When you teach local history you teach Buffalo-Niagara Falls history. and its role in the War of 1812, you give mention to Fort Niagara and Fort Schlosser as the guardians of the portage that bypasses the mighty Niagara Falls. Fort Niagara gets the greatest coverage because it exists and is a tourist attraction. Fort Schlosser/Fort Petit Niagara) are gone and have been gone for near 200 years.
One month ago I did a piece about my stumbling across an “Old Stone Chimney” which is a surviving remnant of the now gone forts. This hidden gem led me to this tidbit of information:
Fort Little Niagara: 1750, Niagara County, Niagara Falls. A small blockhouse and storehouse was first erected in 1745 at a location known as “Frenchman’s Landing.” In 1751 the upper end of the portage from Fort Niagara was moved a few hundred yards South and Fort Little Niagara or Fort du Portage was constructed. Consisted of three good sized blockhouses with palisades between them and the river. Destroyed when abandoned in 1759 at the approach of the English. Rebuilt by British as Fort Schlosser in 1760.
For a city that is looking for alternative attractions to the mighty Niagara Falls maybe the leaders of the City of Niagara Falls should look for a developer and operator of a restored “Fort Petit (Little) Niagara.” Maybe that operator could be Maid of the Mist Steam Boat Company. It recently signed a contract with the State of New York to build a facility down in the gorge for its boat trips to the base of the Niagara Falls. Adding a reconstructed 18th century fort with dock above the falls in the upper river could be another tourist attraction and revenue source.