From the wreckage of the steamship Cibola which caught fire at the Lewiston dock on July 15, 1895. Tragedy struck in 1895 when the Cibola caught fire at the Lewiston dock and in turn, burned the American Hotel to the ground. The fire started in the oilroom at one o'clock in the morning while the 32 member crew slept. Everyone escaped except engineer William Hammond of Toronto, who perished in the blaze. The steel hull of the Cibola drifted 2 miles down the river and ran aground. This anchor is all that remains of the steamship. Here is a picture of the Cibola taken from Lewiston. Queenston, Ontario, is on the other side of the Niagara River. The Cibola, whih could carry 1200 passengers, was built in Kingston, Ontario, and was launched in 1887. Lewiston's Busy Waterfront in 1895. Lewiston was booming in 1895 as one of the major passenger ports on the Great Lakes. Over 10,000 people a day arrived and departed by steamships. In this realistic painting by Niagara Falls artist Bob Averill, you can see the Canadian steamship, Cibola, arriving to drop off passengers from Toronto. Travelers would then get on a train to Buffalo and points beyond. The buildings known as the Trafford Mansion (far left) and Angler's Retreat (upper left) are still standing. The blue building on the right is the American Hotel which was built in 1858 and burned to the ground when the Cibola caught fire next to it. Prior to the American Hotel, another hotel called the Steamboat Hotel was located at the site. The red trolley was part of the Great Gorge Route and took passengers along the bottom of the gorge to Niagara Falls. Preident William McKinley took the trolley to Lewiston in 1901. His assasin was here in Lewiston and stalked him, eventually shooting McKinley later the same day in Buffalo at the Pan-Am Exposition.