Fort Niagara

By on December 12, 2013

If you travel to Youngstown, New York, you will find the historic Old Fort Niagara, sitting between Lake Ontario and the Niagara River. The fort was originally built in 1678 by French explorer Robert de LaSalle. At that time it was called Fort Conti. He constructed the fort in order to hold food and supplies for his workers who were building his ships. In 1687, it was reconstructed and renamed Fort Denonville after French Governor Marquis de Denonville. Governor Denonville wanted to establish a military presence in order to control access to the great lakes. The French had control of the fort until 1759 when Britain seized control of the fort during the French and Indian War.

The British controlled the fort until they conceded the fort to the United States in 1796. The American occupation of Fort Niagara was short lived however. In 1813, the British took over the fort again. Yet, the Americans for the final time gained back the fort in 1815. Though that year marked the last time the fort was involved in warfare, Fort Niagara continued to be a training ground for American soldiers during World War I and World War II. Today, the only military presence at Old Fort Niagara is the U.S. Coast Guard. The three raised flags you see raised high above the Fort represent the three countries (France, Britain, and the United States) that once controlled the Fort. Today, it’s a beautiful museum and receives over 100,000 visitors a year.