Fort Niagara Light
The Niagara River was an avenue of travel for the explorers of North America. The river mouth, on Lake Ontario's south shore, provides a natural harbor. The French established Fort Niagara in this location as early as 1726, and the fort was captured by the British in 1759. A light was located on top of the fort in 1781, and was replaced in 1822.
The present Fort Niagara Light is located just outside the grounds of Fort Niagara, on a bluff overlooking the mouth of the river and Lake Ontario. It was erected in 1872. The stone tower is attached to a matching stone watch house. The tower was extended in 1900 and the additional brick height is apparent.
The light was was hidden by growing trees, and was extinguished in 1993 with the establishment of a modern light nearby. The US Coast Guard base is located at the river's edge below the Fort Niagara Light. The Old Fort Niagara Association operates a small gift shop in the watch house.
The light is located within Old Fort Niagara State Park and a small fee is required to enter. The adjacent restored Old Fort Niagara is well worth spending some time touring the buildings and watching the reenactments.
The State of New York maintains a wonderful scenic by-way called the Seaway Trail. Along this roadway are many lighthouses, all described in a pamphlet called Seaway Trail Lighthouses, which is available from Seaway Trail, Inc., Madison Barracks, 109 Barracks Drive, Sackets Harbor, NY 13685.
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