Alongside the fort, there is a historical museum that not only traces the fort's history (it has been controlled by the French, the British, and the Americans) but also describes many interesting facts about the Western New York area throughout the entire history of our nation.
Fort Niagara was a key fort during the French and Indian War, because of it's strategic location at the very tip of New York. Looking across the river, one can see what is now Canada, and Fort George. Standing at the other side of the fort, looking across Lake Ontario, one can see Toronto in the distance.
What makes Fort Niagara a unique place to visit is the number of volunteers who are always there, making the visit come alive. They dress in authentic period costumes, and are extremely friendly and knowledgeable. Every time we have visited, we have absolutely loved it and learned a lot. The volunteers demonstrate various skills that happened at the fort throughout history, such as cooking in the stone fireplaces, loading and shooting muskets, or drilling on the parade grounds. They also share great stories about the people who have lived in the fort over the years, and there will usually be a cannon firing if enough people are visiting at the fort.
The fort has many special events and reenactments throughout the year, so it is good to check their calendar of events to stay on top of it. Also, the website offers a free virtual tour of the fort. I like that all the admission money that is paid is put right back into the preservation of the fort, because it is privately owned.
We recently had the opportunity to visit Old Fort Niagara and I wanted to share some really neat photos from the day. If you are ever visiting Niagara Falls, you definitely should take the extra time to drive up the road about 15-20 minutes north of the falls to see Old Fort Niagara.
|The lighthouse at the fort entrance|
|Our amazing (and very smart) tour guide|
|An original flag from the War of 1812 - Fort Niagara was also instrumental to the US during this war, defending the newly established American border.|
|Inside the museum - a look at some 18th & 19th century weaponry.|
|The main building of the fort, from a distance, behind all the walls and hills.|
|Entering the fort, it is easy to see all the hills built in to the surroundings outside the wall,|
|The French seal - they held command of the fort from 1678-1759.|
|The British held command of the fort from 1759-1796.|
|Flags of the 3 nations that have held command of the fort. (The French flag was solid white at that time).|
|Musket firing demonstration|
|A french soldier|
|Inside the main supply room in the main building - people would come from miles around, all around the Niagara Frontier, to trade for supplies.|
|Original layout sketches|
|Looking down the hall inside the main building|
|We found this little guy on the ground!|
|Cool cannons in strategic locations around the perimeter of the fort.|
|Preparing for a small cannon demonstration|
|The upper level would hold plenty of soldiers|
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This post is linked with Field Trip Friday at Chestnut Grove Academy.