Historic Plaques & Markers
Niagara Parks encompasses a unique landscape that is rich in historical and natural significance. Over 100 monuments and plaques that identify the landmarks, events and persons important to the history of the region are placed along the Niagara Parkway, a roadway that follows the Niagara River through Niagara Parks from Fort Erie north to Niagara-on-the-Lake on the shores of Lake Ontario. Any visit to Niagara Parks, whether driving leisurely along the Parkway or walking or cycling the 56-km (35 mi) Niagara River Recreation Trail, can be enriched by stopping to read and study the markers and memorials along the way. The scenic trip is not only beautiful, but entertaining and educational as well.
The following inventory has been created by Niagara Parks staff and may not be complete. Most of the following transcriptions provide a short description of the site location. Photographs may be available upon request.
Following are some of the plaques you can discover traveling along the Niagara Parkway or the Niagara River Recreation Trail, catalogued from Niagara-on-the-Lake in the north to Niagara Falls.
John Graves Simcoe 1752 - 1806 (bronze plaque left of front entrance to Navy Hall)
"Simcoe was born in Northamptonshire and educated at Oxford. He joined the British Army in 1771 and from 1777 to 1781 he commanded the Queen's Rangers, a loyalist corps in America. After the Loyalists influx had led to the creation of a separate province of Upper Canada in 1791, Simcoe was named its first lieutenant-governor. During his five years in office, the province's basically British and monarchial character and institutions took shape. After he left Canada in 1796, he held a succession of military and colonial offices and died in Exeter shortly after being appointed commander-in-chief for India. Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Government of Canada 1976."
John Graves Simcoe, First Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada 1791-1796
"Here at Niagara on September 17, 1792, he presided over the first representative assembly of this province. His genius foresaw the greatness of this country and he threw himself into its building with ardour and enthusiasm. By his exalted aims, his conspicuous integrity, his tireless industry and unflagging fortitude, he brought courage to the hearts of the early settlers and led them to carve a civilization out of the wilderness. In all this he was unfailingly helped by his wife Elizabeth Posthuma Gwillim who like her husband has left the impress of her spirit and her name on the letters and locations of this province. Her diaries and her drawings give an authentic record of the life of the period and the aspect of the land - Non Bibi Sed Patriae - Not For Self But For Country. Memorial erected by The Niagara Parks Commission in 1952."
Simcoe Memorial (in front of Navy Hall)
The memorial to Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe and Mrs. Simcoe was unveiled on July 29, 1953 by the Honourable Leslie M. Frost, Premier of Ontario. The memorial was commissioned by The Niagara Parks Commission and was designed and sculpted by Elizabeth Wyn Wood.
The Early Years (article displayed in front of Navy Hall)
"Navy Hall consisted of a small shipyard, storehouse, residences and docks which served as a depot for local supplies. It also served as a trans-shipment point for the posts on the Upper Great Lakes. From 1792-1796 Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe had offices and his residence in the complex. The buildings were later converted to military use until destroyed in American artillery fire during the War of 1812."
The Facilities (article displayed in front of Navy Hall)
"The facilities of this strategic location have served British and later Canadian troops stationed at Niagara from 1765 to 1920. Environment Canada, Canadian Park Service"
Later Years - Inoculation at Old Navy Hall, Niagara Camp (article displayed in front of Navy Hall)
"Canadian soldiers at Camp Niagara preparing for overseas service during World War I. Immediately after the War of 1812, a new wooden storehouse was built on this site. It was converted into barracks for British troops during the border troubles of 1838. The building remained in use until the 20th century serving as a medical commissary for Canadian troops during World War I. During the 1930s it was moved to the location in front of you by the Niagara Parks Commission and encased in stone."
"Constructed by order of Lieutenant-Governor John G. Simcoe in 1796-99, Fort George served as the headquarters for Major-General Brock in 1812. In 1813 it was bombarded and captured by the Americans who constructed fortifications of their own on the site. These in turn were re-taken by the British in December 1813. In 1814 Ft George was described as tumbling into ruins and ordered abandoned. The present works are a re-construction done in 1937-40 and represent the fort as it was in 1799-1813. Only the magazine of the original fort remains. Monuments Board of Canada, Government of Canada"
"There was a prevailing sense of insecurity on the Niagara Frontier in the closing months of 1811 and the early months of 1812. War with the United States seemed inevitable and military and civilians alike were anxiously preparing for it. War did come and before it ended Fort George was completely destroyed. Fort George was reconstructed between 1937-40 on the foundations of the original."
(The previous markers are maintained by the staff of Fort George, an historic site owned and operated by the Canadian government. The Niagara Parks Commission, a self-sufficient agency of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, administers all of the following markers, at no cost to the public.)
