Old Fort Niagara — Youngstown, NY

Jim Matheson and I were at the Canadian headquarters for a few days to check out their ability to supply us with some products. We had Saturday to kill before our flight home on Sunday morning, so we borrowed a car and headed to New York to do some touristing. Our first stop was Old Fort Niagara, located on the point where the Niagara River empties in Lake Ontario.

 

Fort Niagara

A fort was first built here by the French in 1679. They built the French Castle in 1726. Britain gained control in 1759 during the French and Indian War after a siege. The United States took it over after the Revolution, but the British retook it for two years during the War of 1812.

Fort Niagara

I took this picture on the path as we approached the fort. The drawbridge leads to the Gate of the Five Nations. The two Chinese-looking buildings are the South Redoubt (left) and the North Redoubt (right).

Fort Niagara

Here's a close-up of the South Redoubt, with the guns of the 18-pounder battery in the foreground and the French Castle in the left background. The ground floor of the redoubt was a fortified gateway, the second floor was a barracks and the top was a cannon platform.

Fort Niagara

The French Castle, built in 1726, is the oldest part of the fort. It was built by the French as a self-contained fortress disguised as a trading post to confuse the Indians. The inside was dark, with rock walls and massive wooden doors that creaked and reeked of history. On the ground floor was a well that is supposed to be haunted by a headless French guy, but we didn't see him. It was cool, and a bit weird, to have it to ourselves.

Fort Niagara

Jim in the parade ground. The buildings in the background are (l. to r.) the South Redoubt, the provisions storeroom (which contains a museum), the powder magazine and the trading post (which contains a gift shop and snack bar).

It was drizzling and we had the place to ourselves. We took our time, saw everything there was to see and had a great time.

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