French Heritage Day Will Share Early Niagara History with the Public, Nov. 5by Charlotte Clark
(October 24, 2016) Youngstown, N.Y. - On Saturday, November 5, Old Fort Niagara will present "French Heritage Day" through a series of interactive and educational activities for the public. The programs will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will convey the influence and impact of the French on Niagara's early history, from 1726 through 1759.
"We have hosted a French heritage day for students in high school and from French classes across the region for many years, and we are excited to offer it to the public this year," said Robert Emerson, Executive Director of the Old Fort Niagara Association. "The French were the first Europeans to explore the Niagara region, to establish trade with the Native people here, and to build the first permanent trading post, which visitors recognize as our French Castle to this day. The French were not here for long, but their influence is still present."
Some history: The French began exploring the Niagara region in the 17th century. In 1726, they constructed Le Maison Machicoulis, a large stone building known today as the French Castle. This building, surrounded by a wooden stockade, was designed to house 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 until the 1759 siege, when the British took control of the fort.
On November 5, the public will learn more about the French in the very building they constructed. In addition, they will witness:
· Food and cooking techniques from the 1700s
· Hands-on introduction to the 18th century fur trade
· 18-century French medicine
· French soldier life
· Musket firing demonstrations
· Cannon firing demonstrations
· 18th century French games
Everything is included with regular admission to the fort, which is $12 for adults, $8 for children, and free for children ages 5 and under and for Old Fort Niagara Association members.
The fort's final event of the year will be "Castle by Candlelight" on the evenings of December 3 and 10. Tickets will be $10 per person and sold at the door.
Old Fort Niagara (www.oldfortniagara.org) is located in Fort Niagara State Park in Youngstown, N.Y., which is 14 miles north of Niagara Falls via the northbound Niagara Scenic Parkway (Robert Moses Parkway). The fort is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admissions end 30 minutes before closing. Old Fort Niagara is a Registered National Historic Landmark and New York State Historic Site operated by the Old Fort Niagara Association (a not-for-profit organization) in cooperation with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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.
Please note: Ticket sales end 30 minutes before closing time.
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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.