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History of Lockport

A Timeline of the Moments that Made Lockport

History Timeline



New York State Legislature passes an act marking present-day Lockport and its surrounding region as the area where the Erie Canal will pass through.


Jesse Haines, a Quaker settler, maps the future city of Lockport.


Lockport citizens convince the owner of the printing press, Bartimus Ferguson, to relocate from Lewiston to Lockport, which in turn becomes the seat of Niagara County.


As a solution to the 60-foot drop of the Niagara Escarpment that would prevent packet boats from completing their journey to Buffalo, construction begins on the Flight of Five lock system, an idea proposed by Nathan Roberts.


During construction, canal workers, who were mostly Irish, derail two slave hunters that arrive in Lockport, attempting to arrest a black barber. The city establishes itself as a stronghold of the abolition movement.


The Erie Canal opens from the Hudson River to the foot of the Lockport locks. Without their completion, freight and passengers are transported by carriage through Pendleton, then are repacked to continue their journey.


A $4 million loan with 5 percent interest is granted to enlarge the canal.


The Lockport Public School system is founded.


Daniel Price proposes that 6 parks in the village be designated for residential use. He wanted the “Central Park” to be located at the current site of the F&M Building. The proposition did not go through.


A saloon owner learns that President Lincoln is calling for civilian volunteers to fight in the Civil War before official notice is given. He rounds up Lockport residents, who are later recognized as the first volunteer regiment of the war.


Lockport becomes the first official city in Niagara County on April 11 of this year.


The first election held makes Benjamin Carpenter the city’s first mayor.


The city police force is founded this year.


Birdsill Holly, one of Lockport’s most prominent residents and the co- inventor of the steam fire engine, gets a patent for the fire hydrant.


Lockport builds its first planned park, known as the West Avenue Park. A fountain was added to this park in the 1880s, and it ran until it was dewatered in 1944.


Lockport City Hospital, which would later become Lockport Memorial, opens its doors with accommodations for 18 patients.


Harrison Radiator officially begins operations, shipping a radiator to Remington Standard Motor Co.


Construction begins on Lockport’s largest park, Outwater Memorial Park, which is still in existence today. The land was donated by Dr. Samuel Outwater in honor of his wife, Louella Scott, who loved the view from its location. The park’s domain has grown over the years to exceed 80 acres.


Lockport Palace Theatre opens, “built not for aristocracy, but for the people.”


The Soldiers and Sailors Monument in East Avenue Park is completed. Local artist A. Raphael Beck was commissioned with a fundraised $30,000 the year earlier to design it. The monument has been repaired and restored several times since its creation, most recently in 2005.


The Lockport Public Library opens at its present site on East Avenue.


DeSales Catholic School opens its doors as an all- boys secondary school. It becomes co-ed about a decade later.


Gulf Wilderness Park, also known as Rollin T. Grant Park, is established this year. It begins as a 6 acre territory but has expanded to 75 acres that are enjoyed by its visitors today. It attracts dozens of hikers yearly who are attracted by the small waterfall known as Indian Falls.


Mike and Sharon Murphy start Lockport Canal Tours. They began their business with 2 pontoon boats.


The City of Lockport announces new city historian Craig Bacon. Craig can be reached at or 716-434-3104

Timeline of Lockport Presidents and Mayors

List compiled by City Historian Craig Bacon.

