Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Old Fort Niagara
Old Fort Niagara was a part of the earliest history of our country. First by the French in 1726 as a foothold in what is now the United States. This was a crucial site at that time. Located on the mouth of the Niagara River as it flows into Lake Ontario, it controls the water access to the interior of the frontier. It would play a part in the wars between the French and the English, and then again in the two wars between the English and the Americans.
There are a number of fascinating events that took both at the fort and the surrounding area during these struggles for control of the vast resources at stake. One of the more amusing was when in a surprise winter raid during the war of 1812; the English seized the unprepared American garrison in a quick skirmish. At the time of the raid, the commanding officer of the fort was visiting his family and when he returned to the fort, he was promptly taken prisoner of war. The fort was taken twice by the British during periods of conflict and in each case; the British voluntarily returned the fort to American control after they were defeated in the greater conflict.
We have been to the fort before, as seen from our header picture taken in 1981.
I could also not resist a picture of the Coast Guard Station located just outside the fort.
This Fort is part of the Seaway trail which we will follow along the New York coastline as we move east and north in New York State.