500 Center Street Archaeological Site

500 Center Street Archaeological Site (HM1JVH)

Location: Lewiston, NY 14092 Niagara County
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Country: United States of America
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N 43° 10.373', W 79° 2.448'

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Archaeological investigations at the First Niagara Bank at 500 Center Street in Lewiston, New York, yielded abundant information about how people utilized the site during historic and prehistoric times. Prehistoric artifacts recovered from the site include a Brewerton Side Notched projectile point (arrowhead) made of Onondaga chert, dating to 4000-1700 BC, a chert scraper used for hide processing, and pieces of debris from stone tool manufacture. These items indicate that Native Americans visited this location as early as six thousand years ago. The house located on this house dates to the mid 19th century. Records for the building and lot show that Dr. Ambrose Thomas built the dwelling before 1855, and it became owned and occupied by Dr. Edward Smith, son of pioneer doctor Willard Smith, who began the first Niagara County Medical society. It is assumed that Dr. Edward Smith probably obtained the house in 1855. Dr. Smith employed another smaller structure on the site (no longer standing) as his office. In the early 20th century, the smaller structure was used by a local cobbler as a shoemaker's shop. When Dr. Smith died, the practice was purchased by Dr. T.A. Kerr. The house was subsequently owned by Dr. C.A. Shepard in 1902, and occupied by the Silberg family whose store was across Center Street in the former Calvin Hotchkiss store, now a bakery. Dr. Hans Selzer was the last physician to practice in this building until his death in 1905. From that time until 2005, the building housed the Country Doctor Antiques store which has relocated east on Center Street. The archaeological work on this site recovered many artifacts related to the activities of both the physicians and the cobbler. Among the items associated with medical activities are test tube fragments, pieces of a sphygmomanometer, medicine bottles, pill boxes, a pharmacist's mortar, and denture fragments. Artifacts used by the cobbler include shoe leather, shoe buckles, pieces of an ammonia bottle, a bottle for boot black and numerous metal containers. Other items - including fragments of tableware, glass beverage bottles, buttons, smoking pipies, perfume bottles, and cut bones from livestock - shed light on the everyday activities at this site. Archaeological investigations were conducted by Panamerican Consultants, Inc. of Buffalo for First Niagara Bank. First Niagara Bank also wishes to thank The Lewiston Museum for their assistance in developing information for this plaque.
Placed ByFirst Niagara Bank
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 at 1:06pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17T E 659244 N 4781876
Decimal Degrees43.17288333, -79.04080000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 43° 10.373', W 79° 2.448'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds43° 10' 22.38" N, 79° 2' 26.88" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)716
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , Lewiston NY 14092, US
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