Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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February 15, 2014

NIAGARA DISCOVERIES: Masonic Building site has lengthy history

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The burned-out lots were purchased by Messrs. Ringueberg and Lewis and within two years a “splendid brick block with cast iron front” was built “which for beauty and strength, is not surpassed by any structure in the village.” For a few years in the 1850s and 1860s the building housed a grocery and later a clothing store before reverting to a drug store after the Civil War. In 1875 several Masonic lodges moved into the building and henceforth it was referred to as the “Masonic Building.”

Over the next quarter century, various men operated drug stores out of the first-floor corner of the building, while offices served on the second floor, with the Masons on the third. In 1900, Clay Parson acquired the drug store business from Delos Sheldon and for the next 61 years, despite different owners, it was known as Parson’s Drug Store. In 1912 the “Rexall Drugs” name was added to the side of the building. After 1961 the store changed hands numerous times and became various businesses. It currently houses an antique shop. 

Another shop that was housed in the Masonic Building was the harness shop of J. A. Koon. That business lasted for more than 40 years, from 1886 to 1928, supplying the then horse-drawn Lockport Fire Department with many of their equestrian accoutrements. The J. A. Koon sign that hung above the door now hangs in the meeting room of the Niagara County Historical Society.

Ann Marie Linnabery is the assistant director of the History Center of Niagara.

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