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Center introduces new Cat's Meow Lockport collectibles

BY: Rikki Cason | October 21, 2012

The History Center is pleased to announce the addition of three new limited edition “Cat’s Meow” collectibles to their collection of custom Niagara County wooden keepsakes.

The new collectibles include the Old Olcott Beach Hotel, Harrison Radiator Main Plant and the Century Barn at the Hall Apple Farm.

These true-to-life hand-painted wooden miniatures are designed to carefully depict the architectural highlights of each of the buildings and are sure to become treasured mementos.

The Olcott Beach Hotel is the latest entry in the “Gone, But Not Forgotten Series.” This local landmark was built in 1900 and catered to patrons who came to Olcott on the International Railway Company’s trolley from Lockport and Buffalo. The hotel boasted 100 rooms, a ballroom and a dining room.

Many popular bands of the era played at the hotel. The onset of the Great Depression and the popularity of the automobile spelled the end of the hotel era. The hotel was torn down in 1937.

The History Center is pleased to introduce the first collectible in its new “Harrison Radiator Series,” as it features the iconic Main Plant on Washburn Street. First constructed in 1914, this became the main site for Harrison Radiator for the next 73 years. Founded in 1910 by Herbert C. Harrison, the company became a division of General Motors in 1918. In addition to radiators, the Washburn Street location also manufactured thermostats, vacuum and electrical switches, modulators, and heat exchangers. These operations were moved to the plant on Upper Mountain Road in 1987.

The Century Barn at Hall Apple Farm was built in 1912 by William Titus Hall, founding father of the popular farm market on Ruhlman Road. Initially, the barn was used to stable horses and store hay and grain. But in 1938, the barn was remodeled and fitted with refrigeration equipment. A portion of the barn became the first controlled atmosphere storage in WNY. Today, the barn houses a cider press and apple storage. In its century year of 2012, this time-tested barn has seen six generations of the Hall family pass through its doors.

These collectibles are painstakingly produced by Cats Meow Village of Ohio, who has been dedicated to their craft for more than 20 years. The History Center is the regional distributor for Cat’s Meow and has produced about 30 collectibles to date of various historic buildings in the area.

The History Center has commissioned a limited edition of these popular pieces and is now taking pre-orders for individual buildings at $16.95 or a complete set of all three for $45.

For more information or to place a pre-order, call the History Center at 434-7433.

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