Lockport Journal hosts first “fam-tour.”
Niagara County was an up and coming address in 1874 and editors of the then-over 50 year old “Lockport Journal” were determined to present the area’s best face to a group of over a hundred newspaper editors who held their convention in Lockport on June 17-18, 1874. Lockport editor, Moses Richardson, had planned a spectacular “dog and pony show,” that included a panorama of activities ranging from a firemen’s parade to a balloon ascension.
Local hotels were filled beyond capacity and eager conventioneers overflowed their lodgings into private homes. The convention was called to order in the Hodge Opera House. After the business meeting, members visited the Merchant’s Gargling Oil business, escorted by its proprietor, John Hodge. The annual parade of the Lockport Fire Department included marching band units from Buffalo and Rochester. The procession ended at the Judson House Hotel (later the Hotel Lox-Plaza). Lockport Mayor John Buck spoke to the throng.
Following the speech, convention goers were treated to a visual demonstration of the first application of the new Birdsall Holly Fire Prevention System. Firemen had been stationed at 20 new Holly Hydrants in the city which were opened to throw 3” columns of water up to 200 feet high. Observers later noted that the force of the water streams “would have been enough to destroy a building.” A reception followed the demonstration at the Locust Street home of Thomas Thorn Flagler, president of the Holly Manufacturing Company and a former editor of the “Journal.”
Douglas Farley, Director
Ann Marie Linnabery
Erie Canal Discover Center
24 Church St.
Lockport NY 14094