Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

March 1, 2014

Niagara's storied Old Stone Chimney needs befriending

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — As tensions mounted in 1812, the building was again used to house military officers, this time Americans, until it was burned by the British in December 1813. A few years later another man built an inn around the chimney; it only lasted a few years. The Porter family again built a structure attached to the Old Stone Chimney around 1840, this time a one-story structure. They sealed the second-story fireplace opening. Peter B. Porter’s grandson, Peter A. Porter, inherited the house and tore it down in the late 1880s. He then sold the property to the Niagara Falls Power Company around 1890.

In 1902, with business and industry advancing toward the abandoned chimney, it was moved 150 feet west, away from the new industrial plants. In 1942 it was moved again to make way for more industrial expansion during World War II. This time it went to Porter Park on Buffalo Avenue near the (now demolished) Shredded Wheat plant. This time, the plan to move the Old Stone Chimney employed greater vision and gave the public access to the historic relic. In both moves, the stones were carefully removed and numbered and the chimney was reconstructed to its original appearance.

Porter Park was mostly chopped up for the Robert Moses Parkway ramps, a factory and parking lot. The Old Stone Chimney now sits on property at the foot of 10th Street and Buffalo Avenue. A plaque, placed in 1915, tells its long and unique history. It is now overshadowed by the Robert Moses Parkway and the industrial complexes nearby.

This coming fall, the berm behind the chimney will be removed, necessitating the chimney’s moving once again. All is not lost, however. It has not been forgotten by people who care about its history and want to see it rise again in a more appropriate location.

Anyone who would like to get involved in saving the Old Stone Chimney, and building heritage tourism assets at a new “Upper Landing” site, is encouraged to “like” “Revere the Old Stone Chimney” on Facebook or contact Chris Puchalski at chrisjp22@mac.com.

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

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