THE INDISPENSABLE TOURIST'S AND WHEELMAN'S GUIDE
TO THE NIAGARA DISTRICT,
--BY-JAMES MAIN DIXON, F. R. S. EDIN.
[PUBLISHED BY THE NIAGARA FALLS ADVERTISER, NIAGARA FALLS, CANADA.]
Flow on forever, in thy glorious robe
Of terror and of beauty. Yea, flow on
Unfathom'd and resistless. God hath set
His rainbow on thy forehead, and the cloud
Mantled around thy feet. And He doth give
Thy voice of thunder power to speak of Him
Eternally,--bidding the lip of man
Keep silent,--and upon thy rocky altar pour
Incense of awe-struck praise.
Entered according to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year 1899, by the Niagara Falls Advertiser? at the Department of Agriculture,
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1899, by the Niagara Falls Advertiser, in the office of the librarian of Congress, at Washington.
I. Preface 2
II. Hints to Wheelmen 3
III.Niagara Falls, N. Y. 4
IV. Niagara Falls, Ont .. 6
(1) Niagara Falls.: 6
(2) Niagara Falls Centre 6
(3) Niagara Falls South 6
(4) Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park... 6
V.Facts about the Falls 7
VI. Notable Incidents Connected with the Falls. 7
VII. The Niagara District 8
I. By Dufferin Islands and Falls View 9
II. To Beaverdams and DeCew Falls 9
III.To Montrose and Chippawa 10
IV. To Stamford 10
V. To Brock's Monument and St. Davids 10
VI. To Queenston and Niagara-on-the-Lake 10
VII. To St. Catharines 10
VIII. To Ridgeway and Fort Erie 10
IX. To Indian Village 10
X. To Lewiston and Fort Niagara 11
XI. To LaSalle and Fort Gray 11
XII. To Buffalo 11
DESCRIPTION OF ROUTES.
I. Through and about Victoria Park 11
II. To Beaverdams and DeCew Falls, by way of Lundy's Lane 12
III. To Montrose and Chippawa, by Lundy’s Lane,
returning by Victoria Park 13
IV. To Stamford 14
V. To Brock's Monument and St. Davids 15
VI. To Niagara-on-the-Lake 17
VII. To St. Catharines and neighborhood 18
VIII. To Ridgeway and Fort Erie 18
IX. To Indian Village 20
X. To Lewiston and Fort Niagara. 21
XI. To LaSalle and Fort Gray 22
XII. To Buffalo and back 23
Prefatory Note to Appendixes 25
APPENDIXES. ALPHABETICALLY ARRANGED.
1. Beaverdams, Battle of 26
2. Buffalo and Neighborhood 27
3. Chippawa, Battle of 28
4. Devil's Hole, Massacre at the 29
5. Fenian Invasion, The, of 1866 29
6. Lundy's Lane, Battle of 30
7. Lundy's Lane Cemetery (with map) 33
8. Lundy's Lane Observatory and Museum 36
9. Niagara, History of Old 36
10. Queenston Heights, Battle of 38
11. Rebellion, The, of 1837 40
12. Stoney Creek, Battle of 41
13. Welland Canal, The 42
1. Niagara District
2. Lundy's Lane Cemetery 34
3. Niagara Falls, (N.Y. and Ont.) 44
The unique natural and historic attractions of the Niagara District make it a paradise for the summer visitor; and yet many of the hundreds of thousands who visit it annually depart after having seen but a fraction of these attractions. The present work grew out of the realization that the wants of the intelligent visitor were not sufficiently catered to. As the product of much active rambling and pleasant research, it is now humbly offered by an enthusiastic wheelman and pedestrian to wheelmen and pedestrians. To those who prefer the aid of a horse in locomotion it should prove equally useful.
Mr. C. H. Mitchell, town engineer, Niagara Falls, Ont., has been very kind in preparing my rough-draft maps for the engraver.
In a preparatory note to the Appendixes I have acknowledged my indebtedness for historic material.
On the wonderful beauties of the Cataract and Rapids I have not expatiated—they appeal to everyone. Nor do they lessen with time and familiarity, but rather does the fascination grow.
St. Louis, Mo., January, 1899.
Hints to Wheelmen.
There are very few restrictions upon cycling either on the New York or Ontario side of the Falls. On the Ontario side, when the roadway is not good, no objection is made to riding on the sidewalks, so long as passengers are politely warned, and afterwards thanked for making way. This does not apply to other Canadian townships, where the sidewalks are strictly reserved for pedestrians. In Buffalo, a city of wheelmen, various regulations are strictly enforced-such as keeping to the right of the roadway, etc.
Members of the League of American Wheelmen are allowed to take their wheels into Canada free of duty. Other wheelmen are charged a duty of 30 per cent on the estimated value, the money being returned when the visit is over.
So far as my own experience of the climate goes, it [?] much more than it rains.
Niagara Falls, N. Y.
Most visitors to the great Falls arrive at the railway station situated at the corner of Falls and Second streets. There is also another railway station one block north, on Second and Niagara streets, by which N. Y. L. E- & W. and Wabash trains come in. The first station is only four blocks and the second only five distant from the State Park. Electric cars pass both stations, some taking to the Union Station at the lower R. R. bridges, by Main street, others leaving Main street one block north of Niagara street and descending into the gorge for Lewiston. At the park end of Falls street there is a soldiers' monument, erected in 1876. From this point the above two electric lines start; and also the electric cars for Buffalo, every 15 minutes' Baggage cars (carrying bicycles) leave at 8 and 11.30 a. m. and 2.30 and 5 p.m.; baggage can be checked at any time Fare to Buffalo, 35c; return (unlimited) 50c. Gorge route cars: Fare to Lewiston, 30c; to Youngstown and Fort Niagara, 50c; round trip to Lewiston, returning on Canadian side, 75c.
Close to the monument, at the corner of Falls and Canal streets, and immediately above the upper bridge, is the huge observatory tower with elevator. Those anxious to have a bird's eye view of the neighborhood will have their wish gratified here; admission, 50c.
Stretching along the bank of the river, from the hydraulic canal to the upper bridge, is the New York State Reservation Park, opened to the public in July, 1885. It is about 107 acres in extent and is beautifully laid out. The portion between the American Falls and the upper bridge is known as the Grove.
Since the opening of the park the Falls can be visited without fear of extortion. The superintendent of the reservation exercises a control over hackmen; there are established fares, and visitors who are fleeced have themselves to blame. At the corner of the Grove, beside an archway, is the superintendent's office. Ask here for the map and guide, a folder furnished free of charge to all visitors. This map gives a bird's eye view of the American and Canadian parks, with the Falls between. On the back of the folder there is a small but useful historic map of the river. The rest of the back contains printed matter of the utmost value to visitors.
Along the city side of the grove will be noticed Indian women from the Tuscarora Reservation (See Route XI) vending moccasins, pincushions and other fancy articles. Within the Grove are picnic grounds, a cascade fountain with drinking fountain beside it, a pavilion, hall and library. Just below the library, and close to the upper bridge, is the platform known as Hennepin's View. Further up the bank is the Inclined Railway, which conducts to the steamboat landing below. Here passengers get on board "The Maid of the Mist" (fare, 50 cents). There is a fee of 10 cents for conveying visitors up and down the Inclined Railway; but the use of the stairs is free (251 steps.)
Close to the Inclined Railway is Prospect Point, a stone platform at the corner of the Grove, washed by the waters of the Niagara, as they slip over the precipice. This is a view which fascinates visitors. Turn to the left and proceed up the bank of the stream in full view of the rapids and the islands beyond. At the edge of the American fall, across from Prospect Pt., is Luna I, reached from the large island by a bridge, and above it are Crow I., Blackbird I., and Robinson's I. At the upper end, in full view of the shore, there is a rock, known as Avery's Rock.
Here on the morning of July 19, 1853, a man was seen, who had been drawn into the rapids when crossing with a companion from Chippawa. Boats and ropes were lowered, and many unavailing attempts were made to rescue him. Finally in attempting to get on a raft that had been floated down, he fell into the river and was drowned, after an hour's struggle for life..
The bridge to the large island is soon reached. The present bridge was built in 1856 to replace a wooden structure of 1818. In 1817 the first bridge was built, but was washed away in the winter. The first four spans conduct to Bath Island, once .covered with unsightly mills. The two small islands above it are known as Ship Island and Brig Island. Two more spans land one on Goat Island, now 6£ acres in extent; it was formerly said to contain 250 acres.
It received its present name from the circumstance that some goats were placed upon it; they died, however, during the severe winter of 1779-80. Thirty-six years later it became the property of General Porter (see Appendix 6). There is delightful wheeling as well as walking round and about the island. Turning to the left one finds at the foot of the stone steps a well of the finest water. Rounding the southeast corner, you come to the pavilion. Close by are the steps leading down to the Three Sisters Islands, connected with Goat Island in 1868 by strong suspension bridges. Little Brother Island lies just below the third Sister Island. You are now in the magnificent Canadian rapids.
Under the first Sister Island bridge is what is known as the Hermit's Cascade. Here in 1829 an accomplished youth, named Francis Abbott, an Englishman, known since as the Hermit of the Falls, used to bathe. He lived in a hut near the spot for two years. In 1831 he was drowned, while bathing near the foot of the Inclined Railway.
Out in the rapids, about midway across, note the remains of Gull Island, so late as 1840 covering two acres.
Continue down to the Horseshoe Falls and find the stairway leading to the bridge, which conducts to Terrapin Park, the best scenic point on the American side. From 1833 to 1873 there stood here the old Terrapin Tower (or "Horseshoe" or "Prospect"), built of stones gathered in the vicinity. It was considered unsafe and was pulled down. Formerly a piece of timber used to jut out at this point, over the precipice. On it Francis Abbott was constantly seen, walking fearlessly back and forth at all hours of the night. In the winter of 1852, a visitor from West Troy, N. Y., slipped from the bridge, and was happily caught between two rocks, whence he was rescued unconscious.
Returning to Goat Island and rounding the west side, you will come to the Biddle Stairs, erected by Nicholas Biddle, a Philadelphian banker, in 1829. These stairs conduct to the water's edge. The fee for a guide and oilcloth outfit is one dollar.
A plank walk leads to the Cave of the Winds, under the Central Fall, sometimes called Aeolus Cavern, and first entered in 1834. The air in the huge chamber is so compressed, by the falling water, as to make it resemble the abode of Aeolus:
" Hie vasto rex Aeolus antro, Luetantes ventos tempestatesque sonoras, Imperio premit ac vinclis et earcerefrenat."
There are splendid rainbow effects in the afternoon, when the sun is shining. The visit is more or less a wet one, according to the direction of the wind.
Remounting the stairs, pass by Stedman's Bluff, where a great landslip occurred in 1847, and go on to Luna Island, descending to the bridge either by stone steps or by a winding pathway. The bridge crosses the rapids above Central or Luna Fall. The views from Luna Island are particularly fine. Return from Luna Island to the bridge, and thence make a tour of the park, as far as the Hydraulic Canal.
The city is a bustling one, with mills, breweries, dime museums and gay bazaars. The streets are well-paved with asphalt or vitrified brick. Three bridges connect with the Canadian shore :
1. The upper bridge, once a suspension bridge, but converted into an arched bridge in 1898. Fare for crossing, 10 cents; return (the same day) 15 cents. Passengers have the option of riding on an electric car, which runs every few minutes. The first bridge, built in 1872, fell in the great storm of Jan. 10, 1889.
2. The Michigan Central cantilever bridge, a graceful structure, at the lower end of the town--for railroad traffic only.
3. The Grand Trunk arched bridge (formerly suspension), with foot and carriage way beneath the railroad tracks. Fare, 10 cents; return (same day) free.
Immediately below No. 3 on the river bank are the grounds of DeVeaux College, an educational establishment under Episcopal auspices.
The lower rapids and whirlpool are best seen by taking the Gorge route down to Lewiston and returning by the Queenston electric railway.
Niagara Falls, Ontario.
This expression divides itself at once into four:
1. The town of Niagara Falls, formerly known as Clifton, and still so designated by the Michigan Central R'y Co. One block south of the large G. T. R. station on Bridge Street is the M. C. R. "Clifton" station, used also by the St. Catharines and Niagara Central R'y; here they keep central time, one hour slow. The offices and chief station of the Niagara Falls Park and River Electric R'y are at the foot of Bridge Street. Ask for their folder; it gives useful information and a scenic map; bicycles are allowed on all the cars free of charge Rates for tourists: Bridge Street to Queenston, 25 cents; round trip (same day) 40 cents; to upper bridge, 10 cents; to Chippawa, 20 cents, round trip (same day) 35 cents. To residents (summer or permanent) tickets at a considerable reduction are sold at this office.
One block south from Bridge Street, on Clifton Avenue, is the handsome post office and customs building. On Erie Avenue, one block west of the post office, are the principal offices and stores. Clifton Avenue meets the river road at the Episcopal Church. Recent improvements have made of this a very fine highway.
A horse car leaves Bridge Street every 40 minutes for Niagara Falls Centre and South by way of Erie (south) and Queen (west), Welland Avenue (south), Morrison (west), St. Lawrence Avenue (south), Simcoe (west) and Victoria Avenue (south) to Ferry Road (west), with south terminus a few blocks south of Lundy's Lane.
2. Niagara Falls Centre, with post office on Centre Street, one block west from M. C. "Niagara Falls" station. Here the Oneida Community (represented also on the N. Y. side) have a factory and several community halls. At the foot of the hill leading from the M. C. R'y station stood the Clifton House, burnt to the ground in 1898. To the north on high ground bordering on Victoria Avenue and the Michigan Central R'y tracks is (or was) Wesley Park, intended for summer social religious gatherings. It has, however, failed to perpetuate itself.
3. Niagara Falls South, formerly called Drummondville, after Sir Gordon Drummond, who commanded the British forces at the battle of Lundy's Lane, served later as an administrator, and died in London, in 1857, at the ripe age of 82. The village is situated at the junction of Lundy's Lane with the Chippawa and St. David's Portage Road. (See Appendixes 6, 7, and 8).
4. Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park covers an area of 154 acres, and extends along the west bank of the Niagara River for two and a half miles. The southern entrance is one block north of the upper bridge. There belongs to the park, in addition, a strip of land 50 feet wide, stretching along the river bank as far as Queenston. The park is open free of charge to all, and there are no restrictions on wheeling. Throughout the grounds are many drinking fountains, and pleasant arbours. There are two exits to the west, one known as the Jelly Cut (a very steep pathway), and the other as the Murray Street Ravine, leading up to the Falls View railway station of the M. C. railway. This is a carriage way, but too steep for wheeling. Both conduct to the open meadows, south of All Saints" church, Niagara Falls South. (See Route I).