Capture of Fort Niagara 1813 (McFarland Park near East-West Line)
"In the early morning of December 19th, 1813, a force under John Murray consisting of detachments of the 100th and the 41st regiments, Royal Scots, Royal Artillery and Canadian Militia embarked in bateaux at the foot of this ravine, crossing silently to a point above Youngstown, New York, they attacked Fort Niagara killing or capturing its American garrison. Erected by Ontario Archeological and Historic Sites Board"
McFarland House 1800 (McFarland Park, 15927 Niagara Parkway)
"This Georgian style house was built in 1800 by John McFarland (1757-1815) and his sons, on land granted by the Crown. It is one of the oldest surviving structures in the Niagara district. During the War of 1812 it was used as a hospital by both British and American forces and a British battery, located behind the house, protected the river. In 1813, John McFarland was taken prisoner by the Americans following their capture of Fort George. When he returned in 1815, much of his property had been destroyed and the house badly damaged. The home was repaired and remained in the McFarland family for several generations. Ontario Heritage Trust, an agency of the Government of Ontario"
Thomas Moore (1779 - 1852) (plaque on a boulder on east side of Parkway south of McFarland House)
"One of Ireland's best loved and renowned poets and lyricists, Thomas Moore visited Niagara during July 1804. Captivated by the scenic splendour of the area and as guest of Col. Isaac Brock, Commander at Fort George, Moore frequently found rest and creative inspiration under a large Oak tree here on the McFarland farm. His poems and other writings about Ontario helped to give the Irish and British a better picture of this region and subsequently, played a role in encouraging emigration to Canada. "And I said, if there is peace to be found in the world, a heart that is humble might find it here". Erected July 2004 by Niagara Parks.
Joseph-Genevieve Comte de Puisaye (15586 Niagara Parkway)
"Soldier, politician, diplomatist and colonizer de Puisaye was born in Martagne-en-perche, France, about 1755 and enlisted in the French army at 18. Elected to the Estates-General 1789, he supported reform but alarmed by the course of the revolution, later organized resistance on behalf of the Royalists. Outlawed he sought refuge in England and in 1795 as lieutenant-general led an ill-fated expedition to Quiberon, Brittany. Three years later with some forty other emigres, he arrived in Upper Canada and established a short-lived settlement in Markham-Vaughan region. In 1799 he purchased a farm here on which he lived until he moved to England in 1802 There he died in 1827." Erected by the Archeological and Archives of Ontario, Department of Public Record and Archives of Ontario.
Comte de Puisaye (stone marker on west side of Parkway near Line 2)
"The building near here is half of that built by the Count De Puisaye a French refugee about 1800. Placed by the Niagara Historical Society in 1915."
The Field House (near 15276 Niagara Parkway)
"One of the oldest brick houses in Ontario, this handsome Georgian structure was built about 1800. Originally a farm house, it was the home of Gilbert Field (1765-1815), a United Empire Loyalist who was in possession of the land by 1790. During the War of 1812 the house was used by British forces and was subjected to a brief bombardment from an American battery. Thought damaged it was one of few houses in the area to survive the hostilities. It remained in the Field family until about 1925, after which it passed through various hands. In 1968 the Ontario Heritage Foundation acquired the property to ensure its continued preservation and twelve years later the Field House was returned to private ownership with a projective covenant. Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation, Minister of Culture and Communications"
Brown's Point (marker on Trail 2 miles north of Queenston)
"Brown's Inn was located here. Both the Canadian York Militia and the American army bivouacked near here on separate occasions during the War of 1812. Adam Brown later added a store to his inn and built a wharf on the river shore below where sailing ships loaded settlers' produced potash and lime destined for Montreal and overseas. Erected by the Niagara Parks Commission"
Brown's Point (stone marker on trail 2 miles north of Queenston)
"Here General Sir Isaac Brock called out on his way to Queenston Heights 13 October 1812, "Push On York Volunteers". Stone marker placed by the Niagara Historical Society in 1915."
Vrooman's Battery (National Historic Site - Parkway near 14759 Niagara River Parkway, Queenston)
"Manned by Captain Samuel Hatt's 5th Lincoln Militia Regiment and a small party of Lincoln Militia Artillery under Lieutenant John Ball, and consisting of a 24 pounder cannon mounted within a crescent-shaped earthwork, this battery was engaged in the Battle of Queenston Heights on the 13th October, 1812. Commanding the Niagara River, its continuous fire harassed the Americans crossing from Lewiston, provided cover for the British when they were first repulsed from the heights and supported later attempts to regain them.
Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. Government of Canada 1929."
Village of Queenston
Major John Richardson 1796-1852 (on grounds of Laura Secord Elementary School)
"This pioneer historian, author and soldier was born in Queenston. His family moved to Amherstburg about 1802 and at the outbreak of the War of 1812 Richardson joined the British army. Retired at half-pay in London, England, he published the epic poem "Tecumseh" and the celebrated historical novel "Wacousta" which established his literary reputation. In 1838 Richardson returned to Upper Canada where he published two weekly newspapers, the New Era 1841-42 and the Canadian Loyalist 1844. His later works "Eight Years in Canada" and "The War of 1812" provided invaluable historical information. In 1848 he moved to New York City where he died in poverty. Erected by the Archeological and Historic Sites Board 1960."
Queenston Baptist Church
"In 1808 the Reverend Elkanah Holmes, a missionary from the United States, had organized the first Baptist congregation in Queenston. Following the War of 1812 the congregation declined, was recognized in 1831 and between 1842-45 erected this rough-cut limestone structure as its church. It is an early and interesting example of a Gothic revival style in this province. The church had closed by 1918 and in 1928 was sold to the Women's Institute which occupied the building until 1954. In 1970 it was acquired by Dr. Djamal Afrukhteh who donated it to the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. After a fund-rising campaign by the Queenston Community Association the building was removed and in December 1972 was officially opened as the Queenston Library and Community Centre. Erected by the Archeological and Historic Sites Board, Ministry of Colleges and Universities"
The Founding of Queenston (East side of Queenston Street just north of Laura Secord Homestead)
"Following the loss after the American Revolution of the Niagara River's east bank, a new portage around Niagara Falls was established in the 1780s with Queenston its northern terminus. Wharves, storehouses and a blockhouse were built. Robert Hamilton, a prominent merchant, considered the village's founder, operated a thriving trans-shipment business. Known as the lower landing, it was named Queenston by Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe. During the War of 1812 the village was badly damaged. Here lived such well-known figures as Laura Secord and William Lyon Mackenzie. Despite loss of commerce following the opening of the Welland Canal in 1829, Queenston later served as a terminus for the province's first horse-drawn railway. Queenston was incorporated into the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake in 1970. Erected by the Archeological and Historic Sites Board, Ministry of Colleges and Universities"
Home of Laura Ingersoll Secord (marker on east side of Secord property)
"This stone marker was placed in 1901 by the Women's Literary Club of St. Catharines to honour Laura Secord and was rededicated in 1972 by members of the Club on the occasion of their 80th annual pilgrimage."
