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Guardhouse of the Great Lakes

By Linda Tancs

During its heyday, Old Fort Niagara controlled access to the Great Lakes. It was a strategic stronghold during the colonial wars. Over its more than 300 year history, the site has been controlled by France, Britain and the United States. The French established the first post here, Fort Conti, in 1679, followed later by an elaborate, permanent fortification known as the “French Castle.” Britain gained control of Fort Niagara in 1759 during the French & Indian War and held the post throughout the American Revolution. They were forced, by treaty, to yield it to the United States in 1796 and, after recapturing it in a later conflict, ceded it to the United States a second time in 1815 at the end of the War of 1812. An original flag from that war is displayed in the Visitor Center, where you’ll find introductory exhibits filled with original artifacts and an award-winning, 16-minute orientation film. From May to October the Discover Niagara shuttle operates from Niagara Falls to the fort, connecting to over 12 destination sites along the way. The fort is open year round.

1 Comment»

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