If you’ve ever been to Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario and you happen to walk along the river’s edge or stand at Fort George take a quick look across the Niagara River. You’ll see standing tall at the river’s mouth a collection of somber stone buildings. But what you may not realize is that you’re looking at the oldest stone structures west of Montreal and the longest serving military outpost in the United States, Fort Niagara. The site itself was first occupied for a brief period by the French in the late 17th Century before establishing Fort Niagara and building the “French Castle” in 1726.
The Fort would fall to the British during their siege in during the Seven Year’s War (French-Indian War). Under British control, the fort would expand and serve as a bastion of the British during the American Revolution providing a base for colonial troops and a haven for United Empire Loyalists fleeing persecution by American rebels (or Patriots depending on your point of view). It would be turned over to the Americans at the conclusion of the conflict. Only to be recaptured during the War of 1812 after a surprise night assault as a reprisal for the destruction of Niagara-On-The-Lake. It would be returned to the Americans and serve the American army through the major conflicts of the 20th century, although the historic colonial fort was a tourist destination since the 1920s. To this day it remains a military base, with a cost guard detachment sitting below the old fort.
Fort Niagara is my personal favourite fort in the region and my fort of choice should the zombie apocalypse happen. Plus they always put on a good show on the Labour Day weekend with their annual 1812 weekend for both the reenactors and public. Also of more interesting note on the fort property is a monument dedicated to a little-known, yet very important agreement between the British Empire and the United States, the Rush-Baggot Agreement. This agreement is what made the border between Canada and the United States (relatively) undefended.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25
Blazinal (1+25) 6:00 @ 20C
Meter: Pentax Spotmeter V
Scanner: Epson V700
Editor: Adobe Photoshop CC (2015)