NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — People living near Ferry Ave. and 26th St. in Niagara Falls are trying to solve a mystery.
Several paintings strangely showed up along Ferry Avenue over the past couple of days. They appear to be family portraits. The only clues are the faces, and the dates on the artwork. Several theories spread through the streets and social media.
"It's the Thatcher family and they had died around this area many years ago," said neighbor Amber Frame.
One theory said living family members placed the paintings in the neighborhood as a memorial. Some people noticed a resemblance of the woman one of the portraits to Margaret Thatcher, the former British prime minister.
"Margaret Thatcher was really good friends with Ronald Reagan and it seems like they all came up yesterday on Presidents’ Day, so I don't know if that has anything to do with it," she said.
While no one seems too sure why they're here, a few think it's an intentional art exhibit. Others were "creeped out" by the paintings.
The City of Niagara Falls Public Works director believes he might have the answer as to how these paintings wound up there.
"Basically, what happened here is somebody had a move-out on one of the properties in this location," John Caso said. "I'm not sure exactly where, but the portraits probably were taken out of the trash that was put out and then probably placed in different locations for whatever reasons."
City crews picked up the paintings Tuesday afternoon, but who do they belong to? That's a question that still needs an answer.
"That means something to somebody," Caso said. "We're going to hold onto them for a few days and maybe somebody will recognize them."
If you're the owner of the paintings and want them back, you can call the Department of Public Works at 716-286-4840. In the meantime, much about this remains mysterious.
"Hand-painted pictures like that of the children and the parents all in this little area," Frame said. "We have no idea what's going on."