Tag: history

From preserving the past to embracing the future

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

When the Victoria Avenue branch of the Niagara Falls Public Library was built in 1974 it included the Sir Harry Oakes Room, an area filled with local history books and other paraphernalia.

Forty years later, the collection was relocated to a larger, climate-controlled area of the building in order to preserve the historic items.

Library staff soon realized the empty space would make an ideal location for a new digital media lab.

“As the library moves forward in the 21st century, we have identified the need and demand for improved technology access and training,” said Alicia Subnaik Kilgour, CEO and chief librarian.

“Our feeling was that we really wanted to empower the community by focusing on content creation.”

Over the past few months, the room has been transformed into the new Oakes Room Media Lab.

Review columnist says goodbye

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

Sherman Zavitz has closed the book on one chapter in his life.

Over the past 26 years, he has written around 900 columns on local history for the Niagara Falls Review. His final Niagara Note column will appear in Saturday’s newspaper.

“It has become increasingly difficult for me to come up with solid, entertaining, suitable topics,” said Zavitz, the official historian for the City of Niagara Falls and Niagara Parks.

“Rather than see the column decline in quality, I felt that maybe it’s time to retire. It was a tough decision to make.”

1938: Disaster over Niagara Falls

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I came across this today, and had never heard it before. I’ve obviously heard of the event that led to the destruction of the Honeymoon Bridge, but I’d never heard a radio broadcast from the day it happened. CBC has a nice archives section and here is the audio for a broadcast that day:

In a cloud of snow and ice, the great bridge that crossed the Niagara River has collapsed upon itself. Now, all that remains of the Honeymoon Bridge are tangled cable lines, crushed wooden beams and twisted metal. Under the weight of an enormous amount of ice, the bridge’s beams gave way and fell into the freezing water below. In this on-the-scene report, CBC Radio captures the spectacle of the disaster as hundreds of tourists look on in shock.

Arcade review and history: Skyquest Arcade at the Basement of the Skylon Tower, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada


I recently posted a couple of things about the Skylon Tower. Apparently the arcade on the lower level (basement?) has some old/retro, and consequently, rare games.

Commentor @SaraAB87 let me know that she wrote a blog post for the Arcade Heroes website. If you are interested in a bit of the history of the Skylon Tower arcade, or if you like games in general, you can read about it here

The hidden history of Niagara Falls

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From WIVB channel 4 in Buffalo:

In Niagara Falls, historians and members of the community are working together to uncover the hidden history of the Underground Railroad in the Cataract City. Read More…

Prediction: SNOW from January to April at Niagara Falls History Museum

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Last week I received the following press release from the Niagara Falls History Museum:

For Immediate Release

Prediction: SNOW from January to April at
Niagara Falls History Museum

Niagara Falls, ON, January 13, 2016 – Canadians have a long-standing fascination with snow.  We either love it or hate it, and sometimes we do both.  We adapt to it, use it, have fun with it, identify with it, and are inspired by it.  Snow is an interactive exhibition opening at the Niagara Falls History Museum on January 26, 2017.

Snow, the first exhibition of its kind in Canada, portrays the amazing love-hate relationship that the inhabitants of this great land have had with snow since the arrival of the First Peoples in North America. Created by the Canadian Museum of History in partnership with the J. Armand Bombardier Museum, Snow gives visitors a historical and cultural perspective on this element of nature as a source of adaptation, passion, ingenuity and creativity.

With over 400 digital photos and captions contributed by Canadians from across the country, Snow gives visitors a true feel for winter.  Snow presents artefacts such as boots made out of sealskin and caribou hide, snowshoes and clothing designed to be warm and waterproof.   Eyeglasses made from walrus ivory by Nunavut’s Thule Inuit that date back to around 1300 are among the items on display.   Visitors young and old can try on replicas of the glasses and see some of the clever ways in which humans have adapted to snow and cold.  Among the exhibition’s interactives are opportunities to try on a snowshoeing outfit, listen to recorded stories and view sketches made by explorers, voyageurs, soldiers and scientists, to learn how Canada’s early settlers endured and adapted to the winter months.

“Weather is a favourite topic for Canadians,” says Suzanne Moase, Niagara Falls Museums Curator.  “We love to talk about snowstorms, the cold and the slush.  Snow, the exhibition, will strike a chord with all our visitors, from outdoor enthusiasts to sitters by the fire and everyone in between.  The artefacts and documents chosen represent how we deal with the challenge of snowy winters today, as well as how we have coped with snow and adapted our lifestyles around it in the past.”

Media are invited to preview the exhibition on January 25 from 5:00 p.m until 7:00 p.m. where Museum staff and Mr. Nicolas Gauvin, Director of Business Partnerships and Information Management at the Canadian Museum of History will be available for comments.

Snow falls on the Niagara Falls History Museum, 5810 Ferry Street, Niagara Falls, on January 26 and “blankets” the Ontario Power Generation Gallery until April 16, 2017.  Come and see how snow has helped shape our cultural identity.  You’ll be “snowed” under.


For more information, contact:

Clark Bernat, City of Niagara Falls
Manager of Museums and Culture

Phone: 905-358-5082
Email: cbernat@niagarafalls.ca

HIGGS: Before Niagara Falls was a city

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From the Niagara Gazette:

What was life like in the early days of the Niagara area — even before it was a fully fledged city? I hope you are somewhat interested as I am part of the planning committee for the Niagara Falls 125th celebration and will be writing about the early days in Niagara Falls each week.

Mayor Paul Dyster will be holding a press conference this Wednesday to announce some of the plans. We have a long and colorful history and we can always learn from it. There will be various events which will highlight our history throughout the year and I hope you will be a part of them…

Old newspapers are the main source of my research and the Niagara Falls Gazette was publishing during these times and I have online sources to refer to also. Of course, the Local History Department at the Main Street library is also a great source for information. So let’s begin “before” we were a “city.”

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