The most interesting spot in the park used to be Table Rock, a huge platform extending over the river, about ten rods below the Falls. It kept rapidly diminishing in size during the century. In July, 1818, a huge mass, 160x35, broke off. Ten years later three immense bits fell with a great concussion; and in the following year another mass fell in; again in 1850 a huge piece, 200x60 feet, gave way, and finally, by order of the government, the remainder, being considered unsafe, was exploded. The fragments lie in the river below. Mrs. Sigourney wrote, on Table Rock, her "Apostrophe to Niagara." This is the traditional spot for going down under the Falls. An elevator (25 cents) is at the service of visitors, and another quarter sucures the use of an oil-cloth suit from Table Rock House close by. The descent fully repays one. Nowhere else is so overpowering an impression conveyed of the power and beauty of the cataract. Where the path ends a tunnel, 150 feet in length, has been made so as to give the visitor a view of the inner side of the great sheet of water, as it descends in spray.
After passing the power house of the Niagara Falls Park and River Railway one comes to Cedar Island and the south end of the park, admission to which formerly cost 10 cents--now no longer demanded. For the rest of the attractions see Route I.
Facts About the Falls.
Height of the Horseshoe fall, 158 feet. Height of the American fall, 167 feet. Width of American fall, 1660 feet. Average depth of river from Lake Erie to the falls, 20 feet.
Depth between the falls and the whirlpool, 75 to 200 feet.
Depth of the whirlpool, 400 feet.
Estimated volume of water passing over the falls per minute, 18,000,000 cubic feet.
Minimum annual rate of recession of the Horseshoe fall, 24 feet.
Actual recession between 1842 and 1886, 300 feet.
The famous ice bridge, as it is called, which forms in winters, is really a large ice flow, which is upheaved from the great pressure. The ice mountain forms below the American fall and is a huge cap of frozen spray covering the boulders.
The recession of the American fall is trifling. No human being has ever gone over the falls and survived.
Notable Incidents Connected with the Falls.
Sam Patch jumped twice from a platform 97 feet above the river, under Goat Island, 1829.
Blondin crossed the chasm on a tight rope carrying his manager, Harry Calcourt, on his back, Aug. 17, 1859.
Blondin performed before the Prince of Wales, 1860.
Joel Robinson piloted the Maid of the Mist, with engineer on board, through the gorge right to Queenston in order to sell the vessel, 1861.
Bellini performed on a tight rope which was stretched from Prospect Park to the Ferry landing, and twice jumped into the river, being nearly drowned on the third occasion, 1873.
Stephen Peere gave performances on a steel cable below the G. T. R. bridge, 1878.
Capt. Matthew Webb was drowned in swimming down the whirlpool rapids without the aid of a life preserver, July 24, 1883.
DeWitt lost his life trying to climb the ice-mountain alone, Feb. 28, 1886.
Carlisle Graham navigated the whirlpool in a barrel (elaborately constructed), July 11, 1886.
Messrs. Potts and Hazlitt also navigated it in a barrel, Aug. 19, 1886.
Mr. Potts and Miss Sadie Allen navigated it together, in a barrel, 1886.
Kendall, a Boston policeman, wearing a life preserver, swam the rapids to the whirlpool. Aug. 22, 1886.
Lawrence Donovan jumped from the upper suspension bridge, breaking a rib, Nov. 17, 1886.
Stephen Peere was drowned, while performing, June 25, 1887.
Chas, A. Percy navigated the whirlpool in a life-boat of his construction, Aug. 28, 1887.
Robert Hack attempted to navigate the whirlpool, strapped in a life-boat, but was drowned and his body mangled, July 4, 1888.
Samuel Dixon crossed the gorge on Feere's wire, per-forming some acrobatic feats on the passage, Sept. 6, 189
The Niagara District.
When the white man first began to push westward to the great chain of lakes, which are so striking a feature of the physiography of the continent, a tribe of Indians, known as the Neutral Nation, lived on the banks of the Niagara river. They were called Neutrals because they were neither a Huron nor an Iroquois tribe, but were friendly to both of these powerful confederations. The name Niagara, originally Onghiara, was given to this fishing settlement at the mouth of the river, on the site of the present Niagara-on-She-Lake. It is the sole word which survives of the language. The accent falls properly on the middle a. Goldsmith's lines in "The Traveller," therefore, which require this pronunciation, register the earlier use:
“Where wild Oswego spreads his swamps around, And Niagara stuns with thundering sound.”
Father Hennepin is said to have been the first to spell the word in the modern way: and it appears so far for the first time in cartography in Coronelli's map, published in 1688. Above the falls the river seems to have been considered part of Lake Erie.
The Neutral Nation was finally exterminated about 1650 by the Iroquois. The Seneca branch of this tribe then took possession of the eastern side, while the Mississaugas. of the great Chippawa nation, settled on the Canadian side. Their name survives in Fort Mississauga, situated at the entrance to the Niagara river, opposite Fort Niagara. This tribe were better fishermen than hunters.
There has survived an interesting story of early Indian days, which reminds me of the old Andromeda legend. Every year the fairest maiden of the tribe was given as a propitiatory victim to the deity of the cataract. Gaily arrayed, and sitting erect in a white birch bark canoe, she launched into the rapids and was borne swiftly, like a feather, over the edge of the cataract into the boiling cauldron beneath. The death, so far from being shunned by the girls of the tribe, was eagerly coveted as a distinction. On the last occasion of the observance of this rite, as the canoe of the maiden darted forward to its fate, another canoe was seen to follow it. The occupant was no other than the girl's father, the much-trusted chief of the tribe. The sacrifice of his valuable life seemed too great, and the practice was henceforth abandoned.
The first white man to ascend the Niagara river and behold the Falls was probably Father Hennepin, who had been dispatched by the enterprising La Salle, with a number of artizans, to construct a boat for the navigation of the upper lakes. It was in the winter of 1678, that he landed in Lewiston and disembarked his stores. Then he ascended what he named "the three mountains," or triple terrace, on the right bank of the river. His description of the Falls has often been quoted. For the story of the Building of the Griffon, near the present village of La Salle, see Route XL
Few districts have suffered more from a change of nomenclature. We subjoin below a list of some of the changes:
Black Creek………………..Frenchman's Creek
Buffalo ………………………New Amsterdam
Dufferin Islands ………….Clark Hill Islands
Goat Island………………….Iris Island
Lake Ontario……………….Lake St. Louis
Navy Island………………….Isle de Marine
Niagara Falls, N. Y……….Grand Niagara; Manchester
Niagara Falls, Ont. ……………Clifton
Niagara Falls South…………..Drummondville
Niagara-on-the-Lake…………Butlersburg ; West Niagara ; Newark
Schlosser (Fort)……………….. Fort de Portage; Little Niagara
Ussher's Creek…………………..Street's Creek
The French control of the district ceased in 1759 with the fall of Quebec and the capture of Fort Niagara. The garrison at Fort de Portage, afraid lest their vessels should fall into the hands of the British, conveyed them across the channel and set fire to them at the south end of Grand Island, at a place known still as Burnt Ship Bay.
The history of the western shore began with the American Revolution. It was for the most part colonized by sturdy and excellent United Empire Loyalists, noted for their peaceful home life and their great longevity. There was a minority of less excellent material which in the war or 1812 helped to bring troubles upon the community. But the pluck and patriotic zeal shown by the settlers as a whole--both men and women--in repelling an alien invasion and the imposition at the point of the bayonet of a flag and political system they disliked, may well recall the brightest pages of Scotch or Swiss history. At the close of the war, instead of the fond dream of a Canadian frontier wiped out. there was, except at Amherstburg, a frontier line extended into the territory of the invaders. Americans may console themselves with the thought that many of their wisest statesmen passionately protested against this disastrous war. It was Canada's brilliant war of independence. For long it left intense bitterness on both sides of the frontier; but this feeling has grown weaker and weaker and is passing away altogether. Beth communities have prospered. The eastern shore of the Niagara river has its Erie canal; the western shore its Welland canal. On the American side the busy city of Buffalo, throbbing with electricity, drains the whole country side of its most active and ambitious youth. This industrial activity is characteristic of the right bank of the river down to Niagara Falls. The left bank is quiet and peaceful; a land »of peach orchards for the most part. Its fruit at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia and later at the Chicago World's Fair took from 70 to 90 p. c. of the awards. The Stars and Stripes and the Union Jack wave over happy and prosperous communities; there is room for emulation, but no room for hatred or mischievous jealousy.
(By Dufferin Islands and Falls View)
Niagara Falls Centre to Old Burning Spring, by way of Dufferin Islands….. 3.5 Miles.
Old Burning Spring to Niagara Falls Centre, by way of Loretto Convent…..2.7 Miles.
Niagara Falls Centre to Lundy's Lane Observatory…………………….1.0
Lundy's Lane Observatory to Allanburgh …………………………………..5.6
Allanburgh to Beaverdams…………………………………………………………2.3
Beaverdams to DeCew Falls……………………………………………………….2.9
DeCew Falls to Thorold……………………………………………………………….3.8
Thorold to Niagara Falls Centre…………………………………………………..8.7
To Montrose and Chippawa.
Niagara Falls Centre to Lundy Farm 2.4
Lundy Farm to Montrose Bridge 3.1
Montrose Bridge to Welland Road 2.3
By Welland Road to Chippawa Bridge 1.8
Chippawa Bridge to South Park Entrance 1.2
South Park Entrance to Victoria, Falls Centre 2.8
To Stamford by way of Lundy's Lane.
Niagara Falls Centre to Niagara Falls South 9
Niagara Falls South to Southend 1.8
Southend to Stamford 9
Stamford to Monument Road 1.0
By Monument Road to Cemetery 1.6
Cemetery to Grand Trunk Bridge 1.3
Grand Trunk Bridge to Niagara Falls Centre 1.9
To Brock's Monument and St. David's.
Niagara Falls Centre to Fairview Cemetery 2.0
Fairview Cemetery to Brock's Monument 4.7
Brock's Monument to St. David's 3.1
St. David's to Stamford 2.4
Stamford to Niagara Falls South 2.7
Niagara Falls South to Niagara Falls Centre 9
Niagara Falls Centre to Fairview Cemetery 2.0
Fairview Cemetery to Brock's Monument 4.7
Brock's Monument to Niagara-on-the-Lake 7.6
Niagara-on-the-Lake to Virgil 4.0
Virgil to St. David's 5.8
St. David's to Niagara Falls Centre 6.0
To St. Catharines.
Niagara Falls Centre to Thorold 8.7
Thorold to St. Catharines 5.3
St. Catharines to Homer 3.0
Homer to St. David's 5.0
St. David's to Niagara Falls Centre 6.0
St. Catharines to Port Dalhousie 3.0
St. Catharines to Stony Creek 31.0
St. Catharines to Niagara-on-the-Lake 12.0
To Ridgeway and Fort Erie.
Niagara Falls Centre to Stevensville 11.4
Stevensville to Ridgeway 4.5
Ridgeway to Fort Erie Village, by way of the old fort 7.6
Fort Erie Village to Slater's wharf 14.4
Slater's^ wharf to Niagara Falls Centre 5.0
To Indian Village.
Niagara Falls Centre to Grand Trunk R. R. bridge.. 1.9
Grand Trunk R.R. bridge to corner of Ontario and
Lockport St., Niagara Falls, N.Y 8
Corner of Lockport and Ontario St. to Military Road
Military Road crossing to Reservation schoolhouse.. 5.3
Reservation schoolhouse to river road 5.4
By river road to Grand Trunk bridge 3 3
Grand Trunk bridge to Niagara Falls Centre 1.9
To Lewiston and Fort Niagara.
Niagara Falls Centre to Grand Trunk bridge, east end 2.0
Grand Trunk bridge to Lewiston 5.4
Lewiston to Youngstown P. O 6.0
Youngstown P. O. to Fort Niagara 1.5
La Salle and Fort Gray.
Upper Bridge to La Salle bridge 6.1
La Salle to Lewiston Heights 7.5
Lewiston Heights to upper bridge. 5.3
From upper bridge to La Salle P. 0 5.8
La Salle P.O. to Tonawanda P. O 6.5
Tonawanda P.O. to Forest Lawn Cemetery 6.9
forest Lawn Cemetery to corner of Main St. and Genessee St 32
THROUGH AND ABOUT VICTORIA PARK.
This makes a pleasant morning or afternoon ride. There are no restrictions laid upon riders in the Park--the footpaths and board for walks are free to use. On entering by the north gate one comes immediately to a pretty brick cottage, the office of the Park superintendent. Here are sold the valuable publications of the Lundy's Lane Historical Society. Various summer houses along the route invite one to linger--beginning with the Rambler's Rest, and, a short distance beyond, Inspiration Point. At the Horseshoe Fall, except with a west wind, there is apt to be a short bit of very wet riding; but the rainbows formed in the afternoon are very lovely. Passing along Cedar Island, opposite a house on the other side of the electric railway track, is a fountain of fine spring water. Before reaching the bridge at Dufferin Islands stop off at a summer house, where is the best view of the beautiful White Horse Rapids --a cool spot on the warmest days. Behind it is an old building with disused mill-race, the remains of Bridgewater or Street's Mills. Behind is Clark's Hill, on which one of the Clark family built a residence. The first name borne by Dufferin Islands was Clark's Hill Islands. The elder Clark, a partner of Samuel Street, came loyally to the aid of General Drummond in 1814 with funds which allowed him to continue operations and fight the battle of Lundy's Lane. Their mills were burnt by General Ripley in his precipitate retreat to Fort Erie after the battle. This place gave the American name to the battle.
After crossing the first bridge one can turn in to the larger island by the board walk known as The Lover's Walk. Wheel through the woodland paths of the island and leave by the small suspension bridge to the south. This conducts to the south shore of the "Elbow." The circuit of the Elbow can then be made by a good gravel path on the water's edge, a cool and beautiful short ride. Leaving the path at the south-east end, ascend the hill road to the right, and turn east along the brow of the hill, by a roughish grassy track, to the summer house above the electric railway. Here there is a tine view of the rapids; behind is to be noticed the village church of Chippawa, backed by the village groves and cottages. Returning, keep to the brow of the hill, pass the Old Burning Spring house on the right or left, enter the Portage Road and continue west for a short way, then turn north. On the right will be noticed the entrance to the Clark residence. The red roof of the new Convent building is now visible ahead. Cross two railway tracks after the road bends west, and then resume a northerly direction. The massive buildings of the Loretto Convent of Our Lady of Peace, are passed on the right. This convent was founded in 1860, from Toronto, the order having crossed in 1845 from Dalkey Abbey in Ireland. Pope Pius IX granted the privilege of pilgrimage to this convent; it is for the most part an educational establishment. Turn in on reaching its north wall and you will come to a fence overlooking the Michigan Central Railway. From this point is gained the finest general view of the Falls. The whole grand sweep of the river as it approaches the rapids is taken in ; below are the boiling Horseshoe Falls; to the left, in full view, the white breadth of the American Falls.
