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Bacon-Merchant-Moss House - Lockport, NY
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Rayman
N 43° 10.109 W 078° 41.640
17T E 687447 N 4782106
Quick Description: The Bacon-Merchant-Moss House is one of several of "The Stone Buildings of Lockport, New York".
Location: New York, United States
Date Posted: 11/28/2007 4:45:44 PM
Waymark Code: WM2P0J
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 78

Long Description:
The Bacon/Merchant/Moss House is significant as an intact example of early 19th century stone architecture in New York. It also has historical significance for its association with several of Lockport's prominent citizens and historical trends. It is reputed to have played a role in the Underground Railroad, although this is based on local tradition rather than verifiable documentation.

Gillett Bacon purchased the land in 1832 for $1787 and built the original house on it. In 1842, Bacon sold the property for $4500 to Dr. George Merchant, a druggist and one of Lockport's earliest and most successful entrepreneurs. Merchant began manufacturing a liniment called "Merchant's Gargling Oil" in 1833, and marketed it primarily for the treatment of ill or injured horses. Merchant retired in 1856 and sold the house and business to a Lockport businessmen who formed the Merchant's Gargling Oil Company to continue manufacturing the successful product. It later became used as a cure for a wide variety of human ailments.

In March 1861, Abijah Moss bought the house from the Gargling Oil Company. Moss was Lockport town supervisor in 1849. According to local and family traditions, the Moss family used a narrow crawlspace in the attic to hide slaves escaping to Canada via the Underground Railroad. Because they were secret, there is no documentation to verify this. Moss died in July 1861, four months after purchasing the house, but his heirs remained in the house for at least 50 more years.

By the mid-1910s, the house was no longer used as a residence. Charles Moss, Abijah's granson, and his wife Frances Louis Van Valkenburgh were both active in civic affairs. It was through their influence the house came to be used as the headquarters for the Lockport chapter of the American Red Cros during World War I. The YWCA then purchased the building in 1927 and still uses it to this day as the Niagara County headquarters.

The design of the house is typical of stone houses built in Lockport during the 1830s and 1840s. It features a three-bay facade, coursed rock-faced ashlar stonework, Federal-style cornice and gable returns.
Street address:
32 Cottage St
Lockport, NY United States

County / Borough / Parish: Niagara

Year listed: 2007

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Architecture

Periods of significance: 1832-1951

Historic function: Domestic: Single Dwelling

Current function: Social: Civic

Privately owned?: yes

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

Hours of operation: Not listed

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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