Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Opinion

May 3, 2014

Long-gone tavern played role in Niagara County development

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — In 1919, Mrs. Irving sold the house and surrounding property to the Niagara Falls Power Company, which used it as rental property and did not maintain it very well. In 1937 the property was again sold, this time to Charles Call.

At the time of this purchase, the house was in a very dilapidated condition. Mr. Call repaired the house, had it sided and generally improved the property. He added a rock garden and lily pond behind the house. The Calls lived in the house, as did some of their children and later some of their grandchildren as well, until 1960. That year the New York State Power Authority took the property through eminent domain. 

The property was needed to connect the Robert Moses Parkway to the New York State Thruway and the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge. Clarence Lewis, then the Niagara County historian, wrote an article about the house and made an appeal to save it from the wrecking ball. Unfortunately, that did not happen and the house suffered the same fate as so many other Niagara County landmarks.

John Strickland, Charles Call’s grandson, lived in the house when he was a child and wrote a research paper about the property when he attended the DeVeaux School. He visited the History Center a few years ago and donated a copy of that paper and many photos of the house and surrounding countryside, taken primarily in the 1940s. Mr. Strickland has many fond memories of the house and we are grateful that he has shared this information and the photographs with us.

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

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