Unrecorded promotional plan for Niagara, North Carolina

Drawn by John Tilton McClintock Architect / Varney & Churchill Engineers / Geo. H. Walker & Co., NIAGARA MOORE COUNTY NORTH CAROLINA OWNED BY THE NEW ENGLAND & SOUTHERN IMPROVEMENT COMPANY BOSTON MASS., Boston, [ca. 1903].
Lithograph, 24 ½"h x 20 ½"w plus margins, uncolored

An unrecorded promotional for a North Carolina town developed with Boston money.

The plan depicts in some detail the new town of Niagara in Moore County, North Carolina, about sixty miles southwest of Raleigh and just over a hundred miles from the coast. The plan depicts a development of some 900 lots, laid out along an irregular street pattern and all with easy access to a central school, church, park and Lake Niagara. The image is ornamented with photogravures of a pine grove and the Pine Belt landscape (neither of which are particularly inviting!) and an inset plan and view of the new railway station. The proposed layout of Niagara is reminiscent of much late-19th century development in the Boston area, for example at Mt. Auburn and Forest Hills Cemeteries and along the Jamaica Way, which emphasized park-like settings and naturalistic street layouts.

This writer was fortunate to stumble on a puff piece promoting Niagara in the Journal of Education for November 26, 1903:

“One question always confronts, and two frequently confront the men or women with worn-out bodies or fagged-out brains who would build up one or both to enjoy the years naturally theirs on earth. First, where can rest and health be obtained? And second, where can a living be made while or when these processes are completed? Both of these questions seem to be answered by some of the townships now building in the Long Leaf Pine belt of North Carolina….

“The town of Niagara, Moore County, which is in the very heart of the Long Leaf Pine belt, is easily the leader. It contains about 1,000 lots, ranging in size from 5,000 to 24,000 square feet, every one of which is high and dry, and suitable for building purposes…. Many houses have been built, all of which are occupied, and plans are drawn for many more…. Some of the houses are elaborate and costly, and all are built substantially and for permanent occupancy. (Journal of Education, vol. LVIII no. 21, p. 350)

The piece also touts the salubrious climate, the fertility of the soil, the proximity of the railroad, and even the sewage system, which relies on the “McClintock system by septic action.” This system was developed by John Norris McClintock (1846-1914), founder of the American Sewage Disposal Company of Boston and father of architect John Tilton McClintock (1872-1929) who sat of the Company’s board and drew this plan.

There is today an unincorporated locale by the name of Niagara, and a visit to Google Maps reveals hints of the ambitious street layout depicted on the plan. It appears, however, that the full vision of the New England & Southern Improvement Company was never fully realized. The Company seems to have faded from the scene, as a Google search yields no other mention of it.

Architect John Tilton McClintock’s name shows up in OCLC associated with three maps and views of southeastern Massachusetts localities, all published in the 1890s and two of which were published by Boston lithographer Geo. H. Walker & Co.

Not in OCLC, Phillips or Rumsey.


Old folds with a few minor separations and a couple of edge tears, one extending into right neat line