Laura Ingersoll Secord 1775-1868 (plaque in front of Homestead )
"Born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, Laura Ingersoll came to Upper Canada with her father in 1795 and settled in this area. About two years later she married James Secord, a United Empire Loyalist and within seven years they had moved to this site from nearby St. David's. From here during the War of 1812 Laura set out on an arduous 19 mile journey to warn the local British commander, Lieutenant James Fitzgibbon, of an impending American attack. The courage and tenacity displayed on this occasion in June, 1813, places her in the forefront of the province's heroines. Mrs. Secord's house, a simple frame building, was restored in 1971-72 and remains as a memorial to this exceptional act of patriotism. Erected by the Archeological and Historic Sites Board, Archives of Ontario"
Laura Secord Homestead, Queenston (Red and Brass Plaque freestanding, just off parking lot next to Welcome Center)
The celebrated heroine of the war of 1812 is a renowned figure in Canadian History. Determined to warn the British of an impending attack on Beaver Dams, Secord set out from her home on June 22, 1813, on a dangerous mission. She traveled alone for over 30 kilometers, behind enemy lines, struggling to make it to the De Cew farmhouse, where she informed Lieutenant Fitzgibbon about the American plan. Later in the 19th century, a first generation of women historians championed Secord's courageous deed with the goal of uncovering and popularizing women's contributions to the history of Canada.
Indians at Queenston Heights, October 13, 1812 (Plaque on a granite boulder, west of Brock's Cenotaph, at the base of the Heights on Queenston Street)
"Warriors of the Six Nations of Iroquois, Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas, Tuscaroras, mainly from the Grand River, fought as allies of the British in this historic battle with the Americans. Speaking distinctive dialects and with different religious beliefs, these Indians were drawn together for the battle by John Norton. A resourceful and courageous commander, Norton, a man of Cherokee and Scottish ancestry, was a Mohawk (Teyoninhokawawen) by adoption. With John Brant (Ahyouwaeghs), the youngest son of Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea) and John Bearfoot, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War, the Iroquois fought for their own survival as a people and in support of the British. Erected by the Niagara Parks Commission and the Queenston Community Association with the assistance of the Ontario Ministry of Culture and Recreation October 12, 1980"
Brock's Cenotaph (North side)
"Near the spot Major-General Sir Isaac Brock, K.C.B., Provisional Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, fell on the 13th of October, 1812, while advancing to repel the invading enemy."
Brock's Cenotaph (South side)
"This cenotaph was dedicated by the Prince of Wales (future King Edward VII) His Royal Highness Albert Edward on the 18th September, 1860."
Alfred (Bronze statue mounted on a sandstone base and in a glass case, installed October 3, 1976 east of the cenotaph)
"Early on the morning of October 13, 1812, after galloping seven miles from Fort George, General Brock tethered his grey horse, Alfred, here in the Village of Queenston in order to lead a charge on foot to repel the invading enemy. Brock was killed leading the attack. Colonel Macdonell then took command until General Sheaffe could arrive from Fort George with reinforcements. Macdonnell rode Alfred to lead another charge. He was mortally wounded and Alfred was killed, part of the price of saving Canada on that fateful day. (They also serve who only stand and wait.) Presented to The Niagara Parks Commission by Mr. and Mrs. Steward G. Bennett. Ralph Sketch sculptor. 1976"
The Colonial Advocate (in front of Mackenzie House)
"This influential journal of radical reform was first published on May 18, 1824, at Queenston by William Lyon Mackenzie. A native of Scotland, Mackenzie had emigrated to Upper Canada in 1820 and three years later settled here and opened a general store. Within a year he had established a printing office in his home on this site but in November 1824 moved to York (Toronto). Because of Mackenzie's frequent attacks on the Family Compact, supporters of this group raided the Colonial Advocate offices and damaged the press on June 18, 1826. The courts awarded Mackenzie damages and he resumed publication. Mackenzie severed his connection with the paper, now called The Advocate, in 1834. The last issue appeared that November. Erected by the Archeological and Historic Sites Board, Ministry of Colleges and Universities 1974"
Mackenzie Printery (Stone marker at entrance to house)
"Home of William Lyon Mackenzie, Birthplace of Responsible Government 1823-1824."
Queenston Heights Park
Roy Terrace Birthplace of the Falls (in front of the ornamental entrance gates to the Park)
"Roy Terrace and Eldridge Terrace, the niche visible on the U.S. side of the same height, mark the level of glacial Lake Iroquois (Lake Ontario). When the Wisconsin glacier receded about 12 thousand years ago, the Falls of Niagara were born here, water falling 11 metres (35 feet) over the escarpment from a small Lake Erie into Lake Iroquois. Erected by the Niagara Parks Commission."
