Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

December 28, 2013

NIAGARA DISCOVERIES: Hitching posts once dominated the landscape

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — They were a common sight less than 100 years ago, stone or metal posts with an iron ring attached to them. Sometimes they were near a stone block. Some were very plain, other were very ornate. They stood outside private homes and businesses, store and taverns. Hundreds of them dotted the landscape of the city — and now there are only a very few left to remind us of a time when horses ruled the road.

They are hitching posts, along with an occasional mounting stone, that have survived the test of time. 

There are currently about dozen known hitching posts that are still extant in the city of Lockport. There may be more that we don’t know about. 

In doing the research on those that still exist, it was interesting to discover that the homes they are in front of belonged to the famous and the not so famous. Here is a listing of locations where hitching posts still exist.

• 325 Summit St. – The Hitchins House is at the corner of Summit and State Road. The stone house was built in 1834 by Francis Hitchins, a canal contractor and part owner of the Lockport Glass Works. The post is made of stone with the iron ring still in place.

• 129 Outwater Drive – The Thomas Watson House is a National Register property built in 1854. Thomas Watson had a stone quarry directly behind his house on the Niagara Escarpment. Not only is there a hitching post, there is also a mounting stone.

• 284 N. Adam St. – The Joel McCollum House was part of a large farm and orchard in the mid 19th century. The stone house is still in the McCollum family. The hitching post is broken is now, just a stub in the grass.

• 178 Locust St. – The Orrin Prudden House was built circa 1890 for the owner of a furniture and undertaking business on Main Street. The hitching post is curved brass, painted black with a ball at the top.

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