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Adamite Abrasives Company

Adamite Abrasive Co., illustrated letter, detail (1914-07-31).jpg

(c. 1902 - 1915) Occupied west end of Schenck Street. The plant is destroyed by fire, and purchased in 1915 by the Buffalo Sled Company.

Allan Herschell Companies

Alan Herschell, photo portrait (Landmarks of Niagara County, 1897 PD).jpg

An 1894 Armitage-Herschell advertisement shows a not-at-all-dangerous-to-children-looking steam boiler and pulleys providing motive power to the…

American District Steam Heating

American District Steam Heating Plant, postcard (1926).jpg

Founded in 1877 in Lockport, NY by Birdsall Holly.

Artizan Factories Inc.

Artizan Factories, photo (1926, HST).jpg

The only known photograph of the Artizan Factories Inc. building in its seven years of operation; published in a 1926 industrial survey. From the…

Auto-Wheel Coaster Company

Buffalo Sled Co - Auto Wheel - still bank (c1900).jpg

Formerly located at foot of Schenck Street. Also known as the Buffalo Sled Company.

Avondale Theatre (Oliver Theatre)

Avondale Theatre photo, Tonawanda Scholastica (1924).jpg

This former theatre at the 358 Oliver Street was razed in the late 1980s, and is now only a memory. Interneteer Joe Vogel offers the following…

B. P. O. Elks Lodge 860

B. P. O. ELKS No. 860, postcard.jpg

The Elks Club home c1920–2011; northeast corner of Main and Sweeney.The North Tonawanda chapter of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks…

Bennett Lumber Company

Bennett Lumber Company grounds, illustration (1926).jpg

Island and Main Streets.

Blue Whale Car Wash

Blue Whale Car Wash, photo (1983).jpg

The Blue Whale as a steel-girded tadpole, ca 1972.The Blue Whale Car Wash seemed harmless enough: a parade-float-size mass of periwinkle fiberglass…

Buffalo Bolt Company

Buffalo Bolt Company, illustration (A Graphic Story 1920).jpg

Formerly situated on Oliver Street near East Ave., this longtime employer got its start in Amsterdam, N.Y. in 1855. They moved to a small two-story…

Buffalo Norsemen Hockey Club

Buffalo Norsemen, puck.jpg

This hockey team played a single season (1975-1976) in the NAHL at the Tonawanda Sports Center in North Tonawanda.

Buffalo Steam Pump Works

Buffalo Pump (from gardener41).jpg

A general early description of the plant my be found at "The Pump Works." Tonawanda News, August 24, 1893.

City Hall

City Hall, illustrated postcard (c1940).jpg

The former North Tonawanda City Hall was located on the southeast corner of Main and Tremont. The current North Tonawanda City Hall and police station…

Colonel Payne School

Colenel Payne School, illustrated postcard.jpg

Public School #5


Webster Street, with dog, postcard.jpg

Most of the relatively imposing brick and wood edifices of North Tonawanda's downtown area, adjacent to the Erie Canal and world-class lumber yards,…

Felton High School and Grammar School

Felton Highschool, postcard (c1911).jpg

Built in 1901, the visually striking Felton High School once stretched along Thompson Street between Bryant and Falconer streets. It would later be…


Columbia Hook and Ladder, The Homeyer, North Tonawanda, illustrated postcard (c1916).jpg

Rough chronology at NT History Museum, including notes about many defunct companies. A provocative (if unlikely-sounding) morsel about Hydrant Hose…

First Baptist Church

First Baptist Church, photo (c1900).jpg

The First Baptist Church of North Tonawanda is built in 1888 at 190 Vandervoort Street. On May 30, 1965 the congregation commences worship at their…

Gillie, Goddard and Company

Gillie Riding Academy, photo ad (Street Railway Journal, 1902 PD).png

Hershcell et al were not the only merry-go-round makers in the Tonawandas. The Gillie Machine Co. in 1912's Implement Blue Book offered a "Little…

Gilmore School

Gilmore School almost ready, article photo (Tonawanda News, 1957-08-28).jpg

Calls had been made for over a decade for a new school to serve the city's Ironton district (Public School #7). Opens in 1926. For the first few years…

Goerss's Dairy

Goerss Dairy, illustrated ad (1965).jpg

The W. C. Goerss Dairy is started in Martinsville (1270 Pierce) in 1925 by Wilmer C. Goerss. By 1937 they are selling milk, cream, and something…

Goose Island

Harbor, Goose Island, postcard (1913).jpg

Goose Island as seen from Tonawanda Island, postcard detail, ca 1913. "Goose Island" wasn't a real island: it was a triangular hunk of land in…

Goundry Street Area

Goundry Street Looking East form Paynes Avenue, de Kleist residence, photo postcard.jpg

From the village's earliest days, Goundry Street was a showcase of its most luxurious homes. Wealthy lumber barons and bankers settled here, enjoying…

Goundry Street School

Union School (Goundry Street), photo postcard (c.1900).jpg

The Goundry Street School was a stone building constructed in 1866. From History of Niagara County 1821-1878 (1878): The North Tonawanda Union School…

Gratwick (Neighborhood)

Gratwick, neighborhood sketches (Dennis Reed Jr, 2016).jpg

The White, Gratwick & Mitchell Lumber Company establishes a planing mill and substantial lumberyards along the Niagara River in 1879. They employ…

Gratwick School

Gratwick School, photo (Kathleen Hay, 1990).jpg

Opens in 1894, two years after Pine Woods school, and five years after the second public school, Ironton (According to a 1979 News article).

