Location: Civil Defense Bldg., 139 Niagara St., Lockport, NY 14094 MAP
Hours: Wednesday - Friday 8:30am - 12:30pm and 1:30pm - 4:30pm
Telephone: (716) 439-7324
Email: Niagara County Historian
Mission of the Historian’s Office
State law requires that each county establish a County Historian’s office for the purpose of preserving that county’s history. Niagara County was founded in 1808, and the Historian’s Office was created in 1951.
The work of a County Historian consists of four areas:
- Research and Writing
- Historians write for scholarly publications as well as magazines and newspapers. Interpreting the past is their primary responsibility.
- Teaching and Presenting to the Public. Complete list of presentations
- Historians present courses in local and regional history and serve as a resource to teachers in their local history curriculum. They serve as consultants to any historical agency, society, individual, student, or exhibit planner. Historians are called upon to speak or lecture to the community and to appear on television and radio programs. They advise legislators and other public officials on historical matters.
Historians advocate not only for the preservation of sites of architectural significance, but also for the written manuscripts and public records that document a community’s past, plus the objects and artifacts that constitute a community’s material culture. They are a resource to authorities on questions relating to the identification of historic structures and districts, and prepare nominations to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. They also develop and manage historical marker programs.
The Historian’s Office preserves public records in order to guarantee that this information remains public. If such documents as naturalization and marriage records, legislative journals, census and others are entrusted into the care of private enterprises such as a local historical society, it cannot be ensured that such information will remain accessible at all times to everyone seeking it.
Organization, Advocacy, & Tourism Promotion
Historians organize and direct the commemoration of historical anniversaries, and participate in other civic or patriotic observations. They assist in fund raisers or grant writing, and provide resource material for historical programs. As Heritage Tourism is one of the fastest growing segments of the tourism industry, county historians support the local and regional tourism agencies in an accurate and attractive presentation of the area’s history.
Niagara County Historian’s Office
The Niagara County Historian’s Office is part of New York State’s network of officially appointed local government historians. The purpose of this office is to be a resource in the community, to research and write on the county’s history, and to help interpret community history by assisting teachers, schools, and civic organizations.
What Can the Historian’s Office Do For You?
Organize and deliver public programs, assist in commemorative events, promote county heritage tourism, and advocate for the historic preservation of private and public buildings, and safeguard the documents and records of Niagara County’s history.
The Historian’s Office can assist visitors in a number of different ways: by locating numerous documents, accessing computer databases, and explaining the use of various public records and where to find them, either in this office or at other locations.
Below are documents and materials that are available for public use at the Niagara County Historian’s Office:
- Obituaries dating from c. 1840’s
- Marriage records dating from 1908
- State and Federal Census Records dating from 1850
- Naturalization records dating from 1836
- Church records: baptisms, confirmations, deaths
- City Directories dating from 1856
- Files on prominent Niagara County families
- Diaries and journals
- Maps and posters
- Veterans’ files from the French and Indian War to the present
- Newspapers: photos, clippings, articles, entire editions on microfilm
- Files of local postcards
- Written and photo files on: land, daredevils, holidays, sports, hobbies, guns, archeology, medicine, weather organizations, bridges, waterways, railroads, airports, roads, museums, libraries, theater, music, government, industry, buildings, cemeteries, schools, religious organizations, agriculture, events, parks, Native Americans, individual cities, towns, and villages, hospitals, and more
- Family scrapbooks, diaries, and letters
- Books on individual family histories
- Resource books on local and regional history
- Blueprints of county buildings and structures
Please…help us continue to chronicle the history of Niagara County.
Do you have any...
- Church Records
- Business Cards
- Family genealogies, etc.
- or . . . any other history that you would like to share with the Niagara County
If you do...
You may donate them to our office where they will be preserved and used for future research. We have the ability to duplicate or scan your donations, adding them to our collections, and providing you with copies.
Michael Huskey Medal of Honor
Fourteen Niagara County citizens have been awarded the Medal of Honor. One, however, has been denied his medal and his grave marker. Michael Huskey, Irish-born Lockport native, earned the Medal of Honor during the Civil War, as a sailor aboard the USS Carondelet (Steele’s Bayou Expedition, Vicksburg). He died before he received his medal.
His family continued to reside in Niagara County, but also never received Michael’s medal. The family line has since completely died out — except for us, the people who benefited from his service and sacrifice.
Please expedite bringing Michael Huskey’s actual medal home for display in the Niagara County Courthouse, where his sacrifice and that of all our veterans’ can be honored and appreciated by the citizens of this county, state and country.