On the Canadian shores of the magnificent Niagara River, which connects Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, stands an old fort that has a long history of protection and preservation. This is Old Fort Erie, sometimes referred to for student education and in historical journals as Fort Erie National Historic Site of Canada.
Forts are often built to keep invaders out, but today the doors and gates at Old Fort Erie are wide open, inviting visitors in to explore the history of this beautiful site.
The original fort dates back to the mid 1700s, and had been rebuilt about 100 years later. It’s destruction and demise were both a result of human and natural circumstances. Old Fort Erie was also the site of the bloodiest battle during the War of 1812, when Canada fought our southern neighbours and defined our current borders.
The grounds at Old Fort Erie have a historic hum to them and the buildings, walls and doors still stand as a reminder of the lives lost here, though the ambiance now is one of peace and quiet. With no tourists around and schools closed, there wasn’t a soul in sight. So I had the time to capture some shots, and really enjoy the place.
A walk up to this bridge meant I had to close the door ahead to capture it with my camera for Thursday Doors. These are heavy wooden doors that led to a bunker, perhaps a place to store artillery, for self-protection or to surprise the enemy.
Plenty of doors and windows on this old barracks, housing the soldiers that fought here.
This large entryway looks out over the Niagara River with the city of Buffalo in the distance across the river.
Although a pathway now, you can easily imagine the drawbridge rising to prevent invaders, the heavy chains pulling the door up quickly, and the dip in the landscape surrounding the fort hints of a previous moat.
Inside the building is a museum with several old artifacts and plenty of information on the history of the place.
The area is now owned by the Niagara Parks Commission, who are stewards of several historical landmarks and other interesting places in the area.
In non-pandemic times you can attend several events that relive the history of this incredible place. You can find more information here https://www.niagaraparks.com/visit/heritage/old-fort-erie/
And one more door, because why not.
This is my third post on Thursday Doors, and as promised last week, this week is about my recent explorations of the beautiful Niagara region. I look forward to seeing all your fabulous doors and learning about your travels. because I am sure we are all feeling the travel itch. A good reason to day trip near home.