The Niagara Escarpment (river side of Parkway near escarpment Scenic Lookout )
"Queenston Heights is part of the Niagara Escarpment, a height of land which extends 725 kilometres across Ontario from Niagara Falls to Manitoulin Island. Over 430 million years ago, a shallow tropical sea covered most of central North America. Sediments and coral reef on the seabed were compressed into dolomite, a hard type of limestone which was more resistant to erosion than the bedrock of adjacent lands after the water retreated. The cliffs of the escarpment are the exposed floor of the ancient sea. The escarpment's rugged terrain, home to a wide variety of plants and wildlife, forms a natural corridor through both urban and rural areas. In 1990, the United Nations designated the Niagara Escarpment a World Biosphere Reserve. Ontario Heritage Foundation. Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Recreation" (text also in French)
Major-General Roger Hale Sheaffe (Sculpture by Ralph Sketch, in foyer of Queenston Heights Restaurant)
"The Canada-United States border was not always as friendly as it is today. Early on the morning of October 13, 1812, American troops crossed the Niagara River from Lewiston. They established a strong position on the heights above Queenston. General Brock led frontal attacks to dislodge the invaders. He was killed during the morning. The attacks gained time for General Sheaffe to bring the main body of troops from Fort George. He marched them up the Niagara Escarpment between Queenston and St. David's. In the late afternoon, the powerful flank attack drove the Americans back across the river. As many prisoners were taken as the total of the British and Canadian force. Niagara Parks Commission 1988."
Sir Roger Hale Sheaffe (1763-1851) (Plaque at Brock's Monument )
"On October 13, 1812, following Isaac Brock's death in a preceding assault, Major-General Sheaffe assumed command and led a successful attack which dislodged an invading American force from Queenston Heights. Born in Boston, Mass., Sheaffe was commissioned in the British army in 1778 and fought in the American Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. Arriving in Upper Canada in 1812, he served as administrator of the province 1812-13 and returned to England in the latter year. He was created a baronet in 1813, attained the rank of general in 1838 and died in Edinburgh, Scotland. Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board 1959"
The Battle of Queenston Heights (National Historic Site - Brock's Monument at the lookout)
"The village below you and the heights on which you are standing were the stage for the famous battle of Queenston Heights. It took place during the Anglo-American conflict 1812-1815 known as the War of 1812. During the early morning hours of October 13, 1812 an American invasion force camped at Lewiston crossed the Niagara River and gained control of the heights of Queenston. After many hours of fierce combat, they were crushed by a combined force of British regulars, Canadian militia and Indian warriors. This victory had a great significance. It prevented for sometime the Americans from establishing a foothold in Canada and it inspired confidence in Canadians that they could defend an immense territory despite their meagre human and material resources. Parks Canada"
The Battle of Queenston Heights (on the wall around the monument)
"In the early morning of 13 October 1812, American troops under Major-General Stephen Van Rensellaer crossed the Niagara River and took possession of Queenston Heights. Major-General Isaac Brock hurried from Fort George to lead a small force against the invaders and was killed in an attempt to regain the heights. In the afternoon, Major-General Roger Hale Sheaffe with his force of British regulars, militia and Indians from Fort George strengthened by reinforcements from Chippawa, took the hill from the west flank, capturing 958 prisoners. This celebrated victory ended the American offensive of 1812. Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Government of Canada" (text also in French)
Battle of Queenston Heights (Engraving on plaque)
"This battle ended in a complete Victory on the part of the British, having captured 927 men, killed or wounded about 500. Taken 1400 Stand of Arms, a six pounder and a stand of Colours."
Walking Tour of Brock's Monument
(5 station, self-guided tour on the battlefield presented by Parks Canada)
Station 1: Attack (to the left of Laura Secord's monument)
"If you go to the lookout behind the Laura Secord monument you will see across the river and slightly to your right the area where a huge American force assembled for the invasion of Canada. In the early hours of October 13, 1812, six hundred American soldiers crossed the river and landed on the Canadian shore somewhere above the present docks. Queenston was chosen as the target because it was an important point on the British supply line and because the only other possible landing spot was the heavily fortified area around Fort George. The invaders were quickly pinned down on the landing area by heavy British gunfire. British General Isaac Brock hastened from Fort George at the sound of the cannons firing across the river. He quickly took charge sending for reinforcements."
Station 2: A Treacherous River Cliff (across the Parkway from the Ornamental Entrance Gate).
"An unguarded trail up this steep cliff was the only route which the Americans had to the heights of Queenston. The trail was to your right but does not exist any longer. Trapped on the river shore by unrelenting gunfire, the Americans contemplated a desperate action: the ascent of this cliff. The British, positioned on a ledge between here and the Village of Queenston did not detect the movement and the attackers took the Heights by surprise. However, later in the battle this cliff became a cruel barrier between the Americans and safety on the other shore."
Station 3: The Capture of the Redan and the Death of Brock (a short distance from Station 2 beside a cannon)
"On the river banks below here, the Americans were trapped. To the right the Americans scaled the river cliff and seized the Heights above. To the left the British held the Village of Queenston. A British 18-pounder cannon situated here within an earthwork called a "redan". On October 13, 1812, this cannon hindered the reinforcement of the American troops trapped below. Arriving from Fort George, Major-General Brock came here to direct the defence of Queenston and await reinforcements, however the small enemy detachment which had scaled the cliffs behind the redan made a surprise attack forcing the British to retreat into the village. Brock led two hundred men in a counter-attack during which he was mortally wounded. Another assault, led by Brock's aide de camp, John Macdonell, was repulsed by the Americans who were soon firmly in control of the Heights."
