French Heritage Day

Sat Nov 9th, 2019 - 10 am to 4 pm
Learn about the French influences on the Niagara frontier in the mid 1700s.









Behind the thick stone walls of Old Fort Niagara’s French Castle, Old Fort Niagara’s staff and volunteers will offer living history programs for visitors about the French influences on the Niagara region. They will portray French soldiers, Native traders, voyageurs and civilians and the public will learn about:

  • Hands-on introduction to the 18th century fur trade
  • French military music
  • Food and cooking techniques from the 1700s
  • French soldier life
  • Religion in the original Catholic chapel
  • Musket firing demonstrations
  • Cannon firing demonstrations
  • 18th century French games
  • 18th century surveying

The French Castle is at the heart of “French Heritage Day.” It was built by the French in 1726 and is the oldest original building that still exists on the Great Lakes. It was surrounded by a wooden stockade and housed about 40 soldiers. The new fort protected French interests in the region and provided a venue where Frenchmen and Native Americans could meet to negotiate and trade.

Regular admission prices apply to “French Heritage Day”: $13 for adults, $9 for children, and free for children ages 5 and under and for Old Fort Niagara Association members.

Did you know...

The fort offers a Hearth Cooking Workshop in the French Castle’s boulangerie from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on French Heritage Day. The workshop will teach eight participants how to cook an 18th-century meal over an open hearth. It includes recipes, ingredients, tools and techniques. The class is open to anyone, regardless of cooking or fire-making skills, and includes lunch (eating the prepared meal). Niagara County Historian Kate Emerson will instruct. Participation in the workshop is $50 per person or $45 for Old Fort Niagara Association members. Reservations can be made by calling (716) 745-7611 during normal business hours.

General Events Event

Hours of Operation

The Fort is open year round with the exception of New Years Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

  • Jan - June 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • July - Aug - 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sept - Dec - 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.

General Admission



Children (6 to 12 years) 


Children (5 and under):



Please note: Ticket sales end 30 minutes before closing time.



Support the Fort

Old Fort Niagara is operated by the Old Fort Niagara Association, an independent, not-for-profit organization established in 1927. We do not rely on tax dollars. Instead, the Fort is funded through a combination of admission fees, museum shop sales, and charitable contributions.

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