|Sallyport Old Fort Niagara|
The history of Old Fort Niagara spans more than 300 years. The fort lies at the mouth of the Niagara River, a vital point in controlling access to the Great Lakes and westward route. Three nations held the fort symbolized by the three flags displayed..French,British and US.
The French established the first post called Fort Conti in 1679. The next fort was named Fort Denonville (1687-1688). In 1726, France finally erected a permanent fortification called "The French Castle". The French designed it to resemble a large trading post to calm the suspicions of the hostile Iroquois. The building consisted of a trading room, powder magazine,living quarters,chapel,storerooms,bakery and guardhouse.
Britain gained control in 1759 during the French/Indian War and held it throughout the American Revolution until they were forced by treaty to yield it the United States in 1796. It was recaptured in 1813 and ceded once again in 1815 to the US.
It was then served as a peaceful border post becoming a barracks and training station for American soldiers during WW I and WW II. The US Coast Guard today represents the only military presence on site.
The fort was restored between 1926 and 1934 and is today operated by the Old Fort Niagara Association.
|Hot Shot Furnace|
|One of the Cannons|
|Fort Niagara Lighthouse (decommissioned)|
The most important trophy taken by the British in 1813 was the garrison flag, a huge version of the "Stars and Stripes". It was given to General Sir Gordon Drummond, whose troops had captured it. It remained in the Drummond family home, Megginch Castle in Scotland until 1994. It has been badly damaged in a fire at the castle. The present dimensions of the flag are 24x28 feet with 15 stars and stripes represently the 15 states. It has been restored and lies on display in the fort museum. The stained areas are the burned remains of the original flag.
Must say this is a most impressive fort and one to definitely visit if in the area.