(Additional plaque located near Station 3)
"Near this spot Lieutenant-Colonel John Macdonell, Attorney-General of Upper Canada, was mortally wounded 13th October, 1812. Erected by Lundy's Lane Historical Society 1906."
Station 4: The Counter Offensive Takes Shape (on the slope directly above Mackenzie Printery and Newspaper Museum)
"The Niagara Escarpment rises above you. British reinforcements arriving here from Fort George in battle dress and exhausted from a double-quick march, struggled up the slope some distance to your right. While the Americans controlled Queenston Heights they were prevented from properly establishing their position by the harassment of 120 Indians under Chief John Norton. In the meantime regular British troops and Canadian militia were arriving from Fort George and other outposts under the direction of Major-General Roger Sheaffe. They climbed the heights of Queenston and assembled for the last battle."
Station 5: The Decisive Battle (on the heights near Brock's monument)
"On the plateau before you, the British and Americans met for battle. The British formed a line to your right, the Americans to your left. General Sheaffe formed a British counter-offensive force of nine hundred men in a line shoulder to shoulder. The Americans were slightly greater in number but had not been reinforced with troops or arms since the arrival of the Indians. They had to meet the British with their backs to the river precipice. The British combined force advanced with fixed bayonets and with no route of escape available, the Americans were forced to surrender."
Brock's Monument - Queenston Heights Battlefield (on the wall around monument)
"The monument towering above you is a memorial to Major-General Isaac Brock, commander of British forces in Upper Canada at the beginning of the War of 1812. Brock died on the slopes below Queenston Heights on October 13, 1812, during an engagement between British and American forces. It was a battle that had great significance for Canada. This monument was constructed between 1853-56. It is 56 metres (185 ft) high and is constructed entirely of cut stone. Parks Canada maintains the monument as a national historic site."
Upper Canada (on Brock's Monument)
"Upper Canada has dedicated this monument to the memory of the late Major-General Isaac Brock, K.B. provisional lieutenant-governor and commander of the forces in the province whose remains are deposited in the vault beneath. Opposing the invading enemy he fell in action near these heights on 13 October 1812, in the forty-third year of his age. Revered and lamented by the people whom he governed and deplored by the sovereign to whose services his life had been devoted."
Inscription (inside monument)
"A monument was originally erected on this spot by a grant from the Parliament of this Province, and subsequently destroyed in the year 1840. The present monument was erected chiefly by the voluntary contributions of the militia and Indian warriors of this province, aided by a grant from the Legislature; authority for erecting the same being delegated to a committee consisting of the following gentlemen:
Sir Allan Napier McNab, Bart, Chairman
Sir John Beverley Robinson, Bart
Sir James Buchanan Macaulay, Knt
The Honourable Mr. Justice McClean
The Hon. Walter H. Dixon
The Hon. William Hamilton Merritt, M.P.P.
Colonel, the Hon. James Kirby
Thomas Clark Street, Esq.
David Thorburn, Esq.
Lieutenant Garrett, Late Fort-Ninth Regiment
Col. Robert Hamilton
Capt. H. Monroe, Secretary
T.G. Ridout, Esq. Treasurer
William Thomas, Architect
John Worthington, Builder"
Inscriptions (inside monument)
"In the vault underneath are deposited the mortal remains of the lamented Major-General Sir Isaac Brock K.B. who fell in action near these heights on the 13th October, 1812, and was entombed on 16th October at the bastion of Fort George, Niagara; removed from thence and re-interred under a monument to the eastward of this site on 13th October 1824 and in consequence of that monument having received irreparable damage by a lawless act on 17th April, 1840, it was found requisite to take down the former structure and erect this monument, the foundation stone being laid and the remains re-interred with due solemnity on the 13th October, 1853."
"In a vault beneath are deposited the mortal remains of Lieutenant-Colonel John Macdonell, P.A.D.C. and aide-de-camp to the lamented Major-General Sir Isaac Brock K.B. who fell mortally wounded in the Battle of Queenston on the 13th October 1812, and died the following day. His remains were removed and re-interred with due solemnity on the 13th October, 1853."
The "Colored Corps" 1812-1815 (Queenston Heights near Brock's monument)
"When the War of 1812 began, people of African descent in the Niagara peninsula feared an American invasion. They were anxious to preserve their freedom and prove their loyalty to Britain. Many joined the militia; others offered to raise their own militia company. Authorities responded by forming a "Colored Corps" of about thirty men commanded by white officers. Based in the Niagara region throughout the war, it fought at Queenston Heights in October 1812 and at the siege of Fort George in May 1813. The corps was disbanded soon after the peace, but had nonetheless set a precedent. Black units were a feature of the Canadian military until the First World War. Ontario Heritage Foundation, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Recreation"
Fort Drummond (Queenston Heights Park near wading pool)
"This small redoubt, or square fortification, and the U-shaped advance battery, named in honour of Sir Gordon Drummond, were built in the late spring of 1814 to defend the main Portage Road from Chippawa to Queenston. The earthworks enclosed a blockhouse which sheltered 100 men. After the British at the Battle of Chippawa, these men abandoned Fort Drummond and joined Major-General Riall's forces retiring to Fort George on 10 July 1814. For two weeks the fort and surrounding heights were held by American forces. When they retreated to Lundy's Lane, the British reoccupied Fort Drummond. Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Government of Canada" (text also in French)
Laura Ingersoll Secord (Monument to right of Queenston Heights Restaurant)
"This monument has been erected by the Government of Canada to Laura Ingersoll Secord who saved her husband's life in the battle of these heights October 13, 1812 and risked her own in conveying to Captain Fitzgibbon information by which he won the victory of Beaver Dams. Erected 1910."
