttery is a descendant of several major Niagara families. John Milton Buttery operated the Buttery Elevator near what is now the Whirlpool State Park. He also descends from Gus Pierce, whose tavern was the site of a skirmish during the War of 1812. The tavern was on the site of the present library at the corner of Main Street and Pierce Avenue. Another ancestor is Robert Nichols, who built the Terrapin tower on Terrapin Point on Goat Island.
This is the third of a series of lectures on local history topics that will take place on the third Tuesday of each month (until May). The Friends of Local History support ongoing projects on the documentation of the history of the City of Niagara Falls and support the research and collection of the local history department of the Niagara Falls Public Library. Local history is located on the third floor of the main branch of the public library at 1425 Main St. It is open to the public on Mondays , from 5 to 8 p.m., and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 5 p.m. A copy of the 2012-13 lecture schedule is available at both branches of the library or by calling 716-425-4005.