The Niagara Falls History Museum at 5810 Ferry Street has recently acquired from an estate sale a number of items found in Thomas Barnett’s Museum in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The museum, opened in 1831, closed many years ago and the contents were sold to a Toronto collector.
Barnett’s museum included a collection of curiosities’ and natural history. Barnett was a trained taxidermist at when his small two-legged dog, Skipper died he stuffed and displayed the dog with a wheeled contraption that allowed the dog its own freedom and mobility.
In the 1830’s, the Niagara Falls History Museum was considered one of the oldest in the world. The Boston Journal in 1852 said, “Few people visit Niagara Falls without calling at Barnett’s Museum and few are disappointed”.
Mr. Barnett was committed to keeping a record of those who passed through his doors by keeping a series of registers. The books included the signatures of such notables as Abraham Lincoln, General Ulysses Grant, P.T.Barnum and King Edward V11. These registers, along with a number of other fascinating items are now on display at the Niagara Falls History Museum.