"James Secord, United Empire Loyalists, Born July 7, 1773 Died February 22, 1841." (This memorial is constructed of Vermont granite with a bust in bronze and is 3.56 metres (twelve feet) high).
Brock's Monument (river side of Parkway across from main entrance to Queenston Heights Park)
"This 56 metre (184 ft) monument completed in 1856 commemorates Major-General Sir Isaac Brock's heroic death at the Battle of Queenston Heights October 13, 1812. Brock's statue is 6.1 metres (20 ft) high is sculpted in military fashion, right arm extended holding a baton, the left resting on his sword. Erected by The Niagara Parks Commission"
Lilac Garden (north of Floral Clock)
"Gift of American Rotarians New York State Rotary Clubs District 709 in Commemoration of the 100 Anniversary Founding of the Dominion of Canada 1867-1967 Rotary International"
Floral Clock (marker on Trail)
"The Floral Clock built by Ontario Hydro in 1950 and maintained by the gardeners of the Niagara Parks Commission requires 19,000 plants to cover the 12.2 metres (40 ft) diameter face. The stainless steel hour hand is 4.4 metres (14.5 ft) long, minute hand 5.4 metres (17.5 ft); second hand 6.4 metres (21.0 ft). It has Westminster chimes. Erected by The Niagara Parks Commission"
Sir Adam Beck Generating Station 1
"The first Beck 1 unit was commissioned on Christmas Day, 1921. The vertical turbine generator combination is similar to those used since in almost all hydraulic stations. Water provided by an open canal 20 km long from Chippawa above Niagara Falls is used to generate alternating current power with exceptionally high efficiency. Beck 1 was the largest hydraulic generating station in the world when completed by Ontario Hydro in 1930. The plant continues to operate today and can generate enough power to supply a small, modern city. Courtesy Ontario Hydro"
Lester B. Pearson (on grounds of the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture)
"This Maple Tree contributed by the Niagara Falls Branch, United Nations Associations in Canada in cooperation with the Niagara Parks Commission, commemorates the life and work of Lester Bowles Pearson, CC, OBE, MA, DCL 1897-1972. Prime Minister of Canada 1963-1968, President of the General Assembly, 1952, Nobel Peace Prize of 1957. As a remembrance for his services for peace in the world and the advancement of the welfare of people in every land. Dedicated on United Nations' Day, October 24, 1973."
Niagara Parks School of Horticulture
"The Niagara Parks School of Horticulture was established in 1936 on 40 hectares (100 acres) of land. It is the only known school of its kind in North America. Its graduate gardeners obtain positions in parks and in floriculture, horticulture, nursery and greenhouse enterprises in Canada and the United States. Erected by The Niagara Parks Commission" (school opened July 26, 1936)
Niagara River Recreation Trail (plaque on stone on Trail at the south end of the School of Horticulture)
"This Trail which runs from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario was begun in 1986 by the Niagara Parks Commission. It is dedicated to the people of Niagara and to Niagara's visitors for their year-round enjoyment. This dedication was affirmed and witnessed by:
Pamela Verrill Walker, Chairman, Niagara Parks Commission
Hon. Hugh P. O'Neill, Minister of Tourism and Recreation
Hon. Vincent G. Kerrio, Minister of Natural Resources
Hon. Lily O. Munroe, Minister of Culture and Communications
June 24, 1988."
Niagara Glen (directly across from the Niagara Glen)
"The Falls of Niagara were here about 7000 to 8000 years ago. Three separate cataracts about .8 km (.5 miles) apart, fed only by drainage from Lake Erie. Then suddenly other lakes began to pour into Lake Erie thereby increasing the outflow to the river. This resulted in one cataract which eroded a wider gorge. Erected by The Niagara Parks Commission"
Thompson Point (river side across from Whirlpool Public Golf Course)
"This depression was the site in the early 1800s where John Thompson quarried the exposed limestone ridge at the edge of the gorge and processed it into agricultural lime. There were two lime kilns and a water-powered sawmill on the site which extended as far back as the ridge on which the Whirlpool Restaurant now stands. Erected by The Niagara Parks Commission"
Buried Railway Trestle and Buried Gorge (north of Whirlpool Road intersection)
"The cut stone markers are the ends of a buried steel trestle that carried tracks of the Niagara Falls Park and River Railway. It spanned the ravine created by Bowman's Creek which eroded the soft glacial debris of the buried gorge of an inter-glacial river. This buried gorge extends west 3.2 km (2 miles) to the Niagara Escarpment at St. David's. Erected by The Niagara Parks Commission"
Niagara Falls Park and River Railway (north of Whirlpool Road intersection)
"The Niagara River Recreation Trail at this point is laid along the former double-tracked roadbed of the Niagara Falls Park and River Railway from 1892 to 1932 before there was an auto route along the gorge. This electric railway carried millions of passengers from the boat docks at Queenston to Queen Victoria Park. Erected by The Niagara Parks Commission"
Niagara River Recreation Trail
"This Trail is provided and maintained through the earnings of The Niagara Parks Commission. The Commission is a self-funding agency of the Ontario Government dedicated to preserving and enhancing the beauty of the lands adjacent to the Niagara River for the enjoyment to its visitors. Pamela Verrill Walker, Chairman, The Niagara Parks Commission"
Whirlpool Rapids Gorge
"Ancient river predating the Wisconsin River flowed through the channel of the Whirlpool Rapids and the Whirlpool draining glacial Lake Erie. After the retreat of the glacier when the present river broke through the rock barriers at Thompson Point, it re-excavated the Whirlpool and the Whirlpool Rapids Gorge. Erected by the Niagara Parks Commission"
Niagara Spanish Aero Car (now re-named the Whirlpool Aero Car)
"Leonardo Torres Quevedo 1852-1936 was an ingenious Spanish engineer. Among his creations were algebraic machines, remote control devices, dirigibles, and the world's first computer. Niagara Spanish Aero Car was designed by Leonardo Torres Quevedo and represented a new type of aerial cable way that he called "transbordador". Officially opened on August 8, 1916 it is the only one of its kind in existence. The Niagara Parks Commission 1991."