In returning it is best to cross the common by one of the tracks leading to the Ferry Road and Victoria Avenue. The Portage Road conducts to Niagara Falls South and Lundy's Lane.
TO BEAVERDAMS AND DECEW FALLS, BY WAY OF LUNDY'S LANE.
Leaving Niagara Falls Centre (Michigan Central Railway station) go due south a few hundred yards to the end of Victoria Avenue, then turn west along Ferry road at Drummondville, called after Gen. Gordon Drummond, and now known as Niagara Falls South. Here the old Portage road from St. Davids and Stamford to Chippawa crosses at right angles. Continue up the ascent to Lundy's Lane Observatory, on the right hand, at the summit of the; slope. (See Appendix VIII -- Lundy's Lane Observatory and Museum). Across the road stands a brick Presbyterian church, and adjoining it on the left is a graveyard, containing a handsome monument to the heroes of the battle fought here on the 25th of July, 1814. [See Appendix VI-- Battle of Lundy's Lane (or Bridgewater.) ] There are numerous interesting graves in the cemetery. (See Appendix VII--Lundy's Lane Cemetery.)
Continuing due west wheelmen and pedestrians will enjoy a shady side-path on the left, extending about a mile and a half. Thence four miles of stone road to Allan-burg. (A shorter clay road, the real continuation of Lundy's Lane, leaves the stone road just beyond the crossing of the road to Montrose, at the Lundy farm, in a northwesterly direction. Some will prefer this road.) At Allan-burg turn north on the Thorold road for 1 7-10 miles, then west again on a rough clay road, across the Welland canal, to Beaverdams, situated round a hollow. (See Appendix I --Battle of Beaverdams.) On the crest of the ascent from the hollow runs a road from Thorold, in a southerly direction; cross this and continue on the rough clay road, past a smithy and the recently built aqueduct of the Cataract Power Company, on the left, to the interesting old stone DeCew House, which is on the right of the road. (See Appendix I.) Thence to the mill at DeCew Falls.
These tine Falls, were they not dwarfed by their giant neighbors, would attract considerable attention. The volume of water is by no means inconsiderable, and the height of the upper falls must be at least 75 feet. A wooden turret with staircase (admission 10 cents) admits to the upper pool. Here the surroundings remind one of a lovely highland glen. A footpath leads to the lower falls, a few hundred feet down.
In returning, take the road which comes in at the mill from the north, and follow it to Thorold-fair wheeling. Cross the canal and, entering the Main street, follow it to the right, ascending. It makes two sharp turns, one to the left, another to the right. The last branch of the canal is crossed in leaving the town. A large swing bridge, carrying the railway track over the canal, will be observed a few hundred yards to the right. Follow the stone road until it approaches the track, then enter a field on the right, making for the east end of the bridge, and a few steps bring you to a broad, low obelisk, bearing the inscription:
“Beaverdams, 24th June, 1813."
During the excavations which accompanied the construction of the canal, a number of bones were dug up near this spot, supposed to belong to the Americans, who fell when Col. Boerstler surrendered. About eighty of his detachment were killed or wounded, and the contractor generously erected the obelisk to the memory of the dead.
Returning to the stone road one goes due east for about three miles, and then turns south, on an excellent country road, crossing two railway tracks. A short two miles brings one in to Lundy's Lane, at a little schoolhouse, with cemetery adjoining. Thence two miles and a half to the starting point.
TO MONTROSE AND CHIPPAWA BY LUNDY'S LANE, RETURNING BY QUEEN VICTORIA PARK.
Take the Lundy's Lane route as in Route II; at the Lundy farm, about a mile and a half beyond the Observatory, turn to the left and follow due south for about two 13 miles. There the road takes a slight turn to the east. Continue for half a mile further, when the Montrose hotel will be observed somewhat to the right. South of the hotel is a bridge over the Chippawa or Welland River, a lazy stream about 200 feet wide. About three-quarters of a mile further on turn east towards Chippawa. Continuing about a mile or more on the same road until Lyon's Creek is reached, one finds the site of Misener's House, the headquarters of the British commander in the action of Cook's Mills, Oct. 19, 1814, where the Canadian Glengarry regiment greatly distinguished itself. Further up Lyon's creek, on the Welland road, is Crowland, then known as Cook's Mills. The road will be found somewhat rough, particularly so at some places.
About a mile and a half beyond Montrose the cross road enters the Welland road, which trends more to the left and skirts the left bank of Lyon's creek. Another mile and a half brings one to a bridge over this creek just above its junction with the Chippawa. The bridge over the Chippawa is a mile further on.
This village was at one time a centre of trade and fashions in the Niagara district, but has lost its old prosperity. The battle of Chippawa was fought here, mostly between the bridge and Slater's dock, on the 5th July, 1814. (See Appendix III). The handsome brick mansion built by a Dr. Macklem, and conspicuous from the road, stands on the site of the battlefield. From Slater's dock, about a mile further on, just to the south of the mouth of the Chippawa river, a boat leaves twice a day for Buffalo, and there is a street car line connecting this with the Niagara Falls Park and River line, which has its terminus at Chippawa bridge. The car line and the road keep to the water's edge all the way--a roughish clay road. This spot is connected with the rebellion of 1837-8, (See Appendix XI). From the Chippawa bridge to the south entrance of the Victoria Park is an old macadam road, in ridges which make wheeling difficult except to the steadiest riders, but there is little over a mile of it. Through the park, where no restrictions whatever are placed upon bicyclists, the wheeling is delightful. When the wind is in certain quarters, however, the paths beside the cataract are very moist and dirty, and one is apt to get drenched. See Route 1.
This route gives a pleasant morning ride of about nine miles. Leave Niagara Falls Centre as in Route II. Turn north on entering the village of Drummondville into the Portage Road, and fine side-path wheeling will be found. Two wooden railway bridges are crossed. At Southend another road from the south comes in at a sharp angle and joins the Portage Road, where it is crossed by Thorold and St. Catharines stone roads. About three-quarters of a mile from Southend, on the right hand side, is Stamford Episcopal church, dedicated to St. John, and erected in 1825. The interior, with tine memorial windows, is worth visiting; the keys will be found next door. The building, of stone faced with plaster, was erected chiefly through the efforts of Sir Peregrine Maitland, a former Lieutenant-Governor of the Province and one of Wellington's bravest generals. He had a manor house in the neighborhood destroyed by tire many years ago [See Route Y] and was highly interested in the development of Stamford, for which he expected a great future. It is, as he left it, a quiet village altogether on the English model. In the quiet cemetery of St. John's are some interesting graves. There is a headstone to the memory of a gallant young man who fell in the Fenian raid of 1866: "Pro Patria ac Begina. John Hermann Mewburn, Toronto University Rifles, 2nd Battalion Queen's Own, only son of Harrison Chilton Mewburn and Emily his wife, killed at Limeridge, June 2nd, 1866, lighting in defence of his native land against Fenian invaders, aged 21 years." [For an account of this raid see Appendix V, "The Fenian Invasion of 1866.] Close by this is another headstone to the memory of four children of the Mewburn family, all of whom died of scarlet fever on the passage out to Quebec, and were buried in that city.
Crossing the triangular village green, and returning to the St. David's road, one will come immediately to the Presbyterian church, a modern frame building. There are some quaint inscriptions in the adjoining graveyard: "In memory of Andrew, son of Wm. and Mart. Murray, who died on the ocean, in his 5th year.
In memory of a loved one
Who was both true and kind,
For health upon the ocean
He sought but could not find."
Another headstone bears the following inscription: "In memory of James Middough, who departed this life June the 25th, 1839, aged 79 years, five months and fifteen days. Farewell my wife, my life is past, my love to you so long did last but now no sorrow for me take beloved my children for my sake."
There is a railway station to the north of Stamford on the Michigan Central line from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Buffalo.
In returning to the Fails take a road east, which will be found a short way beyond the Presbyterian church, and proceed for one mile, when it crosses the Brock's Monument road. [If one continues east he will reach Foster Flats, above the lower rapids, passing over the old course of the Niagara River. How it filled up between the Whirlpool and St. Davids is a mystery, but there is now little or no depression.] Turn south on the Brock's Monument road, cross a railway track, the Thorold road, and another railway track, and at Fairview cemetery turn east again. About half way down there is a short route by Victoria Avenue back to Niagara Falls Centre, passing the handsome Catholic church, a new building in brown stone. The road from Fairview cemetery is known as Chestnut Street as far as the St. Catharines railway track, and then becomes Bridge Street. It leads directly to the Grand Trunk Railway station, the bridge station of the Niagara Falls and River Electric Line, and the railway bridge, with carriage way and foot paths. Improvements are making of the riverfront an excellent roadway of the best macadam. It is almost exactly a mile and a half between the lower and upper bridges.
TO BROCK'S MONUMENT AND ST. DAVIDS.
Follow Victoria Avenue northwards to Chestnut street, then turn due north for exactly two miles to the
meeting of five roads, just beyond the crossing of the M. C. R. R. and G. T. R. R. tracks, which run side by side at this point. Stamford Station on the former line is close by (see Route IV). At the meeting of the five roads there stands at the corner between the two roads on the right hand a house known as the Halfway House, with a pump or excellent drinking water in front. The second of the two roads to the right will take one direct to Brock's Monument, by a fairly good road, helped out for a mile by aside path. Enter the park round Brock's Monument by the south-east carriage way. This noble shaft is perhaps the finest isolated column, all things considered, in the world. The foundation rests on solid rock and is 40 feet square and 10 feet thick. Above it is a grooved pinth or sub-basement, 38 feet square and 27 feet high, with eastern entrance. On its angles are lions rampant, 7 feet high, supporting shields with the armorial bearings of the hero, and the motto beneath, "Vincit Veritas." Its north face carries the following inscription: "Upper Canada has dedicated this monument to the memory of the late Major General Sir Isaac Brock, K. B., Provincial Lieutenant-Governor and Commander of the Forces in this Province whose remains are deposited in the vaults beneath. Opposing the invading enemy, he fell in action near these heights on the 13th of October, 1812, in the 43rd year of his age, revered and lamented by the people whom he governed and deplored by the sovereign to whose service his life had been devoted." Round the base of the monument is a dwarf-wall enclosure, 75 feet square, with fosse on the interior. At the angles are massive military trophies, representing Roman armour, on pedestals of cut stone 20 feet high. A pedestal rests on the sub-basement, 16 feet square by 88 feet high, with three emblematic bas reliefs on the east, south and west sides, and on the north side an alto-rilievo representing the scene of the hero's death, as he led the 49th regiment to the assault. The fluted column, of the Roman composite order, is 75 feet high and 10 feet in diameter, The flutes terminate on the base with palms. A capital, 16 feet square and 12 feet high, surmounts it, bearing on each face a figure of victory, 10 feet high, in antique style, grasping military shields as volutes, the acanthus leaves being wreathed with palms. Upon the abacus stands the cippus, supporting a statue of the hero sculptured in the full-dress uniform of a field marshal, his left hand on his sword, his right arm outstretched, holding a baton. The height of the statue is 17 feet; the total height of the monument is 200 feet. It is almost identical with the Nelson monument in Trafalgar Square, London but is 25 feet higher. The original of both is to be found at Rome, in the column of the Temple of Mars the Avenger.
The Colonne Vendome at Paris, of the same height has a column 3 feet greater in diameter, and the Colonne de Juillet, in the Place de Bas tile at Paris stands 36 feet lower.
An admission of 25 cents is charged for entrance into the monument. There are 235 steps in the stone stairway.
Possibly there is no nobler panorama on the American continent than the superb prospect from the top. In the rear, behind heavy wooding, rises the white cloud formed by the spray from the falls; on the right is the resonant gorge with shaggy and precipitous sides; in front stretches a smiling plain, cut in two by the broad blue waters of the Niagara river, which make a peaceful exit into Lake Ontario. Beyond is the lake, with the curving shores of Hamilton bay on the far left, dimly prolonged as far as the white cliffs of Scarborough, which shuts in the horizon to the north. On the left are the massive locks and great waterway of the Welland canal and the busy factories of Thorold, Merritton and St. Catharines.
The brass tablets in the basement state that beneath the monument are the remains of Major-General Sir Isaac Brock, K. B., (query, K. C. B. ?) and of Lieut.-Col. John McDonell, P. A. D. C, who fell at Queenston on the 13th October, 1812. These have rested in this vault since the 13th October, 1853. Exactly twenty-nine years previously Brock's remains had been interred beneath the original monument some distance to the east, traces of which are still visible. This earlier column was heavier in proportions, the column having a tubular appearance. On the top was a platform, and the whole rested upon a somewhat insignificant pedestal. The militia and Indian warriors who served under Brock, and by whom he was greatly beloved, subscribed most of the funds for its erection. It was blown up in 1840 by a miscreant named Lett, a native of Niagara, N. Y., who crossed from Lewiston with some companions to execute the deed of infamy. This same Lett was generally believed to be the murderer of Captain Ussher. (See Appendix VII). The original burial place of the hero was in the York bastion of Fort George. After the destruction of the first monument his remains were temporarily removed to an adjacent burial ground. Behind the monument, in good preservation, though overgrown with heavy wooding, are the remains of a redoubts and outworks, which formed what was known as Fort Drummond. For a description of the battle of Queenston Heights see Appendix X.
The new suspension bridge, replacing a structure which lasted from 1851 to 1864, will make it possible to return by the opposite side of the gorge. The hill down to Queenston is very steep and stony.
Pedestrians will find steps immediately in front, leading down to the junction with the St. David's road. To visit the obelisk erected by the Prince of Wales in 1860, marking the spot where General Brock fell, it is better to descend a little further, turn to the left and cross the tracks of the electric line. The stone is in a railed enclosure just beside the tracks. Overlooking the obelisk from the east is the shell of a stone building, which often appears in prints and photographs as the first printing house in Canada. The house was certainly occupied by Wm. Lyon Mackenzie[see Appendix XI],but there is reason to believe that he got his printing done at Lewiston, across the river.
Return to the St. Davids road where it joins the other road, and a short ascent will have to be made. Thereafter there is excellent wheeling for two miles and a half. At St. David’s, where are some comfortable, old-fashioned residences, turn south. The wheeling henceforward is particularly good. Over a mile from the village the roadway passes through a tunnel under the Grand Trunk Railway embankment. Here is now a steady ascent for half a mile, which most cyclists will walk. At the summit turn to the left about 400 yards and you come to the gates of what was once the manor-house of Sir Peregrine Maitland, who married a daughter of the Duke of Richmond, and was governor of the province for seven years (1822-9). The original house, a fine mansion, was burned about twenty years after it was built, and its latest successor was also burnt a few years ago. Half a mile off is the quaint village of Stamford. It is said that Sir Peregrine caused certain trees to be cut down which obstructed his view of the parish church from the manor gates. (See Route IV). From Stamford homeward the route is the same as in No. 4.
