Old Fort Niagara is located near Youngstown, New York on the banks of River Niagara at its mouth on Lake Ontario.Niagara Fort was originally set up as a fortification to serve the interests of New France in North America.
The first structure was built in 1678 and was called Fort Conti. It was replaced by Fort Denonville in 1687, named after the Governor of New France, the Marquis de Denonville.
However in 1688 the post was abandoned and the stockade pulled down. In 1726, a two storied structure called the Machicolated House was constructed here. Its was called the ‘House of Peace’ or trading post to appease the Iroquois. The fort was increased to the present size in 1755.
In July 1759 after the ‘Battle of Fort Niagara’ the French surrendered to the British. Fort Niagara became a Loyalist base in America during the American Revolutionary War.
The fort was ceded o the United States after the Treaty of Paris ended the American War of Independence in 1783. But essentially the region remained under the British for the next thirteen years.
The American Forces occupied it only in 1796 after signing the Jay Treaty. In 1812 the British captured the fort but in 1813 they handed it over to the US under the Treaty of Ghent. It has been under US ever since. It was later used for various purposes in the Spanish-American War, World War I, WW II and the Korean War etc.
Today the renovated fort serves as Fort Niagara State Park and Museum. There are exhibits relating to the American history. The fort buildings are great to tour – they exude the intrigue of yester years.
Often there are reenactments of the 18th century battles and also period dances. Most of the days there is demonstration of Musket loading and shooting by a person in old British uniform.
It is quite some distance from Niagara Falls. So while visiting the Falls one would have to drive down to the fort or take a cab / taxi from Niagara Falls. Sight seeing and activities at the Niagara Falls are covered under the Discovery Pass. For those visiting Niagara, the closest airport would be at Buffalo and international ones would be the New York airports – JFK – Kennedy airport, La Guardia – LGA airport and Newark-EWR-Airport.
Old Fort Niagara – Directions
From Niagara Falls, Get on to Robert Moses Parkway North
If you are coming from Canada, cross over at the Rainbow bridge or Lewiston Queenston and then get on to Robert Moses Parkway North.
from NYS Thruway, take exit 50, get on to I-290 W to I-190, then take I-190 N exit 25B and follow Robert Moses Parkway North.