Francis Petrie - Arts and Culture Wall of Fame
Francis J. Petrie was born in Niagara Falls, on July 19, 1920 and attended Maple Street School
and Niagara Falls Collegiate Vocational Institute. He was employed as a research technician at
Cyanamid of Canada - Welland Plant, but his great passion was local history. He was best known
for his "History in The News" column in the Niagara Falls Review, starting in 1961 and his
1092nd column had just been published at the time of his death on September 23, 1983.
Francis was appointed in 1970 as the first Official Historian for the City of Niagara Falls. He
served as the first Chair of the Niagara Falls LACAC and was a member of the City's board of
Museums, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, and the Niagara Falls Public Library
Board. He was also a member of various local historical societies and held office in them.
Francis was a popular speaker and taught local history classes in a number of high schools. He
also wrote a number of popular local history publications. In 1976, he received a Murie Misty
Award for promoting Niagara Falls without being connected to the tourist industry.
Francis accumulated a vast collection of local historical material, of which the major portion,
known as the Francis Petrie Collection, is housed in the Niagara Falls Public Library.
His love of local history inspired others to discover their own appreciation for history.