Niagara Gazette

Columns

January 28, 2013

HIGGS: Sugar Street School and other tales

Niagara Gazette — One of the portage routes around the Falls in the very early history of our area became known as the “sugar route.” Boats were unloaded in the upper Niagara River and bags of sugar and other staples were carried along a pathway which ultimately ended in the area of the Lower Niagara River. As sometimes happens even today, the bags would split and sugar would spill along the pathway. The route became formally known as Sugar Street until Charles B. Hyde, the owner of a paper company, passed away following a stroke in 1921.

When Mr. Hyde sold his paper company he purchased a large tract of land on the outskirts of the city. These 316 acres in his estate was located just east of Sugar Street and were left to the City of Niagara Falls. His will stipulated that the land be a park in his name and a memorial be erected in his honor. Additional lands were acquired over time and Harris & Hall, Landscape Architects and Engineers of Buffalo prepared a master plan for the park and work began in 1925. Hyde Park is the largest city park in New York state outside of Central Park in Manhattan. Eventually the old “sugar route” became known as Hyde Park Boulevard.

As often happens when telling a tale, I get off the intended subject which is the Sugar Street School (1896-1959). According to research compiled and written by Patricia Wilson Rice in 1991, the school was designed by architect J. Elmer Passage and built in 1896. Located at 298 Sugar St. at the corner of “D” Street in Echota, this school was the first school constructed after the city was incorporated as Niagara Falls in 1892.

The first school principal was Miss Katherine F. Hanrahan who held this position for many years. The three-story brick building had eight classrooms and was built at a total cost of $80,990.30 which included the land, building and equipment. The school was threatened with closure in 1948 as the Board of Education determined it to be unsafe but the parents requested it be remodeled. The two 82-foot towers were removed as well as the pitched roof and were replaced with a flat roof. A new oil burning furnace (the first ever in a city school building) was also installed and this effort added another $60,161 to the cost.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • NIA Tom T mug TOM'S CORNER: Spring tune up and summer prep for your car The Gazette has partnered with local automotive expert Tom Torbjornsen to publish his weekly national column. Tom's Corner will appear in Thursday's editions.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: New York still delays decision on hydrofracking Many people across the state remain puzzled why the decision to allow hydrofracking has been delayed for so long.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: To every thing there is a season; this is OURS I'm not sure what The Byrds had in mind way back in 1965 when they popularized Pete Seeger's 1950s rendition of Ecclesiastes 3, but I am inclined to agree with novelist Thomas Wolfe who wrote: "[O]f all I have ever seen or learned, that book seems to me the noblest, the wisest, and the most powerful expression of man's life upon this earth."

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug CONFER: Property rights and the Clean Water Act The United States of America was founded on the premise of natural rights, succinctly dictated as the unalienable rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: St. Peter's Episcopal Church, inside and out When I had a couple of questions I checked in with Whitney Mallam, a long-time church member who introduced me to Solon Myron Napoleon Whitney (commonly known as "The Major"), one of his relatives from the early days of this church's history. I was intrigued by some of Whit's comments and hope to learn more about him in the future.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Seneca Niagara Casino in billionaire category One of the Niagara area's biggest businesses is now part of the billionaire class.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Bridging the ideological gap Being both liberal and conservative, as currently designated, makes one perhaps sound wishy-washy; but one can't go down the line on everything.

    April 20, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Home alone on the Island Yeah, you know who I mean. Hard to start this project without you but deadline looms and you're still bein' Nana, the role you were born to play. I know, I know, if you'd known grandchildren were this much fun, you'd have had them first.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: The Bills stadium and the proverbs We are what we are because of the way that we think, and we got the nothingness that have as a result of it.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Say it ain't so, Joe I had just parked my car in front of the Gazette offices on Niagara Street last week Thursday when a man approached me and stood by my door.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Obama Tours Gyeongbok Palace Swimmer Michael Phelps Back in Competition Raw: Obama Lays Korean War Memorial Wreath Obama Leads Naturalization Ceremony in Seoul Calif. School Bus Crash Hurts Driver, 11 Kids Country Club for Exotic Cars Little Science Behind 'Pollen Vortex' Prediction US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page