Explore Historic Lockport Along the Erie Canal

As a destination for more than two million visitors each year, Lockport history comes alive to welcome you. Experience the adventure and historical charm that has been welcoming visitors for nearly 200 years.


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Erie Canal Locks
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Historic Bridges
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Historic Buildings
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Years of Canal History

History of Lockport Timeline

June 14, 1816

Members of the Society of Friends, more commonly known as the Quakers, are the first to settle what would eventually become Lockport.

January 12, 1820

The area of future Lockport is chosen as the site of the Locks for the Erie Canal.

June 6, 1821

The name ‘Lockport’ is officially designated. Canal construction also begins.

January 25, 1822

A riot of disgruntled canal workers results in Lockport’s first murder.

August 26, 1823

Construction on the historic Locks begins. Lockport also becomes a stronghold for anti-slavery after a group of canal workers thwarted off slave hunters attempting to arrest Joseph Pickard, a black community barber.

July 13, 1825

The first Locks are completed and functional.

October 26, 1825

The full length of the Erie Canal opens October 26. Also, William Morgan is kidnapped after threatening to reveal the secrets of Masonry. Although the Lockport Masons claimed to have released Morgan after one day, he was never seen again.

March 10, 1829

The village of Lockport becomes incorporated.

September 1, 1835

President Martin Van Buren visits Lockport on September 1.

April 1, 1840

Construction on canal expansion begins.

May 11, 1842

Steam boats are introduced to the canal for the first time.

March 1, 1850

Railroad construction begins in Niagara County.

November 21, 1851

The first gas-powered street lights are introduced to Lockport.

June 14, 1853

President Millard Fillmore visits Lockport.

July 28, 1854

The Fire of 1854 destroys 26 buildings and ten acres of Lockport village.

March 12, 1860

Susan B. Anthony speaks on anti-slavery at the Universalist Church.

December 12, 1861

The first volunteer regimen of the Civil War organizes in Lockport after a saloon owner learned about President Lincoln’s call for volunteers before official notice was given.

April 16, 1865

The Lockport Police Department is founded.

July 5, 1876

Lockport Board of Education desegregates Lockport City schools.

November 29, 1876

Steam heat is introduced to Lockport after a successful experiment. This leads to the heating of over 50 buildings in the area.

September 6, 1879

The first phone in Lockport was installed in the American Hotel.

April 27, 1894

Birdsill Holly, a pioneering inventor, dies in Lockport on April 27.

January 20, 1901

Workers of the Holly Manufacturing Company go on strike.

June 10, 1908

Lockport Memorial Hospital opens.

September 9, 1937

The Lockport Public Library opens.