A visit to Fort Niagara

A trip to Niagara is not complete without a visit to the old fort. How beautiful the tree bordered road leading from Niagara along the river to its outlet at Lake Ontario! At first you catch glimpses now and then through the tree and bush covered banks of the river. The scenery along the river about half way between Niagara and the lake consists of beautiful homes with the orchards, vineyards and fields that stretch away over the level valley.

As you approach Fort Niagara you will see the post's cemetery. On the river between the cemetery and the fort is a lighthouse and near it, under the walls of the old fort, a government life- saving station. Entering the government ground the road winds through a beautiful grove in which are located the officers' homes. The barracks are adjacent to these and the road skirts the parade grounds just beyond.

At right angles with the river and lake is located Fort Niagara. This old fort is entered under an arched driveway, which may be closed by two massive doors. Its walls are fourteen feet high and four feet thick, built of stones that have been laid without mortar. It has been remarkably well preserved. It was built by the French approximately on the site occupied by LaSalle and Denouville. It was taken by the British in 1789 and held by them as a base of warfare against the American frontier during the war of the Revolution. It was then occupied by the Americans.

You will be impressed with the old Lombardy poplars that were planted by the French along the lake. Here they have stood, buffeted by the winds of more than two centuries until they resemble grim, sturdy warriors who have known many conflicts. They stand near the water's edge, defiant still, like brave soldiers unable to move farther, who have faced about to meet the enemy. With their few scattered limbs still pointing upward, they seem almost as old as the fort itself. Nature was kind and had clothed their few aged limbs with bright green leaves, which will retain their tints almost as long as any deciduous trees.

But why recall these tales of bygone days when the British and the Americans were engaged in these terrible struggles? Let us go back to the falls where a voice at once grand and awesome speaks of a day so old we have no record, save the geological hieroglyphics; those vast manuscripts written on the tables of rocks by the hand of Time.