The first seven miles of this route are the same as in No. V. The village of Queenston, called after the hapless Queen Charlotte, in pre-railroad days was an important distributing centre, and is now the mere skeleton of what it was. Here Lyon Mackenzie edited a paper. (See Appendix 2). A ferry in connection with the Falls electric line crosses frequently to Lewiston. Note the pretty Episcopal church on an eminence above the river, which contains a memorial window. The road to Niagara-on-the-Lake leads due south from the village. The first half mile after leaving the village is broken by an abrupt descent and ascent, where it is better to dismount. Thereafter there is the finest kind of wheeling by a track leading beside the trees on the high river bank. The glimpses of the blue waters of Niagara are refreshing, and the stillness is frequently broken by the splashing paddle-wheels of the red-funneled Toronto steamers which go in and out of Lewiston four times a day. Near Niagara-on-the-Lake the path, now laid with cinders, crosses to the left side of the road. The remains of the earthworks of Fort George will be noticed on the right hand as one comes near the village. The white frame edifice is a Catholic church. Behind it, nestling among the trees, is the fine old church of St. Mark's, the Episcopal place of worship. To the left, at the south-west of the town, the quaint wooden buildings with red brick chimneys are the old quarters of Butler's Rangers, famous in the early history of the settlement. The long Main Street leading down to the beach contains all the stores and two of the smaller hotels. The two largest hotels are two blocks east, on the river front, Golf is played on the common in front of Fort George, and also on the common round Fort Mississauga, at the angle where the river joins the lake. To lovers of the picturesque in scenery the view obtained from the Fort Mississauga common of Fort Niagara at the opposite corner of the river's mouth will be particularly attractive.
About a mile west of Fort Mississauga, on the lake shore, is the large Canadian Chautauqua hotel, with halls, annexes, etc.--a popular resort. At the Queen's Hotel there are excellent tennis courts and a bowling lawn; and yearly tennis and bowling tournaments are held during the summer. Behind the postoffice on Main street is a citizen's bowling green, with facilities for playing by electric light. Two blocks west of Main Street, at its north end, is the old Presbyterian church of St Andrew's. The interior, fitted with pews of a bygone type, boasts a historical 11 three-decker " pulpit of lofty proportions, now no longer in use. In the large stone building which contains the post office, the customs, the town clerk's office, etc., there are the rooms of an active historical society. Here are shown the cocked hat of General Brock, which arrived from England too late for him to wear it, and numerous other relics of interest to the antiquarian. In the rear of the building is a well-selected public library, open thrice a week.
The church of St. Mark's contains a number of interesting tablets. One is to the memory of Colonel Butler, whose name is unfavorably associated in U. S. history with the Wyoming massacre, as it’s called. By his Canadian neighbors he was highly respected and trusted. For an account of the history of this first of Upper Canadian settlements see Appendix 9, " History of Old Niagara." The place is still noted for its excellent black bass fishing. There is a good shelving beach for bathing. A steam ferry boat crosses to Youngstown nominally every half hour, but actually when passengers require it. The road to Virgil leaves the town near the Scotch church of St. Andrew's at the north-west corner, and is excellent for wheeling.
About half a mile of country road brings you to a short declivity. Before arriving at the foot you will notice a gate opening on a path leading through a meadow by a stream that often runs dry. A few hundred yards in, on the further bank among trees, will be found the burial ground of the Butler and Claus families, but originally set apart by Colonel Butler and the early founders of the settlement for the purposes of a public graveyard. Later on, the churchyards of St. Mark's and St. Andrew's took its place. Here it is supposed that Colonel Butler was buried, but there is absolutely no way of identifying his grave. The enclosure is in a discreditable condition. Were it exactly known where he was buried his bones would have been given an honorable re-interment in St. Mark's.
Proceeding to Virgil, turn south on less excellent road to St. Davids. For a description of the remainder of the route see No. 5.
The road to Port Dalhousie leaves the Virgil road on the outskirts of the town, runs north towards the Chautauqua grounds, and then turns west. It is only fairly good. The distance is about 13 miles.
TO ST. CATHARINES AND NEIGHBORHOOD.
Leaving Niagara Falls by Victoria avenue and Fairview cemetery, take the Thorold road a short way to the north of the cemetery and proceed due west. It is a fairly good stone road, with frequent side paths. After riding six miles or so the large swing railway bridge over the Welland canal will loom up. Near its south-east corner stands the Beaverdams monument (see Route 2). Thorold lies to the right. Crossing the new branch of the Welland canal (see Appendix 13), enter the town, which is built on a slope. Merritton is continuous with it. After Merritton is passed leave the high road which branches to the left and take a cinder path (not first-class) to the Homer and St. Catharines road, and on reaching it turn to the left. The town with its 9,000 inhabitants occupies a considerable area. For many years before and after the civil war St. Catharines was a popular health resort, much frequented by Southerners. Certain curative salt waters, which in the past had been popular among the Indians for skin diseases, proved to be efficacious for rheumatism and scrofulous complaints. Two of the houses built to accommodate the invalids who flocked thither have since been turned into educational establishments. At the Welland House these salt baths can still be taken. The river on which the town is situated is the Twelve-Mile Creek, famous in the war of 1812. The road to Port Dalhousie starts from the west side of the town. In leaving for Homer return on the road by which you entered the town, and continue on to Homer, crossing the new branch of the Welland canal. At Homer a road leads off on the left to Virgil and Niagara-on-the-Lake. The road to St. Davids is good wheeling. For the remainder of the journey see Route 5.
Those fond of a long ride may take the tine highway route to Stoney Creek, 284 miles, where Colonel Harvey and a small band of brave men, including Fitzgibbon, surprised and routed a considerable American force, capturing the two generals. See Appendix 12, "The Battle of Stoney Creek."
TO RIDGEWAY AND FORT ERIE.
Leave Niagara Falls Centre either through the park or by Ferry road and the Loretto Convent. (See Route 1). After passing Chippawa bridge proceed due south for six miles to New Germany and then a short two miles to Stevensville. From Stevensville turn east to the Ridgeway road, and proceed southward on it,
Limestone Ridge is at the intersection of the Garrison road from Fort Erie with this north and south road. It was here that the Fenians who crossed over from Buffalo on the 1st of June, 1866, on their quixotic campaign "for the liberation of Ireland," encamped for the night in a strongly entrenched camp, and were attacked next morning. For the story of the raid see Appendix 5, "The Fenian Raid of 1866." The Garrison road will bring one, after four miles' wheeling, to a road leading to Old Fort Erie, as it is called, a good mile off to the right. The Fort, so famous in the war of 1812, is now a picturesque ruin. Parts of the last wall, where were soldiers' quarters, still remain. The eastern portion facing the river is the oldest part of the Fort, the remaining half having been added during the war of 1812. The south-west bastion, therefore, which blew up as the British were carrying the Fort, and inflicted so severe a loss upon them, was then of very recent construction. The outline of the earthworks is still perfect. A large tree grows from the centre of the wrecked bastion. This explosion took place during a concerted attack which was made on the Fort and the intrenched camp to the north of it by the British and Canadian forces under Gen. Drummond, about three weeks after the battle of Lundy's Lane was fought.
General Brown after his repulse on the 25th of July, retired to Fort Erie, and intrenched himself there. The ground between the Fort and the lake, on the shore of which was a sand hill known as Snake Hill, now nearly obliterated, was converted into an intrenched camp. The British general was camped about two miles off, behind the Garrison Road. On the 15th of August a general attack took place. One attacking party making a detour inland, and approaching through the water, wading, entered the American works, but, being badly supported, turned tail and were driven back in confusion. Things were going well for the British at the south-west corner, when the reserve ammunition in the bastion was fired, some say by an American in a British deserter's cap and tunic. The explosion worked such havoc as to make the attack a failure at this end. On the 17th of September the British batteries, occupying ground to the south of the Fort, were attacked in force by the Americans under cover of a thick fog, and were captured in forty minutes--with considerable loss, it is true, but the sortie was a brilliant one. The batteries were soon after gallantly recaptured. These attacks and sorties were not carried on without a deplorable loss of life, and many brave men of both nations were killed in this small corner of the peninsula. The approach of winter, and the prevalence of sickness in his camp, compelled Gen. Drummond to retire behind the Chippawa River, and General Brown gladly took advantage of his opponent’s retreat to blow up the works at Fort Erie and cross with his whole force to Buffalo, The first man from the British side to enter the deserted fort was Fitzgibbon, always in the foreground. The peace of Ghent, concluded shortly after, happily put an end to hostilities. Those interested in the final operations of the war of 1814 in the Niagara peninsula, will find full details in Major E. Cruikshank's “The Documentary History of the Campaign on the Niagara Frontier in 1814," edited by him for the Lundy's Lane Historical Society. Plans of the Fort, camp and batteries are given.
It is now a favorite picnicking ground of Buffalo excursionists. A short railway runs between the Old Fort and Fort Erie Village, opposite Black Rock--a distance of less than two miles. A steam ferry crosses every twenty minutes to Black Rock.
To return to Niagara Falls, take the shore road, which clings to the river bank all the way. A mile from the village, at a place called Waterloo, it passes under the fine International railway bridge. The road is at first good, so long as it serves the numerous summer and other residences near the village, but it soon turns into an indifferent clay road. At Black, or Frenchman's Creek, seven and a half miles from the bridge, it improves for a mile or two, and then gets worse than ever in approaching Slater's dock, six miles further on. The mile and a half to Chippawa is also rough. For the rest of the way see Route III.
TO INDIAN VILLAGE.
If the upper bridge is crossed to Niagara Falls, N. Y.. then follow Main Street as far as Ontario Street, with asphalt pavement or vitrified brick all the way. This corner is close to the lower or Grand Trunk bridge. Turn east on Ontario Street to the Lockport road, then south on the Lockport road until railway tracks are crossed. Proceed then in an easterly direction, following the broad clay Lockport road with clearly marked bicycle track. After two and a half miles of wheeling the Military road which leads from Cayuga to Lewiston is crossed (Route XI). In the next two miles the railroad is crossed and re-crossed. At a frame cottage on the left turn north for about a mile and then east, passing stone farm houses until, on the left, a low two-storied frame house is reached. Then turn north again into the Indian reservation or village, a short run of a mile and a half. One comes to a crossing where are situated a general store, and opposite it, the schoolhouse. Beyond it, on the way to the River road, is the Council House, and near it stands a Baptist church. Further off is a Presbyterian church.
There is, properly speaking, no village. The 6,000 acres, more or less, which constituted the reservation are parcelled out in allotments, and the 450 Tuscarora Indians live in separate cottages, farming the land. They raise garden and other crops, and the women do fancy work to sell at the booths and bazaars of Niagara Falls, or to peddle it there. The people, though in many cases half-caste, are yet thoroughly Indian in type. The Tuscaroras were one of the famous Six Nations which figure in American history.
Returning, take the road due west past the Council House. At a small school house, about three miles off, the statue of Brock on his monument becomes visible above the trees. Then the turret on the roof of the main building of Niagara University appears on the left. This institution, devoted to the training of R. C. priests, is picturesquely situated above the Niagara gorge, and on the left side of the road, going south. Its handsome chapel was gutted by fire on the 5th of August, 1898. A fine view of the lower gorge and river road is gained from a point immediately beyond the university. Then the Devil's Hole is reached, just half a mile south of the university. For a description of the tragedy which took place here, see Appendix IV, u The Massacre at Devil's Hole." The lofty stone building which looms up in front as one approaches the town is a cold storage house, but was originally built for the purposes of an hotel. The Devil's Hole is exactly two miles south of the lower bridge.
TO LEWISTON AND FORT NIAGARA.
Leaving Niagara Falls Centre for the Grand Trunk bridge, cross.it and turning to the left at the first car tracks follow them past the first Whirlpool Rapids and up to the Lewiston Road, by Chasm St. After a mile the road joins another road from the south. This is probably the shorter route back to the town. Passing the Devil's Hole and the Catholic University (see Appendix 4 and Route IX), and the road on the right to the Indian Village, one comes a mile further on the crest of the hill, where a magnificent view spreads out. The wheeling to this point is only fairly good. For three-tenths of a mile the descent is too steep for wheeling. A tall building, once used as an academy but now deserted, will be observed behind the town on the right. Then the Lockport road is reached, which runs to the river as Main Street. Many handsome residences of an antiquated type bear witness to the past importance of Lewiston. The prosperity may partly return if the projected canal for the transporting of the largest vessels between the lakes’ find favor with Congress. So long as goods were carried by land from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie Lewiston remained the headquarters of a powerful firm which had a monopoly of the business. A line of vessels sailed regularly for Oswego and Lower Canada, and brought hither the mail for the whole district to the west. A wooden railway, on runners, worked by means of a windlass, carried the goods up the mountain, the first form of railroad in use in the United States. This trade practically ended with the opening of the Erie Canal on October 26th, 1825. Lewiston was named after a distinguished soldier who was Governor of New York State in 1805-6.
Half way down Main Street the Youngstown electric railway comes in on the right. It follows an inland track mostly through peach orchards. (Fare, 20 cents; wheels are taken on board free). From this point to Youngstown P. O. there is excellent wheeling along the main road by the river. A cinder path, however, that has been laid, doesn't seem to be used, cyclists preferring the packed sand and clay of the roadside. The electric cars come into the attractive village of Youngstown and keep to the main road for a short distance, but leave it a mile before arriving at Fort Niagara.
The garrison, which usually numbers over two hundred, occupy pleasant residences scattered throughout the reservation, a tract occupying 288£ acres in the angle between the lake shore and the river. But for the presence of a few brass cannon, and piles of antique cannon balls, the military aspect of the place is not much in evidence. The fort itself in the extreme corner has a deserted appearance. -There is an earthwork faced with brick on the landward side. If one turns to the right a sally port will be found at its centre, or one can hold on by the river side, and enter the courtyard by the open gateway in the wall facing the river. What is known as the Castle is a quaint building on the north side of the court.
It was at Fort Niagara that the band of adventurers whom La Salle led westward, drove the palisades of a fortification in 1678. Nine years later a more solid fort was erected by Denonville. ln 1757 the "Castle” still remaining, and the "Old French Barracks,” were constructed.
