The Fortified Mouth of the Niagara River

The Fortified Mouth of the Niagara River (HM109C)

Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0 Niagara Regional Municipality
Country: Canada

N 43° 15.127', W 79° 3.74'

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The St.Lawrence and Great Lakes system was the most efficient route to the interior of the continent of North America. Large waterways allowed for substantial sailing vessels to trade and maintain contact with Native allies from Montreal to the Mississippi with minimal portages and transhipment in smaller boats. The one great obstacle along the chain of waterways was Niagara Falls whose dramatic height required some control of the land to allow for a portage around the escarpment and the falls to the lakes beyond. The strategic importance of this area led to the construction of several forts at the mouth of the river in an attempt to control this critical water route.

Fort Mississauga 1814 - 1870
· Built on the site of the first lighthouse on the Great Lakes (1804)>
· Construction begins in 1814 to replace Fort George
· Importance of waterways reduced by construction of Erie (1825) and Welland (1829) canals
· Base for British/Canadian defense during Rebellion Crisis 1837, U.S. Civil War and the Fenian Raids 1866 + 1870.

Fort George 1796 - 1824
· Built by the British in 1796 to counter sudden American occupation of Fort Niagara
· Principal fortification and Headquarters of Centre Division during the War of 1812
· Engaged in several artillery duels in 1812
· Destroyed, captured and occupied by U.S. forces in May of 1813
· Modified by occupying U.S. forces to defend against a land assault
· Re-occupied by British in December 1814
· Butler's Barracks (1814) complex built out of range of U.S. artillery
· Used until 1824

Fort Niagara
French Occupation 1679 - 1759
· Fort Conti 1679
· Fort Denonville (small wooden complex 1687)
Fort Niagara
· First stone structures 1726
· Critical post for fur trade and defensive works against the Iroquois
· Suffered the only European-style siege in North America in 1759
· Surrendered to British and colonial allies on July 25, 1759
British Occupation 1759 - 1796
· Constructed naval yard on Canadian side in 1765 (became Navy Hall)
· Used as a base for British raids through American Revolution
· Safe refuge for thousands of displaced Loyalists and First Nations people
· Ceded to the United States in 1796 according to the terms of Jay's Treaty
U.S. Occupation 1796 - 1903
· Engaged in several artillery duels in 1812
· Severely damaged during the War of 1812
· Base of American operations for the Battle of Fort George
· Captured by British in 1813 and held until 1815
· Modified in reaction to Upper Canadian Rebellion 1837 and U.S. Civil War
· Abandoned for military use 1903
HM NumberHM109C
Placed ByParks Canada
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 at 11:51am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17T E 657290 N 4790635
Decimal Degrees43.25211667, -79.06233333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 43° 15.127', W 79° 3.74'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds43° 15' 7.62" N, 79° 3' 44.40" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)863
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 227 Byron St, Niagara-on-the-Lake ON L0S 1J0, CA
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