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Niagara Falls in Niagara County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Buttery Elevators

The Passing of a 19th-Century Landmark

 
 
The Buttery Elevators Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, July 7, 2014
1. The Buttery Elevators Marker
Inscription. The public accessed the Whirlpool Rapids via a rickety stairway at an old saw mill that was purchased by John M. Buttery in the 1850s. When the site became a popular tourist destination, Buttery abandoned the mill and built a safer stairway into the gorge. In 1869 to further improve access to the Whirlpool Rapids, he built the Buttery Elevators on land purchased from DeVeaux College for Orphans and Destitute Children. The Buttery family operated the elevators, which were powered by a water wheel, for over 20 years.

In 1889, the family formed the Whirlpool Rapids Company, and in 1893, a new longer shaft with double elevator cars was built. The company also erected an electric plant to light a park, the elevators, and the rapids. To attract even more visitors, the company petitioned for an extension of the Niagara Falls Street Railway to its property. Eventually, the property was sold to the Gorge Railroad. In 1899, a windstorm blew down the original elevator building, and a rockslide almost completely destroyed the machinery in the newer elevator building. In 1901, the city of Niagara Falls burned them in a controlled fire.

J. M. Buttery was born in the town of Homer, NY, arrived in Lewiston around 1830, and married Priscilla Nichols in 1835. He took an active part in the 1837 Canadian Rebellion and supervised the excavation

Northward View The Buttery Elevators Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, July 7, 2014
2. Northward View The Buttery Elevators Marker
The marker is a white speck left of the green "Findley Dr, Whirlpool St, Bridge to Canada, NEXUS Only, Keep Right" sign and across both roadways. The area where I am standing is between Whirlpool Street and the parkway. There are mowed cut-throughs between the parkway and Whirlpool Street. This is the view descending the very long parkway viaduct over the foot of the Whirlpool Bridge.
of the "Through Cut" of the Lewiston & Niagara Falls Railroad.

Whirlpool Rapids and Double Elevator on American Side. Most charming and Delightful Spot about Niagara. Grand View of the old Suspension Bridge. Hero Blondin crossed the gorge on a rope, and past here Robinson, in 1861, piloted the steamer "maid of the Mist" through the boiling rapids. Grandest View of Rapids and Gorge. the fearful current forces the water in the centre of the stream forty feet higher than at the edges. Don't fail to visit the spot. M. Buttery Sons. The Daily Gazette, September 9, 1883.

You are standing near the site of the Buttery Elevators. Chasm Avenue, which now stops at Whirlpool Street, at one time ran to the edge of the gorge. This map shows the Niagara Falls Street Railway terminating at the Buttery Elevators.

The Buttery Whirlpool Rapids Company successfully petitioned for the extension of the railway, which included construction of a tunnel and the extension of Spring Avenue from Bellvue Avenue to Chasm Avenue. Courtesy of the Niagara Falls Public Library.

Born in Roxbury, Vermont, in 1813, Priscilla and her family moved to Western New York in 1816, eventually settling on a farm in Lewiston in 1820. She was a school teacher, mother of ten, and following her husband's death, managed the Buttery Elevators for 16 years.
 
Location.

Westward View The Buttery Elevators Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, July 7, 2014
3. Westward View The Buttery Elevators Marker
By the bikeway/pedestrian walkway. There is no place to park a vehicle on the parkway by the marker. View is towards the gorge.
43° 6.822′ N, 79° 3.492′ W. Marker is in Niagara Falls, New York, in Niagara County. Marker is on Niagara Scenic Parkway (New York State Route 957A) half a mile south of Whirlpool State Park. Touch for map. Marker is along the bikeway/walkway of the Niagara Scenic Parkway. The bikeway/walkway used to be the southbound vehicle lanes of the divided parkway. Now the parkway is one vehicle lane in each direction in this area and the divider separates vehicles from bikes/pedestrians. Before 2016, the parkway held its original name, the Robert Moses Parkway. Marker is in this post office area: Niagara Falls NY 14303, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Inukshuk (approx. 0.2 miles away in Canada); A Bridge to Freedom (approx. 0.6 kilometers away); Great Gorge Railway Trail (approx. 0.6 kilometers away); To The River (approx. 0.6 kilometers away); About the year 1600 B.C. ... (approx. 0.8 kilometers away in Canada); Whirlpool Rapids (approx. 0.8 kilometers away); Eddy Basin (approx. 0.9 kilometers away); Welcome to Whirlpool State Park (approx. 0.9 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Niagara Falls.
 
More about this marker. To avoid the half mile walk south from Whirpool State Park to the marker, you may park on Whirlpool Street near Chasm Avenue
Eastward View The Buttery Elevators Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, July 7, 2014
4. Eastward View The Buttery Elevators Marker
From an unpaved path at the rim of the gorge, this is the rear of the marker. The rim of the gorge, and the gorge, are NY state park property, essentially forming a linear park anchored from above the falls to Devil's Hole. The rim path is bridged by the parkway bridge over the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge area.
and walk across the parkway to the marker.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Buttery Elevator - Niagara Frontier.com. (Submitted on July 9, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
2. Niagara Scenic Parkway - Wikipedia. (Submitted on July 9, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
 
Categories. EntertainmentEnvironmentIndustry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars
 
The Buttery Elevators Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, July 7, 2014
5. The Buttery Elevators Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 12, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 9, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 584 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 9, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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