The siege which transferred the Fort to British occupancy began on the 10th of July, 1759. An English army left Albany, and followed the canoe route to Oswego. There they re-embarked and coasted along the south shore of Lake Ontario to Little Bay, five miles to the east. The French and their Indian allies had long been preparing for the attack.
At the beginning of the siege Sir William Prideaux was accidentally killed by the bursting of a bomb, and Sir William Johnson, famous in the annals of the time, and familiar to readers of Stevenson's " Master of Ballantrae," succeeded to the command, with a relative Col. Johnson, as his second. On the 25th of July the place surrendered. Col. Johnson, who fell during the operations, and Sir William Prideaux lie buried somewhere in the fort, but the site of the chapel which held their remains is now unknown.
In the revolutionary troubles Fort Niagara was a Tory or Loyalist centre, but in the treaty of 1783 it was placed within the limits of the republic by the treaty commissioners, owing to the requirements of the boundary line. For thirteen years, pending the fulfilment of treaty obligations by the Republic, the forts were retained by the British government, and occupied by British soldiers. Even when at length an agreement was arrived at that this and other forts should be handed over, there was a delay of several months before properly equipped U. S. troops could be sent to garrison them. The debts due to British creditors from American citizens, the payment of which was expressly stipulated for in the treaty of 1783, were finally settled at six cents on the dollar, after eighteen years of haggling, unworthy of a great nation. It was on the 11th of August, 1796, six years before even this meagre settlement was made, that the British garrison pulled down the Union Jack and left the flag staff to carry the Stars and Stripes.
Before twenty years were over the Union Jack was again to float over the fort). The cruel and unnecessary burning of Newark, now Niagara-on-the-Lake, by General McClure, on the 13th of December, 1813, so embittered the inhabitants and their defenders that immediate retaliation was resolved upon. On the night of the 19th December, a detachment of the crack 100th Regiment, flank companies of the 41st, and a small party of the Royal Artillery, marched down from St. Davids to Longhurst's ravine on the river, whither boats had been brought on sleighs from the lake shore. The muskets of the men were unloaded, to avoid any premature shot; Col. Murray was in command. Landing about two and a half miles above the fort, they proceeded silently along the river bank towards Youngstown. Here they surprised an outlaying company of twenty men and bayoneted them all. The alarm was soon raised, and the picket at the fort fled to secure themselves. The attacking party, swarmed in after them, and in about fifteen minutes the place was in complete possession of the British. With a loss of one killed and five wounded, they had killed sixty-five of the garrison, captured three hundred and fifty, and obtained possession of blankets, clothing, provisions and stands of arms. It was perhaps the most brilliant exploit of the war. At the close of the war the fort was returned to the United States, according to the provisions of the treaty of Ghent.
Youngstown is famous in U. S. annals from its connection with the anti-Masonic crusade. In 1826 a resident of Batavia, N. Y., named William Morgan, published a work in which he betrayed the secrets of Freemasonry. The work raised a storm of indignation among the fraternity. Shortly afterwards Morgan disappeared. The story usually accepted is that he was kidnapped at his home, brought to Fort Niagara, and shut up in a dungeon at the fort with the connivance of the commander, Colonel King, a Freemason. One night three men took him out on the river in a boat and bade him jump. One of the men credited with the deed lived to a good old age in Youngstown, and is remembered by many residents. It is certain that the cause of Freemasonry received a heavy blow in the locality, and that the dark story of his murder was generally credited. The trial at Lockport ended with the acquittal of the accused, Samuel Chubbok and others, but the sheriff of Niagara County was removed from office.
TO LA SALLE AND FORT GRAY.
This gives a pleasant trip of about twenty miles. The first portion of it affords the finest wheeling possible; asphalt, cinder path, shaded by trees, or good macadam. Half a mile out, close to a large factory, will be noticed a single chimney stack, of limestone, all that remains of a French fort, known as Fort de Portage. Upon the same site, Capt. Joseph Schlosser. of the British army, built in 1861, a fort which figures in the history of the war of 1812. A mile beyond this, beside Echota railway station on the N. Y. C. R. R., an island will be noticed close to the river bank. This island comes into the thrilling story of the cutting out of the Caroline paddle-steamer in 1837 by Commander Drew, R. N. (See Appendix XI). Four miles more of wheeling brings you to LaSalle Village. Here one turns east to the bridge, close to which La Salle and Father Hennepin launched, in 1679, the first European vessel to navigate these waters. The Griffon, which was of 60 tons burden, after a varied life, perished a few years afterwards in Lake Michigan. La Salle's company consisted of about sixty sailors, boatmen, hunters and soldiers, On this expedition he proceeded to exploit the great lakes, attempting to colonize their shores, and descending the Illinois river, reached the Mississippi, and by it the Gulf of Mexico. He it was who named the district at its mouth Louisiana. Five years after this eventful journey he was murdered on the banks of the Trinity river in Texas, March, 1687, at the age of 44. Born a plebeian at Rouen, France, in 1643, Rene Robert Cavelier was educated as a Jesuit priest, and renounced the church for a commercial life. At the age of 23 he left for Canada, and twelve years later, on account of eminent services as an administrator and explorer, was ennobled and became the Sieur de LaSalle.
The Military road leading in a straight line to Lewiston Heights, meets the Buffalo road from the Falls at the bridge over Cayuga Creek. In good weather it will give a nice spin of seven miles and a half to Fort Gray, one of a chain of forts which at the beginning of the century guarded the frontier from Niagara to Buffalo. For the rest of the way back, see Route IX, "To Indian Village."
TO BUFFALO AND BACK.
For the first six miles of the route to Buffalo, see Route Al. Instead of turning to the left at the Cayuga Creek for Lewiston Heights, cross it and rejoin the electric railway tracks. About three miles of good wheeling brings one to Edgewater pier on the mainland, answering to Edgewater on Grand Island, a favorite resort for yachting and aquatic sports. At this point the electric line turns inland over a viaduct. Proceed by cinder path (somewhat treacherous from vitreous slag) and dusty highway into Tonawanda. At the many-tracked railway station proceed by the inner of the two broad streets which meet here, and cross two bridges. The electric line crosses these, but on reaching the further side turns off sharply shoreward. Take Delaware Avenue to front, a fine street paved with red vitrified brick, changing to white brick a mile or two further on. The red brick tower of a handsome armory will be observed on the left soon after entering the avenue --a good landmark. After four miles and a half of vitrified brick the pavement changes to asphalt. Two miles of this and the roadway passes under a railway embankment and then crosses the Scajaquada Creek at Forest Lawn Cemetery. To the right will be noticed the handsome towers of the State Insane Asylum. One block from this bridge the road turns sharply to the left. It then goes straight down into the city, and one can turn into Main Street anywhere between North Street and Chippawa Street. From Chippawa Street to Exchange Street on Main Street is the busiest part of the city, the bicycle stores being near the crossing of Genesee, north and south. Six blocks south of Genesee is Ellicott Square, the largest office building in the world, containing 600 offices and 40 stores, named after the pioneer settler of Buffalo, Joseph Ellicott. With its 300 miles of asphalt pavement, Buffalo presents wonderful attractions to wheelmen. It has a fine park system. There are over a dozen parks in all, with a total area of nearly one thousand acres. Near Forest Lawn Cemetery, on the north-west, beginning at 2100 Main Street, is the Park, with zoological garden and lake. Then there is the Front Park, on the river, near Fort Porter, the home of the fighting 13th Regiment, U.S. infantry, noted in the war of 1812 and in the late war. Here the band of the regiment frequently plays in the evenings. To get to it turn west from Main Street on Chippawa Street seven blocks, one block on Georgia Street, then run north-west on Prospect Avenue to Porter Avenue; turn down to the left two blocks. Humboldt Park, formerly The Parade, is reached by turning east on Best Avenue at 1109 Main Street, or by following Genesee Street eastward until it joins Best Street. Cazenovia Park, on Cazenovia Creek in the south-east corner of the city, is reached by Seneca Avenue, with asphalt pavement from the Erie railroad station. It has a botanical garden, and is also noted for the Red Jacket Monument, erected by the Buffalo Historical Society to the memory of the famous chief of the Seneca Nation. The lndian name of this orator and warrior was Sagoyewatha, the other being a soubriquet because of a handsome red coat he received from Sir William Johnson. He was born in 1751, was active on the British side at the time of the revolution; later in 1810 opposed Tecumseh, and in the war of 1812 was of service to the U. S. armies. He survived till 1830, but was given over to intemperance in his later years. The district is associated intimately with the Seneca tribe of Indians, who had a settlement within the bounds of the present city on the south. Tonawanda was a former place of assembly for the Indian tribes of the vicinity.
In returning to Niagara Falls one can either take the boat, which sails twice daily for Chippawa (8 a.m. and 2 p.m.), from the foot of Main Street, or cross by the ferry to the Canadian side. The route in the latter case is the same as to the Front Park (see above),but at Porter Avenue turn to the right past Holy Angels' Convent, and then north on West Street to. West Ferry Street, which leads west to the ferry. The* steamer crosses every twenty minutes. For the river route back to Chippawa and the Falls see Route VIII.
PREFATORY NOTE TO APPENDIXES.
IN working out these appendixes I have been greatly helped by Mr. Wm. Kirby's "History of Niagara"; by the various contributions, of singular excellence, made by Major Ernest Cruikshank to the Transactions of the Lundy's Lane Historical Society; by Mr. Peter Porter's "History of Old Fort Niagara" and other pamphlets; and by Kingsford's "History of Canada." To Mr. Kirby, a veteran journalist and a poet, and to Major Cruikshank, I am also indebted for courteous personal attentions. Canon Bull, President of the Lundy's Lane Historical Society, whose name is a household word in the Niagara District for kindness and graciousness, generously placed at my disposal the accumulated literary materials of many years. Miss Janet Carnochan, the leading spirit in historical and literary circles at Niagara-on-the-Lake, was also extremely kind and helpful.
It is probable that many patriotic Americans, in reading some of the narratives, may find the facts as stated conflict unexpectedly with their preconceived notions. "Must our history be written over again?" they may exclaim in consternation, as did a fellow townsman the other day when I discussed with him the war of 1812. Now, that is just what has to be done, namely, to rewrite the whole military history of that war, with a single eye, not to the glorification of the Republic, or of the United Empire Loyalists, of Peninsular veterans, but to the elucidation of the truth. The naval operations of the war have been authoritatively treated by Mr. Theodore Roosevelt. So satisfactory has his work appeared to naval critics in Europe, that Mr. Clowes has invited him to treat of this period in his "History of the Royal Navy"--an invitation creditable alike to editor and contributor. Genuine historic truth, with the new school of historians, outweighs all prepossessions of party, race or nationality. None of the statements made in the succeeding pages but are based on recent and authoritative research. Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., 1899.
THE BATTLE OF BEAVERDAMS.
The success at Stoney Creek on the 5th June, 1812, (see Appendix 12) converted the British retreat after the capture of Fort George into a steady advance on the enemy's position and the driving in of his outposts. A force consisting of a company of regulars, two companies of New Brunswickers, and over 300 Caughnawaga Indians, officered by French Canadians under Major DeHaren, established themselves along the east bank of the Twelve Mile Creek, their line extending from Thorold past Homer to the lake shore. Lieut. Fitzgibbon, with fifty Rangers, was meanwhile harassing the enemy from the Queenston escarpment. Some 80 Grand River Indians were aiding him.
Annoyed at the continual losses inflicted on foraging and other parties by these guerrilla troops, the American general finally consented to allow Colonel Boerstler, an able and energetic officer, famed for his stentorian voice, to make an expedition to dislodge them. It was known that Fitzgibbon had his headquarters at a large two-storied stone house, situated near DeCew Falls, and called the DeCew house, and the number of the force with him was also accurately guessed at. It was not, however, known that the Caughnawaga Indians were so close at hand.
On the 23rd of June, at evening, Lieut.-Col. Boerstler with 570 men, infantry, artillery, cavalry and riflemen, in due proportion, marched out from Fort George, by way of Queenston, to attack Fitzgibbon. Arriving at Queenston, they took every measure to ensure secrecy. Lt happened, however, that James Secord, a staunch U. E. Loyalist, who was confined to bed from injuries received in the battle of Queenston Heights, (see Appendix 10) overheard sufficient to make him aware of the nature of the expedition. Unable to move, he appealed to his wife Laura, mother of his five children, and at this time 37 years old. The heroic woman responded to the call of patriotism. She was an Ingersoll by birth, of the best Massachusetts Tory blood. The excuse that she was after a strayed cow served to get her past the American pickets. She then made for St. Davids, two miles and a half off, where she stopped at the house of relatives. A niece, Elizabeth Secord, then a girl of 16, who died two years later near Kingston, Ont., accompanied her a part of the way. At St. Davids she no doubt left the low-lying swamp country and took to the uplands. After a tedious walk of seven or eight miles through the forest she fell in near Thorold with a band of Caughnawaga Indians who asked her what "woman was doing here." Finally she made them understand that the enemy was moving on them, and that she wanted to see Fitzgibbon. They conducted her to him at the DeCew house, and soon her whole story was known. Already the Americans had fallen in with Indian pickets at St. Davids and killed one man. An ambush was now laid for the whole attacking force. It was completely successful. Unable to estimate the number of their foes, harassed on every side, their leader wounded, they were at length brought to bay. Fitzgibbon made the most of his redcoats, and got a brother officer, Hall, to personate DeHaren, who was by this time on his way from St. Catharines. His whole manoeuvres were distinctly 'foxey.' The entire detachment surrendered, after suffering a loss of about 80 killed and wounded. Major DeHaren, with 200 regulars, arrived in time to receive the prisoners. The force which captured them is sometimes described by Canadian writers as consisting of 80 Indians and 49 regulars; but to these must be added a large number of the Caughnawaga Indians--probably 200--making the whole capturing force about two-thirds as numerous as the captured detachment.
Laura Secord, whose midnight walk of fifteen or more miles through the forest led to this astonishing success, lived to the good old age of 93 years, and was visited by the Prince of Wales in 1860. (See Appendix 7). To her heroism and Fitzgibbon's adroitness is to be ascribed this signal victory. Fitzgibbon was an Irishman by birth and a very interesting personality. Born in the year 1780, on the banks of the Shannon, beside the castle of the Knights of Glin (immortalized in Gerald Griffin's novel, "The Collegians, and its dramatic adaptation "Colleen Bawn") of poor but well educated parents, he entered the British army, served in Holland and at Copenhagen, and in 1803 landed at Quebec as sergeant-major of the 49th (Brock's) regiment. He soon afterwards received a commission as lieutenant. Henceforward he was closely associated with Brock, who was very fond of him. Like Brock, Fitzgibbon was a man of large and powerful physique and of infinite resource. He passed a busy life in Canada after the war, was concerned in suppressing the Rebellion of 1837, and finally was appointed in 1850 one of the military knights of Windsor Castle. He died there on 10th December, 1863. It is a pity that his grave is not in Canada, like Laura Secord. His life has been written by his grand-daughter (A veteran of 1812. The life of James Fitzgibbon. Toronto, 1894) a remarkably interesting book. A second edition has recently been published.
