Foreword by the President of the Lewiston-Queenston Rotary Club.
The Lewiston-Queenston Rotary Club is, in itself, unique among the 7,000 clubs which comprise Rotary International in that it is an international club with territorial limits that reach across an international boundary to embrace both Lewiston in the State of New York and Queenston in the Province of Ontario and to include citizens of the United States and of Canada in its membership. Meetings of the club are held on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. during the summer months at Brock's Monument at Queenston Heights on the crest of the Niagara escarpment where, from the refectory verandas, panoramic views may be had of the Lower Niagara River winding its way to Lake Ontario, and during the remainder of the year at Lewiston Manor on the other side of the Lewiston-Queenston International Bridge.
The historic villages of Lewiston and Queenston are situated on either side of the Niagara River at the foot of the escarpment from which, since the end of the glacial period, the cataract of Niagara has cut back its spectacular gorge for seven miles to its present location. Some of the events which took place amid these scenic surroundings were of vital and lasting significance in shaping the history of the North American continent and particularly of United States and Canada. It is therefore with pride and appreciation that the Lewiston-Queenston Rotary Club provides a brief account of these events for its members and the community by the publication of "A Short History of the Niagara Portage" from the recording of a recent address to the club by Josiah Boardman Scovell, one of its charter, later senior active and now honorary members, and better known to the club as its own "J.B."
The details of the career of Mr. Scovell are well known in Western New York and along the border. However, the members of this club may well recall, when reading his address, that he is an octogenarian native of Lewiston where he has always kept his voting residence; that he is a descendant of colonial and revolutionary ancestors; that his life has been devoted to the betterment of living conditions in this community; that his professional ability has been recognized both at home and abroad; that he is considered a legislative authority on the development of hydro-electric power from boundary waters and its utilization by electro-chemical industries; that he has long been a serious student of local history; and particularly that he is a charter member and now the acting President of the Niagara Frontier Landmarks Association which is the clearing-house of the patriotic and historical societies of Western New York and which, during the past fifty years, has financed, placed or cooperated in the placing of many boulders with bronze tablets or other suitable descriptive markers at places of historic interest on both sides of the International Boundary. Some of these markers are shown in pictures, interleaved in his address and supplied through the skill and courtesy of Harold G. Humphrey, our prize photographer and prized member, to whom as well as to "J. B." this club expresses its many, many thanks.
"He Profits Most Who Serves Best"
Thomas R. Mathias, President
Lewiston, New York January 1, 1951