Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Niagara Falls and Fort Niagara

Welcome to Niagara Falls on the American side!  We visited the Canadian side a few years ago and decided to complete the visit today.  This is a nice view of all three falls--Horseshoe  in the veil of mist continues around to the left and is hidden by Bridal Veil with American in the front.

View of the Maid Of The Mist boat ride.  The American side of the business dresses its passengers in blue plastic serapes, the Canadian side in red.  There are tons of family and adult oriented activities in both areas, with package tours keeping the prices within tourist budgets.  We opted for a walk around the free observation areas.

Rainbows in the mist

A view upriver of the falls with the pedestrian/bike bridge to Goat Island.  There is a car bridge beyond that.

View from Goat Island of where we were standing across the river.  Now the American Falls are in front.  The people at the bottom are looking over Bridal Veil.  We were there too.  The city of Niagara Falls  is in the distance.

Each fall makes its own mist rainbows depending on the sun's position.  We were done enjoying this tremendous river--its beautiful clear green waters and its tremendous roaring--so we walked back to the bike for a short ride to our next stop.

Just outside the town of Youngstown (Ohio people remember we are in New York), is the old Fort Niagara.  The history of the fort spans more than 300 years.  During the colonial wars in North America a fort at the mouth of the Niagara River was vital, controlling access to the Great Lakes and the westward route to the heartland of the continent.  During its history the fort was held by three nations--France, Great Britain, and the fledgling rebel colonial America.  Each country added to the fort.  This entrance to the fort was built by the French and named the Gate of Five Nations in honor of the Five Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy whose favor they were courting.

The French Castles the first building of the fort and  the oldest building in North America's Great Lakes region.  It was called the House of Peace to fool the Iroquois.  It was actually a fully equipped fort.

View from the wall.  The British built Fort George across the river somewhere in the vicinity of the trees.

No explanation necessary.

My blacksmith couldn't resist a photo of the hand-forged hardware.  I liked this because of the long skinny curly piece.  Click to enlarge it.  Its a rattlesnake!

This blacksmith shop is new (2010)  There is no information about a forge in the fort, but the ironwork came from somewhere.  Duane had a nice chat with the apprentice.  Another "new" building (not pictured) is a log cabin intended to represent  one originally built by the French in 1757.  It is used as a food concession (thank goodness for that--we were hungry!) with the proceeds going toward keeping the fort open.

View of Toronto (Canada)  Click to enlarge.  This was taken from the Rush-Bagot Memorial which was built in 1934.  It is named for the chief negotiators of an early armaments agreement signed by the United States and Great Britain in 1817 to limit naval forces on the Great Lakes.  Because of it today we enjoy a 4000 mile unfortified United States-Canadian border.

The flags of the three nations.

There was not much info about this lighthouse, one of the original gas lit ones.  The lite was originally at the top of the French Castle and moved here much later.  We love old lighthouses, but unfortunately this one was closed to the public.  

We had a wonderful day learning about our country's rough beginnings and viewing some of her most stunning scenery, but we were tired and turned out bike toward home.

We have one more site we want to visit in this area and some scenery-seeing bike rides, but those plans will depend on the weather.  Keep checking for further adventures!

Louise and Duane  

1 comment:

Paul and Marsha Weaver OCT. 17, 2009 said...

Great day for sure. Looks like the weather even cooperated. Enjoy.