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Remembering the Ghost of Niagara Falls Past

By Bill Hayes

Searching on the internet for Niagara Falls locations that I remember, I've come across your story on Silberberg's Department Store. That store was very familiar to me, though I grew up on the other end of town, down by the falls.

I spent my first few years in the Mentz Apartments at the corner of 4th Street and Jefferson Avenue, which was owned by the Crandall family. The Mentz burned down in 1965 and I still have the Gazette for the following day, with all the coverage.

About 1934, we moved down to a flat at 224 4th Street. I attended school at first at St. Mary of the Cataract School on 4th Street and then switched over to Third Street School.

Falls Street was booming in those days and I have fond memories of going to Beer Brothers Department Store with my mother, as well as very occasional dinners out at a restaurant known as The Bright Spot. The fancy place was Louis' but that was beyond our Depression-era budget. Every couple of months or so, a special treat was going to Buffalo on what was called the High Speed - a sort of inter-city trolley.

My memory of people and places in Niagara Falls in the early 30s is endless.

The city was thriving. The population was 75,000 even before the annexation of LaSalle, and I loved the place. Now everything I remember is gone and, from all appearances, the city has been destroyed.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Feb 12 , 2013