Jul. 3—Two hundred years after Bartemus Ferguson published the first newspaper in Lockport, before this was a village or the Niagara County seat, the Union-Sun & Journal is celebrating its bicentennial.
We're kicking off the celebration today with the debut of a revised masthead, one that more fully embraces the extent of our readership, and also symbolizes where the US&J is in the year 2021. One "foot" remains planted on newsprint while the other guides its passage to a digital, and likely paper-less, future.
The arrival of one's 200th anniversary is a really big deal for any business. It seems downright amazing in the existentially challenged community newspaper business. In considering how best to mark the occasion, we are inspired by a simple yet profound realization: "Our history is your history."
In late August, we'll publish a commemorative magazine paying homage to the community that has kept the Union-Sun & Journal in continuous publication, weekly or daily, under one masthead or another, since December 1821. We're excited to tell not just the story of the US&J's evolution, but stories of Lockport's and Niagara County's evolution as well. Along the way we will spotlight other local legacy businesses that have shaped, are still shaping, life in eastern Niagara County.
We also wish to share spotlight, and fond memories, with loyal readers and past associates without whom the Union-Sun & Journal couldn't exist.
More than a few of you have a stash of old US&Js in storage, editions kept to remember a stop-the-presses major news development ('WAR IS OVER!'), or the personal milestones of yours and loved ones that grew our shared local history. Current staff would love to have a look at those old papers, and the opportunity to chat with the keepers about their significance.
We're also reaching out to longtime readers and subscribers. If you're one who's been reading (and/or seeing yourself in) the US&J since you were in grade school, and started "taking" the paper yourself as an adult, we'd like to talk with — more accurately, interview and photograph — you, too. Oh, don't be shy!
Ditto for past US&J carriers, the "paper boys" and, later, "paper girls" who played such a vital role in keeping this enterprise going in their youth.
Anyone who wants to help celebrate the US&J's bicentennial can contact Joyce Miles at 439-9222, extension 6238, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, keep reading for the details of a series of upcoming commemorative events ...
Editor Joyce M. Miles is a 30-year veteran of the community news business who started working for her forever-hometown paper, the Union-Sun & Journal, as a compositor in 1991 — the BDP era, Before Desktop Publishing. From cold-type and desktop composition Miles moved into reporting, editing and staff/correspondent management for the newsroom. Along the way she has done fun and eye-opening tours of duty in nearly every news beat in the US&J delivery area, as well as the old Medina Journal-Register territory.