Posted by: downtothesea | February 14, 2010

A Non Sequitur for Valentine’s Day.

I know I should have posted some romantic-type goodie today for the feast of St. Valentine, but I find this much more interesting.

From the Niagara Falls Gazette, July 6, 1899:

STRUCK BY A TROLLEYMichael Gavin, a laborer of this city, met with a painful accident Monday afternoon.  He was struck by a car of the Buffalo & Niagara Falls Electric Railroad at the corner of Fifth Street and Erie Avenue and sustained several severe scalp wounds.  Dr. J. W. Hodge dressed his wounds.”

This poor unfortunate man, Michael Gavin, is my great-great grandfather.  My immediate thought is:  how fast did these trolleys go, exactly?  How preoccupied must he have been to step out in front of a moving trolley?  That is, assuming he hadn’t been indulging at a tavern beforehand…

I wonder if the Electric Railroad has records of accidents?  Gruesome, I know, but it’d be interesting to read the accident report.  Can I squeak in a few minutes of online research into the trolley company before my husband takes me out to a Valentine’s dinner?  You bet I can!

And no need to worry:  Michael recovered and lived on for another six years after his run-in with the trolley!



  1. Thanks for sharing!

    Keep these ancestor stories coming!

    Bill 😉
    Author of “13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories”

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