BUFFALO AND NEIGHBORHOOD.
The original nucleus of the present city of Buffalo was a tavern opened in 1795 by John Palme, in a log house a few rods west of Main, near Exchange Street. It was Joseph Ellicott acting for the Holland Land Company, who first surveyed the site; his name remaining in Ellicott Street and Ellicott Square. An able young physician, Dr. Cyrenius Chapin made Buffalo his residence in 1805. In 1813 the village was incorporated, and in December of the same year it was burnt down by the British in retaliation for McClure’s treatment of Newark. The Seneca Indians had their village to the south of Buffalo Creek. Black Rock, where the West Ferry now is, was then a more important station than Buffalo. Here in 1812 Gen. Alexander Smyth, a pompous lawyer from Virginia, collected an army to invade Canada, calling upon his fellow-citizens to "come in companies, half companies or singly, only come! Come on, my heroes!" The invasion proved a miserable fiasco, Smyth showing neither bravery nor the least bit of military capacity. The criticisms which his conduct evoked led to a duel on Grand Island with Gen. Peter B. Porter, from whom Fort Porter is named, and whose family still reside in the vicinity. It is said that the bullets were drawn; at any rate, neither combatant was hurt.
An attack upon Black Rock was planned and carried out by Colonel Cecil Bishopp, on the 11th of July, with the view of disconcerting the American army who had possession of Fort George, and destroying their supplies. The attack was completely successful; but in returning across the river a force of militia and Seneca Indians, under Gen. Porter, opened a galling fire on the retreating enemy and fatally wounded their brave commander. (See Appendix 7). On the night of the 27th December, 1813, a second attack was made by Gen. Riall from the other side of the river, and the militia who had assembled under Gen. Hall to the number of nearly 3,000 were dispersed with considerable slaughter, the victors losing 102 in killed, wounded and missing. A third and wholly unsuccessful attack was made upon Black Rock by a force under Colonel Tucker, on the 15th of August, 1814, simultaneously with the combined attack on Fort Erie.
North of Black Rock were Fort Tomkins, the Mortar Battery, Swift's Battery, and Sailor's Battery on the south bank of the Scajaquada Creek.
Grand Island, (17,384 acres) now a pleasure ground for Buffalonians, definitely became American property after the treaty of Ghent in 1814. The deepest part of the Niagara channel, which marks the frontier line, runs along the west channel, through between Navy Island and Grand Island, and so to the Horseshoe Fall, In the year 1818 the first steamer to ply the lakes, the Walk-in-the- Water, was launched, and ran for three years between Buffalo and Detroit, when she was wrecked. At this time Millard Fillmore, 13th President of the U. S., was teaching school at Buffalo. On August 9th, 1823, the first ground was broken for the Erie Canal, an enterprise which insured the future greatness of the community, then numbering little over 2,000. At the close of 1825 the canal was opened amid great and general rejoicings. In 1826 a journalist of New York, a prominent Jew named Mordecai Noah, who had been visiting Morocco, formed on his return the scheme of colonizing Grand Island and making of it a New Jerusalem. At Whitehaven, opposite Tonawanda, is to be seen the corner-stone of what was to be the Ararat Temple. The scheme did not receive adequate support and fell through. Noah had an active subsequent career, and died in 1851 at the age of 66.
In 1855 Grover Cleveland, twice President of the U. S., came to Buffalo, became a clerk in the law office of Rogers, Bowen & Rogers, and in 1870-3 was sheriff of Erie County. In 1881 he became Mayor, and earned the name of the "Veto Mayor," because of his refusal to sanction many schemes he deemed unwise. Gaining in popularity, he was made Governor of the State of New York in 1882, and two years later was elected President.
THE BATTLE OF CHIPPAWA.
On the 3rd of July two brigades of the well-appointed U. S. army that had been assembling at Black Rock crossed the river Niagara, one under Gen. Ripley, above Fort Erie, the other under Gen. Winfield Scott, about a mile -below. That same evening Fort Erie, held by a garrison of 135 men under Major Buck, surrendered to the invading force This left Gen, Brown, who was in command, free to march on Queenston and Fort George with an army about 5,000 strong. To oppose him there lay entrenched at Chippawa, under Major-Gen. Riall, a British army of about 1,300 men, with a troop of the 19th Dragoons, 6 pieces of field artillery, 300 Indians and about the same number of Lincoln militia He had fully expected that the commandant at Fort Erie would hold out for at least a few days. On the evening of the 4th July the Americans encamped behind Ussher's (or Street's) Creek, about two miles from the mouth of the Chippawa river. Had Riall been able to carry out his original plan he would have attacked the invaders on their march; but now he resolved, somewhat rashly, to await them at Chippawa and offer battle. The battle was fought south of the Chippawa river and north of Street's or Ussher's Creek.
The action opened late in the afternoon of the5th with a forward movement of the British right in the woods, which here obstructed the view between the two armies, and the result was entirely favorable to the British. Meanwhile Riall, crossing the Chippawa, formed his line of battle with the artillery on the left. Opposing it was Towson's battery. The artillery battle was proceeding favorably to the British until a well-directed shot exploded one of their tumbrils, which deprived them of much of their fixed ammunition. From this time the American artillery had completely the advantage; and a general infantry charge, in which Riall exposed himself recklessly, made through deep furrows, covered with tall grass, was wholly unsuccessful. A retreat, in tolerable order, was made, and the guns were with difficulty saved; but most of the dead and wounded were abandoned. It is said that the burning of the British dead on this occasion by the victorious Americans who held the field, led to the burning of the American dead by the victors, twenty days later, at Lundy's Lane.
THE DEVIL'S HOLE.
The tragedy which makes the place known as the Devil's. Hole memorable was an incident in the Indian troubles connected with the conspiracy of Pontiac. In this conspiracy the Seneca Nation was involved. The progress of civilization had led to the discarding of Indian help in the carrying or portage trade between the lakes, and the loss of this lucrative business angered those Senecas who had depended upon it for a living. The company which superseded them was marked out for punishment; and probably their ill-feeling was known. The convoy which was attacked on the 13th Sept., 1763, had a guard of British soldiers. A number of wagons were returning from the upper lake where provisions and other material had been left for conveyance by water to inland ports. Suddenly, as they were passing the deep chasm on their way down to Fort Niagara, they were thrown into confusion by a volley from the woods. The soldiers were off their guard, and, to add to the confusion, the teams took fright and made off. A confused melee followed, in which every white man was killed, except a settler named Stedman and a boy who had hid in the brushwood. Hearing the firing a detachment of eighty soldiers stationed at Lewiston marched to the rescue. But they fell into a second ambuscade laid by the crafty Indians, and were almost annihilated. In all about a hundred men were killed or hurled over the precipice in the two assaults.
THE FENIAN INVASION OF 1866.
The close of the great American civil war threw back into civil life a large body of men who had grown accustomed to the excitement of warfare. The great majority, true to the traditions of their race, returned quietly to industrial pursuits. Others, finding themselves no longer suited for regular work, became tramps, said to be a species of the genus homo dating from the Civil War. To many of the Irish who had been Union soldiers it seemed a good time for using their weapons against British institutions. A vast conspiracy was formed in the United States, with its headquarters at New York, for the "liberation" of Canada and thereafter of Ireland. Thousands of Fenians, as they were called, began to drill openly in the. squares and parks of the chief cities of the United States.
When the actual invasion took place on the 1st of June, 1866, although these facts were known, it came as a surprise. Canada was quite unprepared. A force of 1,200 or more Irishmen, crossing the river Niagara at Black Rock, with a tail of Buffalo loafers, proceeded inland about seven miles and encamped at a place near Ridgeway known as Limestone Ridge. Two forces marched to meet the invaders, one, composed of volunteers, from Port Colborne, under the command of Colonel Booker; the other, under Colonel Peacock, including the 47th Regiment of Infantry, from Chippawa. They expected to join somewhere near Stevensville. Quite unexpectedly Colonel Booker found himself close to the Fenian camp, and imprudently ordered a charge. The Fenians, entrenched behind fence rails, repulsed the attack, and many young Canadians, mostly belonging to the Queen's Own of Toronto, fell. A false alarm of cavalry led to the imprudent forming of a "square," which merely helped to concentrate the Fenian fire. Col. Booker had to draw back in some confusion, and retreated to Port Colborne. Meanwhile Col. Peacock's advance warned the Fenians that their position was untenable, and they made for Black Rock by the Garrison Road, abandoning their dead. That evening they encamped upon the historic grounds of old Fort Erie, while Col. Peacock, who was following, encamped in the wheat fields of a Mr., Bowen, about four miles off. Next morning the Fenians beat a hasty retreat across the river, 400 of them being conveyed as prisoners on board of a schooner in charge of the U. S. gunboat Michigan. A skirmish took place at Waterloo, close to the west end of the International Bridge. It is commonly believed that the invasion was merely a marauding expedition, with plunder as a main object, but the testimony of residents in the neighborhood who remember the raid is favorable to the conduct of the Irishmen. Probably they expected the whole district to rise and welcome them as deliverers! Had they waited on the American side for a few days longer their number might have been quadrupled and the expedition have proved formidable.
THE BATTLE OF LUNDY'S LANE, OR BRIDGE WATER.
"The chief battle (of the Niagara campaign of 1814), that of Lundy's Lane, though reflecting as much honor on the Americans as on the British, was for the former a defeat, and not a victory, as most of our writers seem to suppose."--Theodore Roosevelt, "Naval War of 1812," Chap. X, Par. 1.
The campaign of 1814 opened auspiciously for the American army of invasion, which crossed over from Black Rock on the 3rd of July. Fort Erie fell immediately, and the army of Riall which offered battle at Chippawa was brushed aside. But the forts at the mouth of the river proved too hard a nut to crack, and General Brown lingering on the heights of Queenston in expectation of the arrival of Chauncey's fleet to co-operate with him, found that he had less and less hope of pressing on to Burlington, the centre of the British defence. The British general (Drummond) on his part began to assume the offensive, and to make a forward movement by Lewiston from Fort Niagara. Anxious to preserve his line of communication, General Brown fell back on Chippawa. From this place his subordinate, General Winfield Scott, made a sudden forward move on the 25th of July, with the apparent object of engaging the attention of Drummond. Riall, who was hovering in the rear of the American army, found himself unexpectedly involved in a battle with the best portion of the American troops. Neither side, it may with certainty be stated, expected a general engagement upon that day. Probably General Drummond's sudden resolve to fight was due to an unwillingness to resume the defensive when he had begun an offensive movement. He had counted upon retaining the strong position at the junction of Lundy's Lane with the Portage Road, and was much disappointed on hurrying up from Queenston to find that Riall had retired from it. Riall, carrying out Drummond's previous intention of waiting until they were strengthened by reinforcements before offering battle to the enemy, ordered a retreat on Queenston, and one division of the British army which finally took part in the struggle, was kept marching and retracing its steps for half the day, arriving footsore and weary after nightfall.
The battle was therefore due to Drummond's determination to keep at all costs the strong position in Lundy's Lane cemetery. The battle retained to the close its character of a melee, and ended in the exhaustion of both parties. But, as the exhaustion of the attacking party means failure and defeat, struggle ended in the triumph of the defenders of Lundy's Lane, with all the solid fruits of victory. *
A careful estimate of the forces engaged, made by Major Ernest Cruikshank, shows that the total force under command of General Brown must have amounted at this time to at least 4,500 men of all ranks, 3,500 being regulars. In artillery, the arm of the service which really won the battle of Chippawa, he was particularly strong. The British guns, far less effective than the American, held a stronger position. For the location of this battery see Appendix B, "Lundy's Lane Cemetery."
The British, holding the hill where the Observatory now stands, were at the opening of the battle and during several hours of its continuance barely 1,700 strong, one half being provincial troops. Only a few of the officers, and none of the men, were Wellington's veterans.
It was the policy of the British general to delay the fighting as much as possible until Col. Hercules Scott's brigade, which had been hastily summoned back, should return. The skirmishers on the left of the British line, along what is now the route from Drummondville to the Falls, effected this end by skillful manoeuvres. Gen. Winfield Scott was also glad of delay until supports should arrive. When, however, about half past six o'clock, the American army braced itself for a general attack from their right the advantage was all on their side. The British left was turned, and Gen. Riall, who was retiring to the rear wounded, and Capt. Loring, A. D. C. to Gen. Drummond, were made prisoners, with over a hundred others. About this time one of the ammunition wagons of Towson's battery was blown up by a British shell, and the American guns were almost silenced--a distinct advantage on the other side. A direct attack made upon the British guns was unsuccessful, and Gen. Brown now brought up the entire reserve. By this time it was too dark to do much with artillery. The action had lasted for three hours, and the British force, reduced to less than 1,200 men, seemed at the mercy of the assailants. But-the longed-for reinforcements arrived at nine o'clock--an accession of 1,200 men. It was soon afterwards that the famous attack of Col. James Miller was delivered. Battalions mustering 1,400 bayonets in all formed in a hollow where their movements were concealed by the darkness. Part moved directly in face of the battery, while two of the commands crept up on the different flaps. Miller's approach was concealed by a small Presbyterian church below the cemetery, and his advance was so rapid and unexpected as to be entirely successful. The other two commands suffered heavily. The British guns were captured and hurried to the rear, but, as the American howitzers ascended the hill at a gallop all the gunners were shot down, and the horses carried the guns into the enemy's ranks, where they were secured. Then followed two hours of heavy hand-to-hand fighting in which, though the British failed thrice to regain their lost position, the havoc wrought in the American ranks was frightful. Gen. Winfield Scott was seriously wounded, his regimental commanders Brady, Jesup and McNeil, and his brigade-major were disabled, arid the number of effective men out of the four regiments under his command was reduced to less than 200 men--"about an-annihilated," to quote the words of an American officer. Gen. Brown was also wounded, and the command fell to Gen. Ripley.
On the other side, General Drummond was bleeding from a wound in the neck, to which, however, he paid little attention; General Riall was a prisoner, and many of the commands had passed to junior officers.
