How Nichols Avenue got its name

Nichols Avenue, named for the prominent family who called the area home at the turn of the 19th century. Charles Nichols, pictured above, was raised on a farm in Pompey, New York, but moved to Syracuse when he was old enough to work. Nichols eventually gained employment as a foreman on the Erie Canal which lead him to a life of construction. He worked on canals, railroads, and countless public projects, ultimately serving as president for an iron works company. His obituary stated that, “He began life without a dollar and with no means save great energy, untiring activity and indomitable perseverance, yet he succeeded in accumulating a fine competency as the result of personal application and self-reliance.” Charles had one son, John Nichols, who engaged in several business interests both independently and with his father before entering politics, becoming State Senator in 1892. After John’s death in 1924, the family home was utilized by the Eastwood Baptist Church and was demolished in 1953 to make way for a new sanctuary.