Niagara Gazette —
In 1889, Fifth Street School also known as School No. 2 was changed to Niagara Falls Union School and in June of that year the first graduation was held. All “seven” graduates were young ladies. Lots of other “firsts” happened here: first high school or academic department was in 1885, first kindergarten in 1898, first electric lights in 1900, first junior high school in 1903 and first informal group in 1930. In the early 1900s the first Cadet Corps at Fifth Street School was formed and boys from the third, fourth, and fifth grades drilled and marched proudly in their khaki suits at all school functions.
When the school became outdated and enrollment declined, it was closed and demolished. The vacant lot was purchased by Robert and Charlotte Brezing in 2002 and in 2009 it was donated to the YWCA in Lockport. The property is directly behind Carolyn’s House, a 19-room apartment supportive housing program for homeless women and children operated by the YWCA and they are currently analyzing what they refer to as Carolyn’s House 2.0 for the site, which will build on the current services at Carolyn’s House for women and children.
Norma Higgs serves with the Niagara Beautification Commission and Niagara Falls Block Club Council.