Generals Brown and Ripley, after a consultation, decided that they had better retire from the position on the hill, as their troops were evidently exhausted. This was about eleven o'clock, and they seemed to believe that the other side had completely collapsed. But Drummond was then forming his broken battalions for a supreme effort to recapture the position. At midnight these weary but stubborn heroes, headed by the light company of the 41st, pressed steadily up the slope and surprised their opponents
in the very act of retiring. They drove in the rear guard and recaptured all the artillery except one light ti-pounder which had already been removed. It was thrown into the river in the American retreat, and the boys of Drummondville used to fish round it only a few years ago. The victors were too weary to do more than rest on hard fought field of battle, The circumstances that the retreat to their camp was undisturbed, and that a general and a hundred others of the British had been taken prisoners, led General Brown to claim a victory. But this contention involved the disgrace of General Ripley, and the necessity of court-martialing him; for he behaved as a defeated, not as a victorious general behaves. To quote the words of Major-General Peter B. Porter, second in command of the U. S. forces, (as contained in a letter to Governor D. D. Tompkins, dated from Fort Erie, July 29, 1814), "this victory gained by exhibitions of bravery never surpassed in this country, was converted into a defeat by a precipitate retreat, leaving the dead, the wounded, and captured artillery, and our hard-earned honor to the enemy." Ripley was accordingly court-martialed, but was exonerated, and a gold medal was awarded him by Congress.
Private soldiers of the American army, writing to friends, acknowledged a defeat. "Our army behaved most gallantly, fought to desperation, but the enemy was too numerous for them. It is impossible to say what is the full extent of our loss. The enemy was so severely cut to pieces that they did not pursue our army." (From a letter written by J. B. Farnum to Abraham Bradley, dated Buffalo, 27th July, 1814, which appeared in the Baltimore Federal Gazette, 6th Aug., 1814). This is pretty much the same statement as that of Col. Hercules Scott on the British side, who in a private letter characterized it as not a "great victory," indeed "nearly equal on both sides."
General Brown's instructions in handing over the command to General Ripley and sanctioning a retreat were to put himself on the field of battle as the day dawned, with picquets, camp guards, and every other description of force, and there to meet and beat the enemy if he appeared, But the enemy was in possession of the hill by the last determined charge at midnight, he remained there all night, and elated with victory, was fully able in the morning to repulse any further attack from the broken forces in the camp at Chippawa. A reconnoitering in face of the enemy was made next morning by General Ripley, but it was a mere farce so far as anything practical was done in recapturing artillery, bearing off the dead, or otherwise securing any of the fruits of victory. It was characterized as ridiculous by Ripley's subordinates. General Drummond, in his district general order to his troops, dated 26th July, was therefore justified in congratulating them on the fact that their exertions have been crowned with complete success by the defeat of the enemy, and his retreat to the position of Chippawa with the loss of two of his guns and an immense number of killed and wounded, and several hundred prisoners.
On the western slope of the hill, close to where the Presbyterian church now stands, the American dead, numbering, it is said, over 200, were burned, to prevent pestilence. The British dead were buried in trenches on and about the hill.
The name of Bridgewater has been given to the battle by American writers, because the account of it which appeared in Niles' Register of Aug. 13th, 1814, was dated from that place. Bridgewater was a settlement at the south end of what is now Victoria Park, belonging to Samuel Street and containing Street's grist mill. The Dufferin Islands were known by his partner's name as Clark's Hill Islands. A number of the American wounded died and were buried here early on the 26th. That same day a general retreat was made upon Fort Erie by the U. S. forces and Street's mills were burnt, as well as the bridge across the Chippawa. Drummond prepared to follow the retreating army of invasion. In England the name of Niagara was usually given to the battle, and this name is inscribed on the colors of the Royal Scots, 8th, 41st and 89th regiments.
Readers of Fennimore Cooper's novels will remember that the closing chapter of The Spy gives an account of the battle, in which his hero is made to fall, "dying as he had lived, devoted to his country, and a martyr to her liberties " Canadians have always been puzzled as to the exact significance of the closing phrase.
NOTE--Roosevelt does not agree with Cruikshank; but, by adding 700 to the official British statement, and reducing the U.S.forces to 3,100 he gives a balance in favor of the British of 400. The figures in popular American histories, based evidently on mere guess work, are of no value whatever. Bryant and Gay, for instance, reckon the British forces at 4,000,the American at 2,000. As Major Cruikshank's figures are the result of careful investigations made on both sides of the frontier, I have preferred to accept them.
LUNDY'S LANE CEMETERY.
The diagram, on the scale, roughly speaking, of 100 feet to the inch, shows the location of the various monuments and places of interest.
1. The large obelisk of grey granite, decorated with cannon balls and other appropriate ornaments, was erected in 1895 by the Canadian Parliament in honor of the victory gained on the 25th July, 1814, by the British and Canadian forces, and in grateful remembrance of the brave men who died on the field of battle, fighting for the unity of the British Empire. Beneath is a vault, entered from the south side, which contains the bones of several of the combatants.
2. Close by the monument, at the north-east corner, stands a white marble obelisk to the memory of Edgeworth Ussher, who, during the rebellion of 1837-8. was murdered by ruffians in his home at Chippawa, near Slater's dock, on the 16th November, 1838.
3. Further east, within a crazy wooden railing--soon to be replaced by something more worthy, stand two simple white marble slabs, one to the memory of James Secord, who was desperately wounded in the battle of Queenston Heights, where Brock fell, but survived until 1841, dying at the ripe age of 68; the other to his noble wife Laura, nee Ingersoll, the heroine of Beaverdams. (See Appendix 1.) She lived to the advanced age of 93; her death took place at Chippawa on the 17th October, 1868.
4. On the south-west of the Secord lot, enclosed in an iron railing, will be found the burial place of the Street family. Samuel Street, a native of Farmington, Conn., where he was born on the 14th March, 1775, came to Chippewa in 1790, to push business, and became in time the chief merchant of the neighborhood. He entered into partnership with a Scotchman named Clark, and their flour and woolen mills stood on the site of the present Dufferin Islands in Queen Victoria Park. These were the Bridgewater mills, which figure so frequently in the history of the district. Street died in 1844. The enclosure is said to be the spot where the British battery was planted on the 25th of July, 1814.
5. On the south side of the Street enclosure, lying beyond another small slab, is the oldest grave in the cemetery. It bears the inscription: " In memory of John Burch, Esq., who departed this life March 7th, A.D. 1797, in the 55th year of his age."
6-7. Close by to the south-east are two white marble slabs, similar in appearance, one to the memory of Lieut. Hemphill, who was killed at the battle of Lundy's Lane-erected by his son, an officer in the Cameronians; the other to the memory of Lieut.-Col. Gordon and Captain Torrens, of the Royals, who fell at the siege of Fort Erie. (See Route VIII.) It was erected by their brother officers.
8. Opposite these two slabs, on the east, stands a hand-some red granite obelisk marking the grave of a gallant young soldier, Capt. Robert Dossie Patteson, of Norwich, England, who, after seeing service in Holland and the Spanish peninsula, was killed at Fort Erie at the early age of 26.
9. A little off, to the south-east, under a heavy marble tomb, lie the remains of Lieut.-Col. the Honorable Cecil Bishopp, 1st Foot Guards, Inspecting Field Officer in Upper Canada, eldest son of Sir Cecil Bishopp, Bart., Baron de la Zouche; who served in Holland, Spain and Portugal, and died on the 16th July, 1813, from a wound received while in a boat on the river Niagara. He had commanded a successful attack upon Black Rock and was returning when the bullet struck him. The original tomb was erected by his brother officers, but, having become dilapidated, it was replaced by the present handsome monument, erected by his two sisters.
10. Close to the west railing, in a slanting position-he is said to have been buried just as he fell,--lie the remains of Captain Abraham E. Hull, of the 9th U. S. Infantry, who was killed in the last charge made by the American troops. He was a son of the Gen. Hull who capitulated at Detroit in Aug., 1812.
11. A few steps from the south-east corner of Lieut.-Col. Bishopp's grave are two headstones, one to Lavinia Randel, who became Mrs. Culp, and the other "In memory of Robert Randal, Esq., M. P. P., the Victim of Colonial Miss-rule, who died May 2nd, 1834, aged 66 years." He lived in the days of popular discontent with what was called "The Family Compact," and was a prominent member of the provincial assembly. Sent to England by them as its representative in stating their grievances, he was granted £500 sterling for his services. This grant failed more than once to pass the Legislative Council--in 1830 for the second time--and four years later Randal died. Annoyance at what he considered the injustice of the Council no doubt hastened his end.
LUNDY'S LANE OBSERVATORY AND MUSEUM.
This observatory and museum has not hitherto enjoyed the popularity it deserves, owing to the absence of speedy transit to the busy centres. The tower contains an elevator, and the prospect from the top is singularly fine. From the roof of the museum a good prospect is also afforded.
In the museum (admission 10 cents) are various relics of the battle and of early pioneer times; various buttons, brass mountings, shot, etc., found from time to time in excavating about the hill; the sash of Lieut. Thomas Lundy; the tunic of Captain Spooner, who was buried in rear of the observatory; the cocked hat of Captain James Cummings; and the sword of Lieut.-Col. McDonell, who fell by Brock's side at Queenston, and whose remains rest under the grand obelisk on the heights beside those of his superior officer. Laura Secord's favorite dog, a small mongrel, is also shown--stuffed. The sword of Captain Yocom, picked up on the field of battle; an Irish key bugle used at the time; a small drum left on the field by the Americans, are among the other objects of interest.
HISTORY OF OLD NIAGARA.
In signing the treaty of 1783, which recognized the United States as an independent nation, the British Government gave up the east bank of the Niagara river. Around Fort Niagara, a loyalist stronghold, had gathered numerous refugees, who now found it necessary to seek a home further west. Lands were granted across the river, and a town was laid out at its mouth. This town received the name of Butlersburg, then of West Niagara, then, in 1792, of Newark, a name which it retained until its cruel destruction by the orders of General McClure in 1813. At Newark the first parliament of the Province of Upper Canada was held in 1792, with Governor Simcoe presiding. In this year Butler's Barracks were built at the southwest corner of the settlement.
Simcoe, a much-beloved governor, set himself to give a suitable nomenclature to the province. To the county was given the name of Lincoln, and the towns were named accordingly. Consequently one finds a Grimsby, a Crowland. a Stamford, a Thorold, a Willoughby, a Bertie, as in the ancient county in England. In 1804 St. Mark's church was built on the site of an old Indian burying ground. The Presbyterians had by this time a wooden building on the site of the present edifice of St. Andrew's.
The building of Fort George was made necessary by the evacuation of Fort Niagara in 1796. In this year Toronto, then known as York, became the capital of the new province. Eight years later the poet Moore visited the town, and was fond of sitting under a spreading oak tree situated two miles off on the Queenston Road, and known as "Moore's Oak." From 1804 to 1813 the much-loved Brock was connected with the settlement. In the graveyard of St. Mark's is preserved a large boulder known as Brock's seat, which at one time stood on the lake bank at the foot of Victoria street.
About the year 1806 there was founded in Newark a paper called the Freeman, by a man named Wilcox, an Irishman by birth, and at one time sheriff of York in Canada. Being dismissed from office for abuse of the government, he became a political agitator. He and others persuaded many across the frontier--no difficult matter-that the country was anxious to receive American institutions. In the war of 1812 he joined the invaders with a company of like-minded volunteers. They fought at Lundy's Lane and were commended by General Brown for their behavior in the field. Wilcox's record, if we may believe Canadian accounts, was anything but creditable--that of a thief, informer, plunderer and murderer. He was killed late in the war by a Lincoln militiaman called Schram. His predictions of a welcome to Americans were falsified by the issue. The war when it broke out showed the wonderful grit of the United Empire Loyalists, who had left their homes and property across the frontier to enjoy British laws and remain under the old flag.
Niagara-on-the-Lake was the first place to suffer. The day Brock was killed at Queenston the batteries of Fort Niagara opened fire with red-hot shot, setting many houses on fire and killing residents. The batteries of Fort George, however, finally silenced them. In the campaign of 1813, which opened so inauspiciously for Canada, a fleet under Commodore Chauncey, carrying 8,000 men under General Dearborn, arrived off the mouth of the river, and on the 27th of May effected a landing near where the Chautauqua buildings now stand. The small force of 600 men which resisted them was badly cut up, and the immediate result was the evacuation of Fort George and a retreat to Burlington Heights. General Dearborn then fell sick and the command devolved upon Generals Winder and Chandler, who were made prisoners at Stoney Creek on the 6th of June. Henceforward the American forces, which had returned in disorder, were practically shut up in Fort George. After Proctor's defeat on the Thames, General Harrison, "Old Tippecanoe," arrived at Newark as chief in command, and was mild in his treatment of the inhabitants; but his successor, McClure, was a different kind of a man--neither humane nor efficient. By the close of the year it was evident that the campaign in Upper Canada had gone against the invaders, and that a longer stay in Fort George would almost certainly result in capture and surrender. Fortifying himself with a conditional permission from Secretary of War Armstrong to fire the town, McClure carried this plan into execution on the 13th of December, but it is to the credit of Colonel Chapin, of the Buffalo militia, that he protested so warmly as to incur McClure's severe displeasure. The renegade Wilcox aided and encouraged him in the disgraceful act. Only Butler's Barracks were saved. The conflagration over, McClure ordered an immediate retreat across the river! Now, the only excuse for turning these innocent people out in the snow in chilly December was the probable use of their homes to make Fort George untenable. But he made no effort to hold Fort George, which was occupied that very same day by Col. Murray, who captured ten laggards. Newark before the conflagration was a handsome town, with numerous public and private stone buildings; the most attractive settlement in a very wide district. Seven days later Fort Niagara was in the hands of the British (see Route X), and a terrible retribution followed all along the opposite shore.
In the next campaign Newark, now Niagara, was not assailed. Fort Mississauga was built by Sir Gordon Drummond in the winter of 1813-4, its first name being Fort Riall, and it helped to daunt the invaders.
Up to 1832 Niagara continued to be a fairly thriving centre, but the increasing attractions of St. Catharines, Hamilton and Toronto began to tell upon its trade. With the opening of the Welland canal (see Appendix 13) its importance passed away.
During the slavery troubles in the United States Niagara was a favorite haven for negroes, as many as 500 finding their way thither. Here in 1837 the famous Moseby case occurred; that of a slave who had escaped on horseback from his master in Kentucky. A requisition for his extradition as a horse thief was brought to the Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, Sir Francis Bond Head, who allowed its validity. But the people of the Township of Niagara regarded this plea as a mere subterfuge, and the sympathy of the whole province was with the prisoner. It ended in the man's rescue, an amazon of a negress, named Mrs. Carter, particularly distinguishing herself. Mrs. Jameson describes an interview with Mrs. Carter in her "Winter Scenes."
During the great civil war there was quite a colony of Southerners at Niagara. In 1870 Miss Rye established here her home for orphan au destitute girls, whom she brought out from the Old Country and trained for service in Canadian homes. Five thousand girls were thus sent out by her in the first twenty-five years of her work. Having bought the old jail and court house, of no use after the removal of the county capital to St. Catharines in 1860, she gave it the name of " Our Western Home," and greatly beautified it. Her work has been eminently successful.
