Saturday, January 31, 2009

Niagara Falls Then and Now: When cattle grazed at the edge of Niagara Falls

below: one of my favorite photos from the Niagara Falls Library Archives is this 1867 picture of cows grazing by the edge of the Niagara River gorge right by the Horseshoe Falls.
above: On a freezing, dreary Jan.7, 2009, it`s hard to imagine that cattle once grazed along here...
below: one of my favourite old buildings, the 1883 Federal Customs and Post Office building, on the north-east corner of Zimmerman Ave. and Park St., as seen in 1919, proudly decorated for HRH Prince of Wales. Marlilyn Monroe was filmed entering through the front door of this building during a scene of the 1953 film noir Niagara.

above: This stone structure has sadly sat vacant for decades. It is seen here, under an azure sky, on a bitterly cold late afternoon of Jan.4, 2009, with the setting sun highlighting its boarded-up windows and tattered roof. With all the `stimulus`spending being bandied about recently by every government level you can think of, why is it that a grand building such as this, which has sat in abandoned squalor for decades, isn`t being restored? That this gem has been forgotten and allowed to waste away for so long is one of the shames of Niagara.
below: May 25, 1948 - a sad day in Niagara Falls as the city`s streetcar tracks are torn up, heralding the new age of the diesel bus. This view looks north-west along Victoria Ave., with an arched door of St. Patrick`s church visible at the far left, and the front of St. Patrick`s school next door beside it, on the south-west corner of Victoria Ave. and Maple St. The west end of Queen St. is at the far right where the two men are seen standing. It can be seen that streetcar tracks turned from Victoria Ave. east onto Queen St.

above: same view, Jun.3, 2008. The old St Patrick`s school has since been torn down and a new one was built slightly further to the rear. Why not bring the streetcar back to Niagara Falls?

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