Pioneer & Transportation Building

Behind 215 Niagara Street ~ Lockport, NY

The Pioneer Building contains two different exhibit areas. The Native American area includes information on the Iroquois Confederacy, the clans, beadwork, and games. A diorama of an Iroquois village illustrates how Native Americans lived and worked using and respecting the natural resources around them. Another exhibit highlights Native American dress and artwork and their use of corn husks in making many different items. On the second floor of the building, is the recreated Pioneer Cabin. This area is set-up to illustrate what would have been found in a log dwelling in western New York in the early 19th century. Interesting artifacts include candle molds, a foot warmer, a knitty-knotty, dried herbs, a bathtub and rope and trundle beds. The students can get a feel for what life was like when this area was just a wilderness.

At the rear of the Pioneer Building is the Transportation Building. A scale model of the “Flight of Five” Locks give students the opportunity to see that the locks were dug out of solid rock and how they originally looked and operated in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was this prominent feature of the canal that gave Lockport it name. This area also includes maps, photographs and artifacts from the early Erie Canal era. Also in this room are two automobiles with connections to the Harrison Radiator Plant in Lockport. The 1923 “Junior R” was built at Harrison and is an all aluminum body car. The 1954 Pontiac Star Chief was the first car with factory air conditioning made by General Motors based on Harrison technology.

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