THE BATTLE OF QUEENSTON HEIGHTS.
During the month of August, 1812, there was an armistice in force on the Niagara frontier, which came to an end on the 2nd of September. The delay had afforded the U.S. generals an opportunity of massing their troops, and preparing for that easy conquest of Upper Canada which they expected to be complete before the winter set in. General Van Rensselaer had chosen Lewiston as the spot from which he would make the invasion. General Brock, with headquarters at Fort George, had at his disposal a small force of 1500 men, partly Indians and untrained militia, to meet the large number of the invading force--1500 regulars and over 3000 militia. He placed batteries at every available spot along the bank from Fort George to Queenston Heights, where there was a redan, still to be seen beside the monument (altered and strengthened later in the war). The strongest battery was at Vrooman's Point, commanding the Lewiston and Queenston landings, and about a mile down the river from the bluff.
Before daylight on the morning of the 13th October the long expected attack was made. Ten boats, conveying 360 regulars, crossed over from Lewiston, and a landing was effected unperceived. Soon, however, the alarm was given, and the British batteries began to pour grape and canister in the direction of the Lewiston landing; while the redcoats prevented the Americans from pressing up the bank or gaining any further advantage. The noise of the cannonading brought General Brock in haste from Fort George, splashed with mud from head to foot, for the night had been rainy. He rode up the hill to the redan, and took in the whole situation from that commanding point. But his position quickly proved untenable. Checkmated in the attempt to advance directly on Queenston, Capt. John E. Wool, of the 13th U. S. Infantry, had followed the advice of his subordinate, Lieut. Gansevoort, and made a detour to the left, by a steep fisherman's path which led up to the Heights. He had been followed by a picked body of men, and had secured an advantageous position. Reinforcements were from time to time arriving.
Brock at once recognized the importance of the movement, and it was in a charge to dislodge Wool and his men that he fell, pierced by a bullet in the right breast. A rifleman named Wilklow, of Moseley's battalion, is said to have fired the fatal shot, after taking deliberate aim.
On a later charge Brock's faithful aide-de-camp,-Lieut.-Col. McDonell, also fell, his horse being killed at the same instant. Further attempts were made to carry the position before 10 a. m., but without effect; whereupon it was determined to attack from beyond, by making a detour through the woods in the direction of St. Davids. Meanwhile a party of Indians harassed the invading force and kept them on the defensive. For the next five hours the invaders were landing troops undisturbed, and carrying back their dead and wounded. The militia, however, refused to cross, pleading that they were engaged merely for the defence of the country, not for offensive operations. About 3 p. m. Capt. Bullock arrived from Chippawa with a company of the 41st and some companies of militia, in the nick of time, just as a furious assault with the bayonet was about to be made on the American position. A gun which had been planted in front of their position, close to where the monument now stands, was carried, and the American bluecoats, under Col. Winfield Scott, were driven irresistibly towards the cliff. Scott himself scrambled down to the water's edge, in hopes of finding a boat, but, being disappointed, gave the signal for surrender. 390 officers and men were then made prisoners; over 300 skulkers were captured later; and these, with the prisoners made earlier in the day, made the total number 958. They were marched down to Fort George that evening, and sent thence to Montreal. Scott was soon afterwards exchanged, and took part in the campaigns of 1813 and 1814.
A brisk cannonading had taken place early in the day down at Fort Niagara, but its guns were finally silenced by those of Fort George. Here, three days later, in the York bastion which he had himself planned, General Brock was buried, amidst universal sorrow. Minute guns were fired from the other side in testimony of respect for the dead hero. On the Canadian side it was felt that the victory was dearly bought with the loss of their trusted general.
Isaac Brock was born in the Island of Guernsey on the 6th of October, 1769, in the same year as Wellington and Napoleon. Entering the army at the age of fifteen he saw service in Holland, was second in command of the military forces at Copenhagen, and was sent across to Canada, where he acted both as civil and military governor. Standing over six feet, of powerful frame and attractive person, he secured the warmest attachment by his sweetness of disposition, sound judgment and upright character. For years after his death many who had known him and served under him could scarcely speak of him without tears. He was charging with men of the 49th regiment, in which he had served from subaltern to colonel, when he met his death. Many considered that American interests were less hurt by the defeat than they were benefited by the death of so capable and dangerous an adversary.
THE REBELLION OF 1837 AND THE CUTTING OUT OF THE CAROLINE.
The name which chiefly figures in the Canadian rebellion of 1837 is that of William Lyon Mackenzie, a Scotchman by birth and a journalist by profession. As a journalist he was noted for the recklessness of his statements, and at Queenston, where he edited a paper, he had to pay damages to W. H. Merritt, the promoter of the Welland Canal, for charges which he could not substantiate. In the year 1836 the election went against the Radical party, of which he was the leader. Next year Papineau's rebellion occurred in the lower province, and in December, 1837, Mackenzie gave the signal for a rising in the Toronto district. There was no military force to put it down, but the retired officers and militia of the district immediately answered the call to arms. Mackenzie, foiled in his plans, fled to the United States, crossing the river some say at Queenston, others at a point between Slater's Dock and Black Creek. Making Buffalo his headquarters, he began to enroll a "patriot" army, issuing bonds for his proposed new Canadian government. He found numerous American sympathizers, who bought his bonds.
Navy Island was made his headquarters, where he was soon surrounded by a motley crew of enthusiasts and loafers. On the 17th of December, 1837, he issued a proclamation to the inhabitants of Upper Canada, signing himself "Chairman pro tern of the provincial ('provisional'--a printer's blunder) government of the State of Upper Canada."
A paddle-steamer called the Caroline kept up communication with Schlosser Dock on the main land. It was maintained that the vessel was in the interests of a private company anxious to make money by conveying sightseers to the Island; but this was considered a flimsy pretext by the Canadians.
The loyal militia began to gather on the west side of the river at Chippawa, and bullets were soon flying from bank to bank. On the 29th of December, about 4 o'clock, Sir Allan Macnab, who was in command of the volunteer force at Chippawa, and Commander Drew, a half-pay naval officer who had settled in Canada and was now entrusted with the naval operations against Navy Island, were standing on the river bank watching a steamer cross from near Schlosser Dock to the Island. On its deck were some field pieces. "This won't do," said Sir Allan. "I say, Drew, do you think you could cut that vessel out?" Drew remarked that he thought he could, but it must be done at night. He immediately set himself to obtain volunteers, keeping the secret of the enterprise until all should be on board the boats. He chose out such men as could pull a good oar, and embarked them on seven boats, each with four oarsmen and three or four occupants. Shortly before midnight they started on their perilous enterprise. They had to allow for a current running at seven miles an hour, and the rapids and falls were roaring just below them; while on their right there was the danger of being discovered and fired upon from Navy Island. As it was, two boats were discovered and had to pull back. At one time it seemed as if they were going astern over the falls. At length, about half-past twelve o'clock, they were across, and had pulled up alongside the Island at Echota, a considerable distance above the dock. Then the five boats dropped silently down upon the unsuspecting prey. Arriving alongside, Drew jumped on deck and overpowered three men, two of whom fired upon him; and, his men swarming on deck, the vessel was in their possession, but not without a struggle. They then sent the crew on shore, and fired the vessel in four places. There was some difficulty in cutting her away, but a young man named Sullivan, seizing an axe, severed the chains under the ice which held her to the shore. In his anxiety lest any living soul should be left on board, Drew very nearly lost his life. He found himself alone on a burning boat drifting to the falls. Happily his cries were heard and a boat returned for him, but another minute would have been fatal. In a quarter of an hour the Caroline shot, a mass of red flame, right over the centre of the Horseshoe Fall. Those who saw the spectacle never forgot it.
Commander Drew's bold act excited intense feeling on the other side and was characterized as an outrage. According to one absurd report, the first to arrive in England, sixteen hundred souls were on board the burning vessel as it made the plunge. For several years on the 29th of December the gallant commander was burnt in effigy at Buffalo. Several attempts were made to assassinate him, and there is good reason for supposing that Captain Ussher was killed by would-be murderers of Drew. (See Appendix 7). He finally gave up his property at Woodstock, Ontario, because of the constant menace to his life, and returned to England, where he died a rear-admiral at a ripe age.
A sensational trial was held at Lockport shortly after the cutting out. A British soldier, Alex. McLeod, supposed to belong to Drew's party, was arrested on the American side, and had to stand a trial for the murder of Amos Durfee, who died at Schlosser of wounds inflicted by the attacking force. Everyone was relieved by his acquittal, as a capital sentence might have brought on a war between the two nations.
The rebellion was easily put down and Mackenzie entered the U. S. customs service in New York. He grew dissatisfied, however, and finally returned to Canada, and became again a loyal subject of the Queen.
BATTLE OF STONEY CREEK.
In the three campaigns which menaced the existence of the British flag in Upper Canada, the nadir of the fortunes of the colonists was reached after the capture of Fort George on the 27th of May, 1813. A retreat was made on Burlington, which became the headquarters of the British forces in the region. York, now Toronto, had been evacuated; the fleet of Chauncey was in command of the lake. It seemed as if a last stand against overwhelming odds must be made at Burlington Heights. The whole British force numbered barely 1800 men, but with everything to discourage them, they retained their cheerfulness, and were ready to fight to the bitter end.
Flushed with victory, an American force about 2,000 strong advanced along the shore of the lake past St. Catharines, and finally encamped at Stoney Creek, within ten miles of the British position. Fitzgibbon, to be so famous later on, conceived the plan of a night attack. With characteristic boldness and craft he disguised himself as a butter vendor, and discovered all he wanted to know in a visit to the camp of the invaders. He reported them as encamped on the eastern bank of a rivulet just west of the Stoney Creek; in a shallow valley about 600 feet wide, with banks 12 or 15 feet high On the top of these steep banks cannon were mounted. Their generals, Winder and Chandler, occupied the farmer's house to which the property belonged.
A band of bold spirits offered themselves for the forlorn hope, 704, rank and tile, under Colonel Harvey, a brave and capable officer, afterwards to serve as aide-de-camp to Wellington on the field of Waterloo. Setting out at nightfall on the 5th of June, 1813, with every precaution against premature surprise--it was a current tradition that the flints of their muskets were removed--they stole across the plain, and had bayoneted the pickets before an alarm was given. Soon came a volley of musketry from the camp; but the deadly bayonet did its work. The guns were seized and turned upon the hapless crowd of newly awakened men: and all was confusion. Both generals were captured, and the army was dispersed, bearing with them over a hundred of the assailants, who were subsequently made prisoners.
The remainder, anxious to be off before daylight should disclose their numerical weakness, returned to Burlington Heights, thoroughly satisfied with their night's work. In the morning the invaders returned to the camp, secured what baggage they could, and began a precipitate retreat. The meeting with reinforcements from Fort George prevented their retreat from being turned into a rout. This engagement was the turning point of the campaign, for the invading force never recovered from the utter demoralization of the disastrous night of June 5th. The operation is known as "rushing a camp." Popular American historios, basing their special pleading on the two facts that more prisoners were taken by the Americans than by the British, and that the latter allowed their adversaries to return to the scene of operations and re-occupy it, actually claim a victory for the U. S. forces. But the attacking force was outnumbered three to one, and had relied on the darkness for its success. Moreover the ground was re-occupied only to be precipitately given up, with the abandonment of the wounded and dead.
The story of General Vincent's wanderings in the woods, found in many histories, seems to be a myth, like the scalp story of the Toronto (York) Parliament Hall, or the New Orleans "Beauty and Booty" yarn. Rossiter Johnson gives it as follows:
"The British commander, Vincent, had been thrown from his horse, lost his way in the woods, and after floundering about all night was discovered in a most pitiful and ridiculous plight."
British authorities estimate the American army at 3,500, with 250 cavalry; Roosevelt makes it 1,400; Mac-Master (whom I have followed), 2,000. The following is the account he gives in his "History of the People of the United States," vol. iv., p. 45:
”Assuming command of the army, now ten thousand strong, Chandler approached to within ten miles of the enemy, camped, and about two in the morning of June6th was surprised and soundly beaten. So complete was the surprise, so utter was the demoralization, that in the darkness and confusion both Winder and Chandler walked into the British lines and were captured."
THE WELLAND CANAL.
The man to whom is due the credit of having projected and carried through to completion the construction of the great canal which joins lakes Erie and Ontario died in 1862 at the age of 69. He was the Honorable William Hamilton Merritt, a United Empire Loyalist, who served in the war of 1812, and became in the year 1851, after years of public service, Chief Commissioner of Public Works in the province.
In the year 1823, after five or six years of discussion, a survey of the country between the Chippawa river and the waters running into Lake Ontario was made; next year a company was formed, under the title of the "Welland Canal Company," with a capital of $200,000. Work was commenced in November of this year (1824). In five years a waterway was open from lake to lake. Meanwhile the stock had been increased fivefold, and the original scheme had been extended; government aid had also been secured. By the year 1838 the superintendent was able to report a clearance for the year of 1,348 vessels.
The canal was originally supplied from the Chippawa river, but later it was raised at the summit to the Grand river level, as the supply from the Chippawa was insufficient. Again in 1813 the summit was reduced from the level of the Grand river to that of Lake Erie, and the locks were increased in size.
The canal as completed at this date, extended from Port Colborne on Lake Erie to Welland on the Chippawa river, where the great reservoir is; thence through a deep cutting to Thorold; thence by way of Merritton to St. Catharines, on the west side of the town, and so to Port Dalhousie, a descent of about 300 feet by 28 locks of 10 feet each. But, owing to the larger size of the vessels which were now built, it was found necessary to increase the size of the locks, and a new section was constructed about 25 years ago to the east of the old route. The locks of the new waterway occupy the mountain side between Thorold-and St. Davids, and the line the canal follows lies east of St Catharines about a mile, passing by Homer and shortening the distance by about one mile. The amount of tolls annually collected is about $220,000, and the canal is open on the average 241 days in the year.
Lundy's Lane Cemetery – Map
1.Monuments to the British and Canadian heroes who fell in the Battle of 1814.
2. Grave of Capt. Ussher, murdered in the rebellion of 1837-
3. Graves of James and Laura Secord.
4. Burial enclosure of the Street family.
5. Oldest grave in the cemetery.
6.Grave of Lieut. Hemphill.
7.Graves of Lieut.-Col. Gordon and Capt. Torrens.
8.Grave of Capt. Patterson.
9.Grave of Lieut.-Col- Bishopp.
10.Grave of Capt. Hull, 9th U. S. Infantry.
11.Grave of Robert Randal, M. P. P.