The Friends of Local History will present a lecture by noted historian and member of the Oakwood Cemetery Board of Directors Pete Ames on the plans for the Preservation and Restoration of Oakwood. The lecture, a power point presentation of the Landscape Report of Landscape Architect Dean Gowen, will take place Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 in the auditorium of the Niagara Falls Public Library. The program runs from 6 to 8 p.m. It is free and open to the public.
Oakwood Cemetery, founded in 1852, contains 18.5 acres with over 22,000 graves. This year it is celebrating its 160th Anniversary. Historic Oakwood Cemetery and its Mausoleum are facing needs for preservation to maintain this historic treasure of Niagara Falls. The Board of Directors, in 2010, voted unanimously to embark on a restoration project of the cemetery and mausoleum. Local, State and National Historic Register nominations are being sought. This Landscape Report, an important part of the nomination process, will evaluate and make recommendations for the plan for restorations and has produced a conditions report for the mausoleum.
Historic Oakwood Cemetery was built on land donated by Lavinia Porter, daughter of Judge Augustus Porter. The original layout was designed by Civil Engineer T.D. Judah. The cemetery’s landscape, as we know it today, dates from a design drawn in 1882 by noted Niagara Falls Engineer Drake Whitney, nephew to the three Whitney sisters after which the Three Sister Islands are named. A section of Oakwood is also owned by the Town of Niagara, which was the governmental agency before the incorporation of City of Niagara Falls in 1892.
The Mausoleum was built in 1913 and designed by the Buffalo architectural firm of Green and Wicks. Oakwood is the home of many of Niagara Falls’ noted citizens including the Whitneys, Porters, Schoelkopfs, the Oppenheims, Silberbergs, Haeberles, and Holleys, etc. Niagara stunters buried there include Annie Edson Taylor, Carlisle Graham and Maude Willard.
This is the first of a series of lectures on Local History topics that will take place on the 3rd Tuesday of every month until May. The Friends of Local History support ongoing projects on the documentation of the history of the City of Niagara Falls and support the research and collection of the Local History Department of the Niagara Falls Public Library. Local History is located on the 3rd floor of the main branch of the public library at 1425 Main Street. It is open to the public on Mondays 5 to 8 p.m. and Tuesdays 2 to 5 p.m. A copy of the 2012-13 Lecture Schedule is available at both branches of the library or by calling (716) 425-4005