Gill Creek, Niagara Falls, NY

The public works portfolio of Robert Moses is associated mostly with New York City and its suburbs. But on the map there are a couple of places on the state’s map where his name appears: a State Park in the Thousand Islands, and until 2019, a parkway along the Niagara River. His name was removed because the present generation no longer regards his heavy-handed tactics as positive. In the Niagara region, Moses designed a hydroelectric plant and reservoir that took land away from the Native Tuscarora Nation. The project resulted in the loss of land and the rerouting of two creeks within the reservation: Fish Creek and Gill Creek.

The Native people lost 550 acres to the reservoir, which does not have a name on most maps. Moses proposed it as the Tuscarora Reservoir in his plans, but the Natives likely were offended to have the land taken, flooded, and then named after them. Gill Creek was reduced to a ditch that flows around the perimeter of the reservoir on its way to the Niagara River. Naming the reservoir after Robert Moses also would have caused offense to the Natives. Some maps call it the Lewiston Reservoir after the town in which it is located.

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