One Of New York’s Oldest Buildings Is In Niagara County
Old Fort Niagara has a rich 300-year history.
During the colonial times, a fort at the mouth of the Niagara River controlled access to the Great Lakes and the westward route to the heartland. It remained an active military post well into the 20th century.
Old Fort Niagara features one of the nation’s finest collections of original 18th- and early 19th-century military architecture and related artifacts.
The architectural collection includes six 18th century buildings, the oldest extant structures of any type in the Great Lakes region. The earliest, the French Castle, was built in 1726 and is the oldest building in North America situated between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River.
The fort also has three extensive areas of fortifications, examples of changing defensive technologies spanning a century of military activity in North America. These include earthen and log outer walls and fortified works constructed in 1755, stone walls and artillery emplacements, and brick underground casemate galleries and outer walls dating from 1863-72.
Old Fort Niagara was restored between 1929 and 1934. It is operated today by the Old Fort Niagara Association, Inc., a not-for-profit organization, in cooperation with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Admission fees, Museum Shop sales, grants, and donations provide support for the operation of the site. Membership in the Old Fort Niagara Association is open to all.
Just walking through the old fort brings memories of a bygone era...the sights, the smells you almost feel like you are a part of history.