The BRI-NK Foundation and Suspension Bridge Village Preservation are hosting a celebration of The Buttery Elevators at 1 p.m. Sunday at DeVeaux Woods State Park amphitheater.
Lewis Buttery, founder of the BRI-NK Foundation and BRI-NK Museum and a researcher of the history of the Niagara Frontier, will host a celebration on the history of The Buttery Elevators and their importance to the landscape of the Niagara Gorge and Whirlpool Rapids (aka Buttery Rapids) during the 19th Century. The focus of the various speakers will be "Niagara Gorge Tourism - Past and Future."
The ceremony will feature several speakers, including U.S. Rep Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, state Assemblyman Angelo Morinello, R-Niagara Falls, and others. After the ceremony, there will be a hike into the lower gorge led by Niagara Falls Councilman Chris Voccio and a hike along the upper trail led by Carol Rogers of New York state parks.
Also, after the ceremony, there will be a caravan from the DeVeaux Woods State Park to the Whirlpool State Park for those who wish to attend either of the two hikes or to visit the actual Buttery Elevator site or the BRI-NK Museum at the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center on Pine Avenue. The events after the ceremony are expected to start by 3 p.m. The hike into the lower gorge is expected to take three hours and the hike along the upper trail is expected to take about two hours.
The Buttery Elevators were built in 1869 at the Whirlpool Rapids (aka Buttery Rapids) just before the Whirlpool and became a dominating feature of the Falls landscape for 22 years until their demolition in 1901. The elevators were built and owned by John Milton Buttery, and after his passing in 1872, owned by his wife, Priscilla (Nichols) Buttery, and their sons. John and Priscilla are ancestral grandparents of Lewis Buttery. Priscilla Buttery died in 1888 and she and John are buried at Oakwood Cemetery. John is also known as the builder of the 1837 Lewiston Strap Railroad and the 1854 Lewiston Escarpment Tunnel for the NYC Railroad and the first telegraph from Montreal to Quebec in 1847.
The Buttery Elevators became world famous and became Station No. 2 when the Great Gorge Railroad was built in 1895. The double decker train station platform was in use until the demise of the GGRR in 1935 and still remains in the lower Niagara Gorge as a destination spot for the Whirlpool trail hikers.
Visit the BRI-NK Museum at the NACC in Room 113 for more information about the BRI-NK Foundation and museum and its mission concerning the history of the Niagara frontier during the 1800s.
For more information, call Lewis Buttery at 545-7101.