Sunday, May 18, 2008

Some Local Forts of Interest

Once a month a group I am in takes people to the Tuscarora Indian Reservation near Niagara Falls to buy cheap cigarettes. Most of the taxes are not collected on the reservation and the resulting prices are very low. Great for those on a very limited budget.

I like to go along for the ride whenever I can just to see the scenery. The country is beautiful around there. Also they have a restaurant that has good food at very reasonable prices.

There is a small art gallery and museum by the restaurant and I noted they had put some maps up from a census in the 1800s showing the Indian lands in the area. I also noted along the Niagara River a facility called Fort Schlosser. I had never heard of this before. Fort Niagara, I know, Fort Erie, Fort Porter, and I even heard of something called Fort Little Niagara located someplace on the portage trail between Fort Niagara, on Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie.

Great, something new.

The French, who had built Fort Niagara, also built a small facility partway between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, known now as Fort Little Niagara (Fort du Portage). It was located right around the present day intakes for the Niagara power project, just above Niagara Falls. After the British took over they built an expanded facility nearby in the 1760s and named it Fort Schlosser after the name of the first commander, as was the custom at the time.

I believe all that remains is part of the chimney, which has been moved to a location near Buffalo Avenue and the entrance to the Robert Moses Parkway.

There also was another fort located below the falls on the Lewiston escarpment called Fort Gray, in present day Lewiston.

These are some very interesting sites that I have every intention of checking out in person some time on a nice summer drive.
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