HIGGS: More on Niagara Falls' Main Street during 1951

Norma Higgs

OK, we left off on the west side of Main Street (seems like I accidentally referred to it as the east side) starting at Ontario Avenue. I always find it hard to think of Canada to our west. The address numbers are sometimes hard to figure out also – so please be patient..

At 2117 Main Street was Plavisch Milan shoe repair. Next door was the popular Ye Olde Tavern Restaurant with Mrs. Emma MacDonald as the listed proprietor. This business was completely destroyed by a fire in later years and the family moved to Florida. Harry Wendt operated a barber shop at 2113 Main. Beatrice Fees had the apartment on the second floor. Further down at 2111 was a shoe store, E.T. VanWagoner, Inc. No further information was available on this business.

At 2116 was the W.T. Grant’s Store – the 5 cent to $1 Store. One of my favorite places to stop was at the candy counter where the chocolate “drops” were the best. Nearby was 2119 Burleson-Canavan Hardware Corp. Donald Burleson was the company president, and he resided at 4026 Carroll St. with wife Mayzetta. John Canavan was the vice president.

At 2109 Main, which was known as the Brown Block, (no reason given) you would find Lee’s Auto Supply, operated by Leon Kutner, who sold auto supplies, sporting goods, radios, and television and other general merchandise. 2107 Main was known as Morell’s Music House. John T. Morell was the owner-occupant here and sold - you guessed it – musical instruments.

At 2106 were Jaffe Jewelers and Albert Jaffe, jeweler and silversmith. This business remained in Niagara Falls at other locations for many years when the two sons took over. Albert and Celia resided at 3052 Dorchester Road. Stines Drug Store aka Store No. 1 was at 2108 Main with William Beck as store manager.

Melchoir Naughton sold tobacco at 2105 and next came 2103 with three tenants: Velda Weaving Service operated by Robert Greenburg: Self employed lawyer, Ralph A. Boniello and Zygmunt Kogut, a chiropractor. On the corner of Main Street and Niagara Avenue at 2101 was Wolke’s Men’s Wear where Samuel carried all men’s styles. He resided at 4811 Terrace Drive with wife Alberta. In a building complex from 908 912 Niagara Avenue around the corner from Main Street, owned by Al DeMunda, was a night club bar in the Skyview Restaurant. My friend Al Giambattista and his group played in the bar on most weekends.

Crossing the street again at 2102 Main St. was Harvey and Carey Drug, Inc., a drug store. Other branches were at 18 Falls St. as well as 1375 and 1902 Pine.

Further along and across Main Street at 2121 Main was the Frontier Novelty Co. owned and operated by A. Ardan and Robert Brandt. They sold tobacco products and had other outlets on Pine Avenue. They advertised “The finest in Coin Operated Music and Amusement Equipment and Everything in Coin machines. The Novelty store at 2121 Main was operated by Adam Radell. He resided at 3046 Dorchester Road with wife Anna. Niagara Kenmore Boot Shop occupied at 2123 Main Street. Arthur Friedley was President and resided in Buffalo with wife, Christene. Located at 2125 was the Crystal Restaurant. No information was available about this location.

Crossing Niagara Avenue on the even side at 2028 Main was Nugent’s National Store, a women’s clothing store. Mrs. Wanda Daunce was the manager and she resided at 3543 Ferry Avenue. I remember Nugent’s - I used to shop there. At 2022-24 was J.J. Newberry Co., a department store. Wendell Skinner was the manager.

2021 1/2 was a small jewelry shop operated by Rose Dorowitz. 2021 was listed as vacant. 2022-24 was occupied by J J Newberry Co. a department store. Wendall Skinner was manager.

At 2023 was the B&B Cigar Store owned and operated by Samuel Battaglia. Crown Hosiery Shop also occupied space here, but no details were listed. B & B Cigar Store remains on Main Street today but at 2006.

You can see that Lower Main Street was very actively occupied during this time. Stay tuned for more on Main Street.

Contact Norma Higgs at niahigg@aol.com.

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