International Historic Civil Engineering Site - The Niagara Spanish Aero Car (now re-named the Whirlpool Aero Car)
"A tribute to the distinguished Spanish Engineer who designed the Niagara Spanish Aero Car. This was only one of his many outstanding contributions to the engineering profession. Engineer Leonardo Torres Quevedo (1852-1936). Constructed 1914-1916. The Canadian Society for Civil Engineering & Asociación de Ingenieros de Caminos, Canales y Puertos de España 2010."
Queen Victoria Park, Niagara Falls
Sir Harry Oakes Bart
"This tablet commemorates the public spirit and generosity of Sir Harry Oakes Bart, who gave this land formerly occupied by the Clifton House to the people of the province of Ontario and made possible the erection of the Garden Theatre on this site by The Niagara Parks Commission as a place of public concourse. Work was commenced on the 9th day of September 1935 and was completed on the 18th day of September 1937."
Father Louis Hennepin
"Born about 1627, at Ath, Belgium, Hennepin entered a Recollect friary in his youth. An adventurous missionary, he visited many European countries and served as an army chaplain before sailing to New France in 1675. In 1679, Hennepin, as Chaplain of Lasalle's Mississippi expedition, made the journey in which he gathered the information for his "Description de la Louisiane". In it can be found some of the misrepresentations that mar some of Hennepin's work. Nevertheless, the book, published after his return to Europe in 1682, enjoyed widespread popularity. It contains valuable information on the geography and events of its period, and the first recorded description of Niagara Falls. Erected by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board, Department of Public Records and Archives of Ontario"
Zimmerman Fountain Pond (near Clifton Gate entrance )
"This beautiful fountain takes its name from Samuel Zimmerman who came to Canada from Pennsylvania in 1842. He amassed a fortune through a series of lucrative contracts involving the building of the second Welland Canal and various railway lines allowing him to begin construction of a large estate in what is now Queen Victoria Park. The estate was unfinished when he was killed in a railway accident in March of 1857. This fountain pond which dates back to 1856 is the last remaining remnant of his estate."
Sakura Cherry Trees (beside the Zimmerman Fountain)
"This Sakura a Japanese Flowering Cherry Tree one of 30 Prunus Sargentil "Rancho" and Prunus Xyedonesis "Akebono" varieties presented to the Niagara Parks Commission by the SAKURA COMMITTEE on behalf of the many generous donors to the SAKURA PROJECT as a symbol of friendship and goodwill between JAPAN and CANADA was planted by the Sakura Committee Chair HARA Satoshi Consul General of Japan in Toronto and Chairman Brian MERRETT Niagara Parks Commission Thursday April 26, 2001."
Burrell Hecock Memorial (Hornblower Plaza top level Observation Deck )
"To the Memory of Burrell Hecock of Cleveland Ohio Aged 17 Years. Who lost his life in an heroic attempt to save the lifes of Mr. and Mrs. Eldridge Stanton of Toronto Ontario when the ice bridge in the gorge immediately below was swept down the Niagara River and into the Whirlpool Rapids, February 4th 1912."
Niagara Falls Park and River Railway Powerhouse (Brass plaque on stone near Table Rock bus management)
"The Niagara Falls Park and River Railway Powerhouse built on this site in 1892, was the first hydraulic powerhouse to use water from the Canadian side of the Niagara River. It generated 2300 hp of direct current electricity for the electric railway. Power generation ceased in 1832 and the building was demolished in 1985. Erected by the Niagara Parks Commission"
Table Rock (located near the entrance to Table Rock Center on the Falls side)
"You are visiting a site referred to as TABLE ROCK because of the flat rock overhang which was formed here. Continued erosion, however, caused it to fall into the water in 1850. Millions of visitors have travelled to this area since the early nineteenth century. Until 1885, this property was in private ownership, high fences restricted the view of the Falls, makeshift buildings scarred the area and visitors were often charged a fee for close-up viewing of the Falls. The Niagara Parks Commission was formed by the Government of Ontario in 1885 to preserve and enhance the natural beauty of the Falls for the enjoyment of visitors while generating sufficient income to be self-supporting. One of its first steps was to acquire this property. Substantial renovation has occurred at this site over the years to meet the needs of increasing numbers of visitors, most recently in 1990-91. Niagara Parks Commission, Chairman Pamela Verrill Walker, 1991"
Jose Maria Heredia (1803-1839) (Table Rock near the brink of the Falls)
"Cuban poet and patriot who sang to Niagara and as Jose Marti said, awakened "an ever-burning passion for freedom" in the hearts of all Cubans."
