Niagara County Historical Society looking to unravel mystery around its velocipede

Terry Abrams, curator for the Niagara County Historical Society, stands with a velocipede found in the society's donations. Plans to restore and display the ancient ancestor the bicycle are in the works and the public may be able to view it in late February or early March.

Terry Abrams is the curator of the Niagara County Historical Society, which, he said, sometimes turns up interesting items already in their possession, but of which little is known about the donor or its history.

Such is the case of the velocipede.

“It’s one of those things,” Abrams said. “Somebody donated it to us, but we have no record of who. No real information.”

A velocipede is a name that encompasses many objects provided it is a human-powered land vehicle with one or more wheels. Today, that typically means a bicycle, but it wasn’t too long ago that different models existed. Craig Allen, a restorer hired by the historical society, believed that this velocipede was manufactured in Smithville, NJ in the 1800s.

Abrams said the group tries to limit what they take in and what is put on display to items from a Lockport manufacturer or were used in Lockport.

“Somebody in Niagara County, and more specifically, in Lockport, owned this bicycle at some point in time,” Abrams said.

Once it is renovated, Abrams said there are plans to place it in the “Pioneer & Transportation Building” behind the street facing building on Niagara Street.

“We have automobiles there and we could put it there, too,” he said.

Timetables for when the public can see the velocipede start at late February or early March in 2021.

Abrams said he’d also like to extend his thanks to Clint Starke, a member of the society, who generously donated to have the velocipede restored.

Trending Video

Recommended for you