Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

June 8, 2013

CANAL DISCOVERIES: Street names changed as Lockport grew

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Lockport, a community born of the Erie Canal, entered its infancy in 1829 when early pioneer, Jesse Haines, completed the first map of the newly established village of Lockport.

Haines exhibited a great deal of subjective thinking in his vision for the community and laid out streets into areas that many people of the time criticized as being unachievable and surely the work of a madman. We know today that Haines’ vision was not unachievable and the growth of both the city and town would far outpace Haines’ early predictions.

Haines used his own imagination when he created names for many of the planned streets in the village. Most of the streets were nothing more than lines on a survey map that indicated where development might eventually take place.

If you look at Haines’ original map, you can see that many of the names still remain unchanged, but several have been renamed to address the whims of local citizens or area legislators.

Pine Street, Locust Street, Elm Street and Washburn Street were once East Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth streets respectively.

What was once Lover’s Lane is known today as Davison Road. Rattlesnake Hill became Gooding Street.

Some changes were subtle. East Avenue used to be called East Main Street; Plumb Street became Plum Street; Roosevelt Drive was formerly known as Roosevelt Street; Robertson Place became Robinson Alley.

Other alleys were renamed and turned into courts: Center Alley became Heritage Court; Chase Alley was renamed Niagara Court and Seminary Alley became Hawley Court. Evans Alley remains an Alley today but is now known as Rushmore Alley.

A few other notable name changes are listed here to show how names come and go throughout the years. The current name is followed by its original name:

Hawley Street, Bond Street; Briarwood Drive, Losson Road; Akron Street, Clover Street; Garden Street, Depot Hill; Cottage Street, East Front Street; Franklin Avenue, Griffin Street; West Jackson Street, Hickory Corners Road; Outwater Drive, Margaret Street; Bacon Street, Maynard Street; Elmwood Avenue, Mulberry Street; Lincoln Avenue, Newhall Street; Park Avenue, New Main Street; Market Street, North Street; Amelia Street, St. John Street; Lock Street, West Front Street; Church Street, West Second Street.

Doug Farley is the director of the Erie Canal Discovery Center, the best place to start your Erie Canal Adventure. His column runs every Saturday. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Join them at 11 a.m. June 15 when local author Linda Covell will present a free, family friendly program about her book for young readers, "Beattie's Tale."