Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

April 5, 2014

Back in the day, Niagara was a U.S. president's go-to place

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — When he arrived in Lockport, Van Buren was honored at a reception at the American Hotel (now the site of the F & M Building).

Four years later, former President John Quincy Adams was a guest of future president Millard Fillmore at a reception also held at the American Hotel. Adams was on a lecture tour of the northeastern United States. Fillmore, a resident of Buffalo, was a frequent visitor to Lockport and Niagara County before and after his presidency.

Abraham Lincoln’s visits to Niagara Falls were more for pleasure than business. Twice, he and his family spent vacations at the Falls, in 1848 and again in 1857. They stayed at the renowned Cataract House.

In September 1861, Mary Todd Lincoln returned to the area for a shopping spree. She spent time in Niagara Falls and Lockport. A few weeks later a mysterious package with an odd odor, addressed to Mrs. Lincoln, arrived at the White House. 

The President, fearing that perhaps a mouse had gotten into the package and died, decided to open it himself to spare his wife the displeasure of its contents. It turned out to be patterns from a Lockport dress shop, without any dead mice inside.

•••

Continue reading about presidential visits to Lockport in Spotlight on The Penney Gallery, in the Monday edition of the Union-Sun & Journal.

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

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