Old Fort Niagara

By: Jesse Davis

The British occupation of North America has numerous reminders of the past and one of them is the Old Fort Niagara. The Old Fort was built way back in 1726 at the entrance to the Niagara River. The Fort served as a resting area for new troops and also served as a garrison for the wars which took place between the British, Americans and the French. The Fort also served as a base for military campaigns during periods of hostility.

Like most old British monuments, this stone masonry built Fort has a lot of features of old Victoria era Fortresses of the 16 and 17th Century. The Fort had good access to the nearby railroads and the sea.

Today, The Fort is a monument to the historic events that occurred nearly 300 years ago. It symbolizes the courage, valor, sacrifice and heroism of many who fought for Freedom.

The Fort was completely burnt down in the 18th century and has undergone numerous major reconstructions to restore it to its original glamour. In its relatively unspoiled setting on a bend of the Niagara River, the Fort survives as an authentic vestige of the past.

Administered by the New York State Park, the Old Fort has a number of historic structures, furnished rooms, museum exhibits, and even a bookstore. Interpretive programs, educational lectures, guided tours, and special events are offered throughout the year.

Tourists have been coming to this Fort for decades and each year the numbers are increasing, making it a very popular destination. Asides from the Fort, the surrounding scenery and rivers offer some of he best views of the natural landscape in the North.

The Fort is now operated by the New York State Office of Parks and located in Youngstown, NY. For more information one can call 716 745 7611

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Battle Ground Museum

The Battle Ground Hotel Museum is situated on the historic grounds of the War of 1812 Lundy’s Lane Battlefield. The building was initially constructed as a home in the early 1800’s.

However, even at that time, it was noted by the future owners that the place had the making of a great tourist attraction and thus was later converted into a tavern and inn. The interior of the building combines architecture details from both the Regency and Classical Revival style of the mid 1800’s.

Each of the rooms allows the visitors to go back in time and imagine the taverns of the early and mid 19th Century. In addition, costumed guards also provide details about the War of 1812.

Over the past few decades, the Battle Ground Hotel has undergone numerous reconstructions and revisions to help restore the artifacts relating to the early years of the tourism industry in Niagara Falls, and the legacy of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane.

Situated across from Battle Ground Hotel is the Drummond Hill Cemetery, an important historic site where the War of 1812 was fought and the resting place for Laura Secord. A monument commemorating the Battle of Lundy’s Lane is also located at this historic site.

The Battle Ground Hotel is open daily from May 1st to October 31st. During the winter months, the site is open by appointment. The museum is located at 6151 Lundy’s Lane, Niagara Falls. For visits, one can phone 905-358_Ì5082

Queenston Heights

Brock Monument View North © by pmvarsa

Queenston Heights Park is the site of a War of 1812 battle in which Sir Isaac Brock was killed. A 50-m. (150-ft.) monument, that is perched above the Niagara Escarpment, was built in his honor.

Surrounding the monument is a recreational park that contains a vast picnic area with open-air tables and covered pavilions. Also located here are a bandshell, tennis courts and hiking trails. Food is available at a snack bar or at Queenston Heights Restaurant (open seasonally).

Queenston Heights Park is located on top of the 106 m. (350-ft.) Niagara Escarpment, which allows for spectacular views of the lower Niagara River, surrounding countryside, Lake Ontario, and the Toronto skyline on clear days.

It was here that the Falls were first formed over 10,000 years ago. The Bruce Trail, which follows the escarpment 780 km (520 miles) to Tobermory, also starts here.

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Mackenzie Printery

The Mackenzie Printery Museum covers an era of Printed newspapers for more than 500 years. The Printery has a lot of firsts in Canada; the first printed newspaper, the oldest press circulation, the first wooden press, etc.

The Printery building was the re-built on original home of William Mackenzie and in an honor to the great Publisher; the Museum has devoted a substantial amount of time on the life the man and his home.

Once inside the museum, there is an opportunity to test one’s ability at operating a Press and type setting. For those lithographers, there are guided tours which provide all the nitty gritty details about the ink, machinery and the metal type casters. Today the museum offers a historical evolution of printing in Canada. Both the wooden and iron presses of the time are available for view.

The museum also has a vast collection of letter press equipment and artifacts related to the printing trade. The museum also offers educational tours for college and high school students. Every now and then, the museum holds seminars on advertising, journalism communications and business skills in relevance to printing.

The museum is open year round and located in the village of Queenston, just a few miles north of the Falls. Entrance to the museum is $4.50 for Adults and $3.50 Children (6 to 12 years). This historic building is not wheelchair accessible. For more information, one can call 1 877 642 7275