Thank you Niagara Falls!

From the 19th century to today

Original Article

Growing up in the Main and Ferry Streets area of Niagara Falls, Ruth-Ann Nieuwesteeg, never had to venture very far.

“Basically, you didn’t need to leave the area…everything was here,” she said.

“I went to school at Stamford. After school, if I had to do homework I went to the library across the street. I worked next door at La Fiesta as a dishwasher. I deposited my cheque at the CIBC on the corner. Any prescription would be picked up at Thorburn’s Drug Store. If my mom needed bread I’d go to Sicilian Bakery, for groceries we’d go to Niagara Farms. If I needed shoes I went to the Continental. Jewelry was the Jewelry Box. I’d go to the Princess Theatre to see a movie with my friends.”

The owner of Patterson Funeral Home and chairwoman of the Main and Ferry Business Improvement Area said the area has had its ups and downs in the past but it continues to reinvent itself.

Work is now underway on a 35-unit condominium project at the former Coca-Cola plant on Main Street near Robinson Street.

“The area continues to adapt and evolve rather than just disappear,” she said.

Nieuwesteeg is looking forward to sharing her knowledge of Drummondville – which runs from Drummond Road to Stanley Avenue and from Murray Street to North Street – on Saturday during A Test of Time, a presentation hosted by the Niagara Falls Municipal Heritage Committee.

The free presentation will be held February 18 at 1 p.m. at the Victoria Avenue branch of the Niagara Falls Public Library.

In addition to Drummondville, city historian Sherman Zavitz and developer Phil Ritchie will discuss the history of Stamford and Elgin.

The talk will cover the areas starting in the 19th century to present day changes and improvements.

Nieuwesteeg is the fourth generation of her family to operate Patterson Funeral Home.

She said the property, like the area, continues to evolve.

“This building started as a carriage making shop in 1820. We kept the bones of the building and just evolved and adapted to meet the changing needs.”

A Test of Time will also include the third annual Heritage Recognition Awards.


A Test of Time: Stamford, Elgin and Drummondville


Niagara Falls Public Library, Victoria Avenue branch


Feb. 18, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.