Hannah Johnson

Chadwick and Fonner properties, map (1875).jpg

(ca. 1800 - 1883) "Black" or "Aunt" Hannah is a reputed fortune-teller (teacup reader) who is visited by ladies of the area to have their future told.…

Hope-Jones Organ Co. (of Elmira)

Hope-Jones Organ Company, group photo (PSTOS-Pipeline-2012-10-4).jpg

Troubled, eccentric English genius Robert Hope-Jones came to the U.S. in 1903. In 1907 he formed the Hope-Jones Organ Co. in Elmira, N.Y. (Mark Twain…

Hotel Sheldon

Hotel Sheldon, photo postcard.jpg

Postcard, c1890This massive hotel once occupied the southeast corner of Goundry and Main. A general description from Lumber City (1891): Nothing is…

International Paper Company

International Paper Company, Tonawanda Island, photo 2 (c1970).jpg

(1898-1975?) The International Paper occupied the northern edge of Tonawanda Island for over 50 years, processing lumber for use in magazines and…

Ironton / Avenues (Neighborhood)

Ironton, neighborhood sketches (Dennis Reed, 2016).jpg

Looking east over the Avenues from the Niagara River. 2016 Google Earth Niagara Furnace (later, Tonawanda Iron and Steel) begins producing iron…

Ironton School

Ironton School, photo (c1985).jpg

Ironton Public School #2 opened in 1889 at the corner of 1st Ave and Oliver Street (present-day Elizabeth Harvey Apartments / Olmsted Center for…

Linde Television

Linde Television, 246 Oliver, Christmas window display, photo (1954-12).jpg

(c1953-1982) The 1950s TV craze peaked in 1954 and 1955, with sales topping seven million sets each of those years. One of the companies feeding the…

Lumber Exchange Block (Tonawanda)

First Trust Company, advertisement (Tonawanda News, 1917-04-02).jpg

[UNDER CONSTRUCTION] Evans testimonial.

Lumber Scenes

Unloading Lumber in the Twin Cities, photo postcard (c1910).jpg

Map of the Lumber District of the Tonawandas in 1893.


Martinsville, neighborhood sketches (Dennis Reed Jr, 2016).jpg

Old Falls Boulevard, looking north from Lockport Ave. to Niagara Falls Blvd. Postcard detail, c.1900. The northeast part of North Tonawanda known as…

Melody Fair

Melody Fair, postcard.jpg

Ah, "theater-in-the-round"! Who wouldn't enjoy seeing their favorite artists spinning on a giant microwave plate for three hours? The genius of it:…

Memorial Pool

Memorial Pool, aerial photo (c1950).jpg

HDR photo by Dennis Reed Jr, May 2019.

Niagara Musical Instrument Manufacturing Company

Niagara Musical Instrument Mfg Co, colorized Sanborn map (1910).jpg

PHOTO SEARCH: Learn about the search for a photograph of Niagara!(1905-1917) The Niagara Musical Instrument Manufacturing Company is formed by former…

Niagara Silk Mills

Niagara Silk Mills, North Tonawanda, postcard (c1910).jpg

Later, the Van Raalte Company.

North Tonawanda Barrel Organ Factory

1893c Barrel Organ Factory.jpg

Architect's rendering of the North Tonawanda Barrel Organ Factory (Tonawanda News, 1893) (1893-1903) The North Tonawanda Barrel Organ Factory is…

North Tonawanda Musical Instrument Works

North Tonawanda Musical Instrument Works, postcard (1916).jpg

North Tonawanda Musical Instrument Works factory at 435 Payne Avenue, c1913; photo colorized by the webmaster. (1906-1919)The North Tonawanda…

Parade down Payne Avenue, color slides (1972)

Young at Heart float, parade, photo (1972).jpg

Young at Heart parade float, 35mm color slide (photographer unknown) These 21 colorful slides provide a wonderful record of many of North Tonawanda's…

Parade on Sweeney Street, featuring fire departments (1961)

Fire Dept Parade on Sweeney Street, photo (1961).jpg

These four color photos from a parade on Sweeney Street take us back to a summer day beside the canal in 1961. They feature a brass band looking sharp…

Park Theatre

Reported to have been on Goundry Street. No other information available.

Payne Avenue High School

High School, North Tonawanda, Payne Avenue, photo postcard (c 1950).jpg

Built c. 1925. A pool is added soon after. Later Payne Junior High, and Lowery Middle School.

