The Niagara County Legislature unanimously approved $134,000 last week to support the Lockport Locks Heritage District Corp.’s “Lock Tenders Tribute” project.
The funding has been secured through a 50-year settlement agreement between the Niagara Power Coalition and New York Power Authority for the Niagara Power Project, which allows Niagara County to receive, through the Host Community Standing Committee, up to $390,000 annually to fund projects found to be consistent with the Niagara Greenway projects along the Greenway Trail.
The “Lock Tenders Tribute” project was inspired by an iconic 19th century photograph of lock tenders seated on the steps of the famed Flight of Five Locks in Lockport taken by C.J. Cleve in 1897.
The objective of the project is to provide residents and visitors a glimpse into the past through the creation of life-size, bronze sculptures of those same lock tenders who worked 12-hour days, seven days a week from April through November to enable boats to traverse the Niagara Escarpment. The sculptures will be created by acclaimed sculptor Susan Geissler, to whom the funds will be directed.
Two Republican members of the Niagara County Legislature from Lockport said they will continue to support projects that improve the city’s heritage district.
“Lockport is a special place that holds a tremendous amount of history,” said Legislator William Collins. “I will ensure that efforts such as this are continued so that its history is preserved and remembered.”
“The Lock Tenders Tribute project will continue to have my full support, as it is an investment in Lockport’s transformation into a heritage tourism destination,” Legislature Chairman Keith McNall said.