Tonawanda News


May 4, 2013

TUCKER: The rest of the story


Tonawanda News — “If you want to view Goose Island in it’s heyday, go to and hit the search link. On the page that comes up, select “location” and enter Tonawanda and New York. Scroll down to the maps listed as 1908 or 1909 and select Tonawanda 001 and 002, or Tonawanda 1 and 2. Many of the smaller buildings and sites were pretty dingy waterfront bars, or what people in those days referred to as ‘Bawdy Houses.’

Stan Nicholson, added that, “when I was about 12-years-old, my pals and I would go there and hide in the tall grass to watch the ‘red light district’ girls wave at prospective clients who walked by. ... The old canal boat men used to love Goose Island and its recreational opportunities.

Here’s history Bob Derner found regarding Goose Island.

“It was located where now there is the River Edge Townhouses. At one time in the late 1800’s after the State Barge Canal opened in 1825, the Tonawandas became the second largest lumber port on the world, Chicago was the first. The Twin Cities reached that status because of their location at the western terminis of the Canal before it reached the Niagara River. The canal opened the route to the west and allowed lumber from Minnesota and Michigan to flow east. Large piles of lumber were stored on Goose Island and the North Tonawanda shore. ... The railroad swing bridge, built by the New York Central and Hudson Railroad in 1885-86, to connect the lumber yards is still there, the last hand operated swing bridge left on the Barge Canal.

* Mary Lou Schlagenhauf sent in wonderful memories of Goose Island.

“I remember going over to see my Aunt Claire and Uncle George Johnson who live on Chestnut Street on Goose Island across from the foundry.... My aunt and uncle had a big parrot they would let fly all over the house. There were bird feathers, poop and seeds all over. We sat and had tea and cookies. ... Goose Island wasn’t an island, it was over where the condos are now.”

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  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

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  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

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  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

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  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

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  • ADAMCZYK: Homesick for someplace I've never been You stumble over things that make you wonder. I do, at least, and the latest is one of those advertising artifacts from yesteryear that encourage me to ponder what's changed and what never will.

    July 11, 2014

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