Thursday, February 26, 2009

UPDATE: Who was Shane?

A while back I posted a photo and asked a question about the memorial to Shane. His sister emailed recently:

my name is shannon hookey, i stumbled upon your page late last nite while i was up killing time. i was typing in my brothers name to see if the facebook group i put up called shane hookey drew on me came up on google. i stopped when i seen who is shane, and thought who better to tell you than his little sister. shane was a singer, guitar player (who showed me i wanted to be the same) most of all he was an artist. he did a lot of tattoos on a lot of people in fort erie, he was only 22 when he passed, i guess cause i was 15, he seemed so grown up, but as much as i like tattoos, now that i'm close to 30 i don't think i'd let a young guy ink me. he had been doing tattoos for years. his hair was red, thats where red came from, the dog was later added when he was making tattoo cards, red dog tattoos, his office being my mums kicthen, and later his own. thats how good he was, people trusted this young guy, working out of his mums kicthen. he did some art work at fort erie (the kids school by the high school) which i didn't know, i did a co-op there and all over walls and lockers were painted cartoons, and it turned out my brother had done it, so they let my mum come in and take pics. in may of 95 he was riding his motorcyle on central brige, we think he looked back to see if his friends had cought up in the car they were in and he drifted into the other lane, hitting a car. he spent a week in ecmc and on june 3rd passed away. who is laurie s. an old friend of his. she had it painted for him, in that spot, from what i hear, cause thats where him and his friends hung out when they were in high school. not long ago, this pic was in the paper asking the same question as you. it was so great to have a reason to tell his story, and now i get a chance to do it again. so thank you so much. i wanted to leave a coment on your page, but my computer is acting up, so please feel free to put up an answer, if you want.
thank you again

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Dance the years away

Shirley emailed me to ask for more information on the giant outdoor dance floor that once attracted thousands to dance under the stars.

Above is looking east, probably taken from the second floor of the dance hall. The promenade can be seen to the left, at the front are children heading to the wading pool which was located between the dance hall (also called the casino) and large concrete dance floor, the northwest corner of which is pictured here.

Above, looking to the southeast toward Lake Erie from a spot on the promenade, this photo shows the steamship pier in the background, the background next to the lake and a corner of the kiddie pool in the foreground.

Another view, looking due south toward the lake.

The area as it looks today. I can recall in the '70s when some weeds had popped through cracks but for the most part the surface was intact. This photo, taken in summer 2007 from the southwest corner of the old dance floor (the bandshell would have been located about where that second section of concrete wall has fallen) shows how time, weather and nature have taken a toll. Most people walking across the area today have no idea what it was once used for.

An earlier post, with a photo from the Niagara Falls public library collection, has more information.

Below, you can see the remains, circa early- to mid-1990s (best guess as to when the satellite image used by Google dates from). The weather-accelerated decay is much worse today.

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Trail work wins award

The Erie Beach section of the Friendship Trail has been honoured. The section of the trail -- a recreation of the original promenade from the amusement park days -- earned a Niagara Community Design Award for urban design.

Full credit for the work, which was carried out with great care by Stevensville Lawn Service, can be found on the Niagara Region website. The awards were created to "recognize and celebrate excellence in community design in the Niagara Region."

Work on the concrete path, about two-thirds as wide as the original promenade which stretched from Bardol to Helena, began in the summer of 2007. The grand opening of the park was held last May 31.