Presidents of the Village Board 

1829-1830 Joel McCollum 
1830-1832 Lyman A. Spalding 
1832-1834 Edward Bissell 
1834-1837 Stephen B. Bond 
1837-1838 Asahel Scoville 
1838-1839 Joseph T. Bellah (1) 
1839-1840 William C. House 
1840-1841 William O. Brown 
1841-1842 Isaac Dole 
1842-1845 Solomon Parmele 
1845-1846 Benjamin Carpenter (unverified, though historical record supports this)
1846-1847 Elias Ransom (unverified, though historical record supports this)
1847-1848 Isaac Colton (unverified, though historical record supports this)
1848-1849 George W. Jermain (1) 
1849-1850 Solomon B. Moore 
1850-1851 James G. Porter 
1851-1852 Daniel A. Van Valkenburgh 
1852-1853 Joseph T. Bellah (2) 
1853-1854 Thomas Van Sickler 
1854-1854 Joseph T Bellah (3) ~resigned~ 
1854-1855 George W. Jermain (2) 
1855-1856 Alijah H. Moss 
1856-1858 Hiram Gardner 
1858-1859 Edward I. Chase 
1859-1860 John R. St. John 
1860-1861 James Jackson, Jr. (1) 
1861-1862 Dudley Donnelly 
1862-1864 Mortimer M. Southworth 
1864-1865 David M. Mather

Mayors of the City of Lockport 

  1. 1865-1867 Benjamin Carpenter 
  2. 1867-1869 James Jackson, Jr (2) 
  3. 1869-1870 Albert F. Brown 
  4. 1870-1871 John Van Horn 
  5. 1871-1872 Origen Storrs 
  6. 1872-1873 Elisha Moody 
  7. 1873-1874 Peter D. Walter 
  8. 1874-1875 John H. Buck
  9. 1875-1875 Freeman H. Mott 
  10. 1875-1876 Samuel R. Daniels 
  11. 1876-1877 Hiram D. McNeil 
  12. 1877-1878 Richard B. Hoag 
  13. 1878-1881 John E. Pound 
  14. 1881-1882 Ambrose S. Beverly
  15. 1882-1883 Edward W. Rogers
  16. 1883-1884 William Richmond
  17. 1884-1885 John Hawkes 
  18. 1885-1888 William Spalding 
  19. 1888-1890 Thomas Oliver 
  20. 1890-1892 James S. Liddle 
  21. 1892-1894 John T. Darrison 
  22. 1894-1896 James Atwater 
  23. 1896-1898 Charles Peterson 
  24. 1898-1901 Calvin Sutliff 
  25. 1902-1903 Louis E. Huston 
  26. 1904-1905 William H. Baker (1)
  27. 1906-1907 Howard M. Witbeck 1908-1909 William H. Baker (2) 
  28. 1910-1911 Dr. George E. Minard
  29. 29. 1912-1913 James J. Moran 
  30. 1914-1915 George E. Brock 
  31. 1916-1917 John Earl 
  32. 1918-1921 William J. Gold 
  33. 1922-1925 Ernest B. Crosby 
  34. 1926-1929 Frank J. Moyer, Jr. (1)
  35. 1930-1933 Orrin C Blount 
  36. 1934-1935 Henry E. Thurston
  37. 1936-1939 Allan W. VanDeMark
  38. 1940-1945 Edward H. Gailor 
  39. 1946-1949 Fred Ringueberg 
  40. 1950-1951 Franklin A. Johnston
  41. 1952-1955 William A. Maillet ~resigned~
  42. 1955 Loid H. Fredericks ~interim~ 1956-1957 Frank J. Moyer, Jr. (2)
  43. 1958-1961 Raymond A. Cothran
  44. 1962-1963 Robert T. Richards
  45. 1964-1971 Rollin T. Grant
  46. 1972-1975 Raymond Betsch (1)
  47. 1976-1977 Michael W. Shanley
  48. 1978-1979 Joan T. Radecke 
  49. 1980-1985 Thomas Rotondo (1) 1986-1989 Raymond Betsch (2) 1990-1993 Thomas Rotondo (2)
  50. 1994-1999 Kenneth D. Swan 
  51. 2000-2003 Thomas C Sullivan
  52. 2004-2014 Michael W. Tucker ~resigned~
  53. 2014-2018 Anne McCaffrey ~resigned~
  54. 2018 David Wohleben ~interim~
  55. 55. 2019- Michelle Roman