Payne Estate

Payne Acres - 1908 map overlaying 2019 satellite image.jpg

The area north of Wheatfield Street and on both sides of Payne Avenue--formerly the farm and dwelling of early resident and major landholder Colonel…

Perew's Electric Man and Other Inventions

An Electric man, article, photo detail (1900) 2.jpg

Perew's most famous invention, a patented, giant automaton known variously as the "Electric Man," "Peter the Great," "Christopher," and the…

Pettit Creek

Pettit Creek on map (1838).jpg

A 1908 map depicts the course of the State Ditch, which was originally Pettit Creek. The background photograph shows the mouth of the creek at the…

Pine Woods Park

Sweeney Park Entrance, postcard (c1930).jpg

"Sweeney Park Entrance." Postcard, c. 1920 The largest park in North Tonawanda is also the oldest. Originally named "Sweeney Park," it is comprised…

Pine Woods School

Pine Woods School, photo (1965 North Tonawanda Centennial Magazine).jpg

Public School #3, built 1892.

Public Library

Carnegie Library, illustrated postcard (1910).jpg

Built from a Carnegie endowment.

Reading Room

Martinsville Settled, Mrs Elias Root history ch 22, article (Tonawanda News, 1947-05-21).jpg

Interesting articles and excerpts from longer works.

Recreational Warehouse (555 River Road)

Recreational Factory Warehouse, logotype (1986).jpg

Located directly across River Road from the former Tonawanda Iron and Steel, this location has been host to a string of businesses, as well as long…

Remington Tavern (184 Sweeney)

Man and child in front of Remingotn Rand, photo (c1930).jpg

Built in 1895 for trolleys, the squat orange-brick building was subsequently used by carousel and motor builders Herschell-Spillman and the…

Strand Theatre


540 Oliver Street. From the North Tonawanda History Museum: From 1917 through the 1930’s, this building was the home of the Strand Theatre. From…

Sweeney Cemetery


From History of Niagara County 1821-1878 (1878): The village has a cemetery, which was organized under the statute, in the year 1868. The…

Talismanic Corporation, Frontier Manufacturing Company

1174 Erie Ave, overhead photo (c2008).jpg

Located at 1174 Erie Ave. Talismanic and Frontier were owned and operated by Stanley C. Peuchen and his brothers. Manufacturers of Tops Oil and Oak…

The Swing Bridges

Big Jump, Big Splash, photo (Tonawanda News,1971-06-24).jpg

Apr 21 1883 "An act to incorporate the Tonawanda Island Bridge Compan, for the purpose of constructing and operating a bridge from Tonawanda island to…

Thiele's Dairy

Thiele Dairy, bottle, detail (c1970).jpg

There were several Thiele's locations: The original was on Shawnee Road (the farm, out on Niagara Falls Blvd. in the Martinsville / Sawyer Creek…

Tonawanda Brewing Company

Tonawanda Brewing Co., photo (c1930).jpg

The northeast corner of Hinds and Niagara Streets in Tonawanda hosted a succession of breweries. According toThe History of Brewing in Tonawanda, New…

Tonawanda Iron and Steel

Tonawanda Iron and Steel, illustrated postcard (1907).jpg

You wouldn't know it from the site today, but the massive plant of the Tonawanda Iron and Steel Company once occupied all the land along the Niagara…

Tonawanda Island

Mound on Tonawanda Island, illustration (1860).jpg

The earliest European explorers notice a curious "mound"standing 10-feet tall on the island, near the southeastern end. At least two bizarre…

Tonawanda Kardex Lumbermen

Tonawanda Kardex logo (1921).gif

(1904-1921) This Tonawandas football club was a member of the NFL--for a single "away" game in 1921. They lost that game (against the Rochester…

Tonawanda Power Company

Tonawanda Power Co, photo postcard (c1930).jpg

Later, Niagara Mohawk.

Trolleys and Trains

North Tonawanda Street Railroad trolley car outside Hotel Sheldon, photo (c1896).jpg

Before everybody in North Tonawanda could afford their very own muffler-less Honda Civic to run up and down Oliver Street, trolleys and trains were an…

Webster to Main Bascule Bridge

062 2198 Bascule bridge.jpg

(1918-1978) A "Bascule" bridge once connected Webster Street in NT to Main Street in Tonawanda. The bridge could open to allow taller boats to pass.…

Wurlitzer Common School (Head Start)

Wurlitzer Common, photo (2008).jpg

Built c. 1925 on land donated by the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company, serving Martinsville. Public School 6

Wurlitzer Manufacturing Company

1940s Wurlitzer Building and Park, illustrated postcard  (HST).jpg

The signature tower of the North Tonawanda plant and occasional headquarters. Postcard, c.1940. Its iconic tower has presided over Sawyer's Creek and…

Wurlitzer Park

Wurlitzer Park, neighborhood sketches (Dennis Reed Jr, 2016).jpg

Real estate developers begin marketing the “Wurlitzer Park Village” as a safe, family-friendly escape from the aging and industrialized portions…