HIGGS: A visit to Luna Island and more

Norma Higgs

Luna Island sits in the Niagara River between Goat Island and Niagara Falls State Park. Its length is 350 feet and is 130 feet wide. It is also between the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls, two of the three waterfalls that are known as “Niagara Falls.” It is made of dolomite rock and there is a concrete base in the area around the falls. White cedar trees covered the south end of the island in its original state and shrubs are along the north end. According to Wikipedia the original wooden bridge to the island was built in the 1800s and was replaced in the 20th century.

It was originally called Prospect Island and was renamed Luna Island due to the famous lunar rainbows that were seen over it on bright moonlit nights in the 1800s. Unfortunately or fortunately – depends on what you like best — nightly rainbows have been replaced by the nightly illumination of the Falls.

Spectators can view the falls and Goat Island from Luna Island. Both islands have pedestrian bridges that cross the rapids of the Niagara River upstream from the falls. Visitors to Luna Island can stand a few feet away from the Bridal Veil Falls and the American Falls by walking across the island.

Luna Island was closed to the public in 1954 as the bedrock under the island had become unstable and it was feared that the rock would fall from the island. The Island remained closed until 1972 when the dewatering of the American Falls in 1969 allowed removing loose rock which provided for anti-erosion and stabilized of the island.

Let’s move on to 1976 and the 2200 block of Niagara Street. where we would find Pitney Bowes Mailing Machine. There was no information available on the owners, etc., there were, however, four apartment tenants as follows: Louis J. Cich and wife Pauline. He was a furnace maintenance worker at Globar, next was John Holiday, retired. Also Fred Lloyd employed at Niagara Junction Railroad and Rose LaMorticella, widow of Frank and a clerk at Sophie’s Specialty Shoppe also had apartments here. At 2208, the first floor was vacant and William Guetta was a tenant but no information was available.

At 2210 was papa Leo’s Pizzeria operated by Andre J. Miljour and wife Rita. John Glemb resided at 2214 but no information available on him and Western Electronics occupied 2216 with Edward Krzyscin and wife Jeanette. Further along and across the street at 2221 Niagara Street was Lottie’s Beauty Shop, owned and operated by Elizabeth Lundy. She resided at 2225 Falls Street. William Pedley lived upstairs and Walter Mamon, a carpenter and wife Jessie lived at 2227. Joseph Mamon, retired and probably Walter’s father also resided here.

2231 was occupied by John Dlugos and wife Lottie. They owned and operated Frank’s Restaurant at 2265 Niagara Street and at 2251 was Ceramic Hobby Shop owned and operated by Henry and Florence Zydzik. Also at this address were Edward and Sophie Lefkot.

Five Apartments at 2253 provided no information on its tenants who were Georgia Fyfe, Gina Davidson, Jean Silcott, Joseph Vilardo and Ronald Johnston who was employed at Hooker Chemical as a lab worker. 2255 was home to Desi’s Restaurant operated by Guido DeSimone and wife Mary. At 2257 was Gene Kelley, a window cleaner at Machelor Maintenance and Fred and Paula Dietczyk. No further information was available on this couple.

2261 was home to six apartment dwellers William Otley, R. D.Green, Barbara Bright, Debbie Schultz, Edward Gittens, and William J. Campbell, with no information available. There were also two vacant apartments here at this time. And, at 2265 Niagara Street was Frank’s Restaurant operated by John and Lottie Dlugos as shown above residing at 2231

23rd Street Intersects here and 2302 was home to the Frontier Ambulance Service, Inc. with Nancy King as President who lived out of State and David and Christine King apparent operators as David was listed as the ambulance driver. James R. Brunn, a City of Niagara Falls employee also lived here.

At 2308 resided Clementina Malizia, who was a seamstress and did the alterations at the Bellevue Shop at 8207 Pine Avenue . I assume this may have been the shop that was previously on Main Street. At 2312 was Donald’s Barber Shop with Helen and Farallo Dorio were the managers. Also at this address were Pat and Violet Mastromatteo. Pat was a filter operator at the City Water Filter Plant. 2318 was occupied by the Niagara Fire Extinguisher Service owned by Barbara Colpoys, widow of Carroll Colpoys. The business is still in operation today. The Placek Service Station was located at 2320 Niagara Street with Henry and Ann B. Placek as the owners. They lived at 2753 Orleans Avenue.

Am taking a break here – Stay tuned.

Information for this column was found in Wikipedia, Niagara Falls Info and Niagara Falls City Directory 1976.


Contact Norma Higgs at niahigg@aol.com.

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