Thou flowest, on in quiet, till thy waves grow broken midst the rocks, thy current then shoots onward like the irresistible course of destiny. Ah, terribly the rage - the hoarse and rapid whirlpools there! My brain grows wild, my senses wander, as I gaze upon the hurrying waters, and my sight, vainly would follow, as toward the verge sweeps the wide torrent. Waves innumerable meet there and madden waves innumerable urge on and overtake the waves before, and disappear in thunder and in foam. They reach, they leap the barrier - the abyss swallows insatiable the sinking waves. A thousand rainbows arch then, and woods are deafened with the roar. What seeks my restless eye. Why are not here, about the jaws of this abyss, the palms - ah, the delicious palms - that on the plains of my own native Cuba spring and spread their thickly foliaged summits to the sun, and in the breathings of the ocean air wave soft beneath the heaven's unspotted blue. Hear, dread Niagara, my latest voice! Yet a few years, and the cold earth shall close over the bones of him who sings thee now. Thus feelingly, would that this, my humble verse, might be, like thee, immortal! I, meanwhile, cheerfully passing to the appointed rest, might raise my radiant forehead in the clouds to listen to the echoes of my fame. To the Niagara from the Cuban People, October 1989."
Niagara Falls A Sri Chinmoy International Peace Falls
"The Falls of Niagara joins hundreds of beautiful, significant and inspiring sites throughout the world which have been dedicated to the cause of peace and international friendship. With its thunderous majesty, Niagara reminds of the boundless energizing power of a higher force. Such will one day be the power of peace on earth. When human beings everywhere aspire and strive for peace based on love and the feeling of oneness, the cascading power of this peace will transform the fate of humanity. A Sri Chinmoy Peace Site is born of the spirit of oneness. It exists for one reason: to inspire a stronger sense of internationalism and fellowship among peoples in all countries. It takes its name from a man who has dedicated his life to this goal. Sri Chinmoy is an international ambassador of peace who has dedicated his life to the pursuit of world harmony and the fulfilment of the unlimited potential of the human spirit. Niagara Falls a spectacular natural wonder. World peace an unprecedented human achievement. The Niagara Parks Commission 1992."
The Niagara Parks Commission (Table Rock, Niagara Falls)
(Blue and Brass Plaque mounted to iron railing along river. Located to the right of the brink of the Falls.) In 1885, the Province of Ontario established the Niagara Parks Commission as part of an international effort to preserve the natural scenery around Niagara Falls. Originally, the Commission included Colonel Casimir Gzowski, Chairman John W. Langmuir and J. Grant Macdonald, and was responsible for making the park-financing while keeping admission free to the public. The Commissioners acquired parkland along the river to create Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park, which opened on May 24, 1888. Beginning with a 62.2-hectare park, the commission has grown to administer a world famous, 1720-hectare park along the full length of the Niagara River, nationally and provincially significant historic sites, botanical gardens, a horticulture school and recreation areas, while remaining self-sufficient.
The following catalogues the historic plaques and markers placed south of Niagara Falls, from Table Rock to Fort Erie:
Burch's Mills (across from the Old Scow just above the brink of the Falls)
"In 1786 John Burch, a United Empire Loyalist, constructed a water-powered grist and saw mill on this site. He was the first to use the waters on the west bank of the Niagara River for industrial purposes. The mills were burned by the retreating American army on July 26, 1814, after the Battle of Lundy's Lane. Erected by The Niagara Parks Commission."
Stranded Scow (just above the brink of the Falls)
"On August 6th, 1918, this dumping scow broke loose from its towing tug about 1.6 km (1 mile) up river with Gustav F. Lofberg and James N. Harris aboard. The men opened the bottom dumping doors and the scow grounded in the shallow rapids. They were rescued the next day by breeches buoy on a line shot out from the roof of the adjacent power house. Erected by The Niagara Parks Commission"
Gate House (in front of Ontario Power)
"The Ontario Power Generating Station Gate House is erected over six metre diameter conduits which carry water 1.8 km to the plant located on the river's edge just downstream of the Falls. This generating station commissioned in 1905 was the first major alternating current generator on the Canadian side of the Niagara River. Courtesy Ontario Hydro"
Ontario Power Screen House (in front of Ontario Power)
"This walkway crossing the Ontario Power Generation Station forebay replaces a screen house used to stop debris and ice from entering the plant conduits. The outer weir structure forming the plant forebay closes off the entrance to Dufferin Islands around which the river formerly flowed at depths of two metres. Courtesy Ontario Hydro."
Niagara Control Works (plaque on wall outside International Control Works building)
"These control works were built and are operated under the direction of the International Joint Commission of the United States and Canada for the preservation and enhancement of the beauty of Niagara Falls pursuant to the Treaty of 1950."
Ontario Hydro Tunnel Gates (moved in 2006 for Hydro tunnel construction)
"These control gates mark the entrance to two 13.7 metre diameter tunnels which carry water to the forebays of Hydro's Sir Adam Beck Generating Station ten km downstream at Queenston. The tunnels pass under the city of Niagara Falls as deep as 101 metres. They can transport water at the rate of 1850 cubic metres per second. Courtesy Ontario Hydro"
Raid on Ft. Schlosser 1813
"At daybreak on July 5, 1813, a British and Canadian force consisting of some 35 militia and a small detachment of 49th Regt. embarked in the vicinity to attack Ft. Schlosser. This American depot (now within Niagara Falls, N.Y.) was situated at the south terminus of the Lewiston Portage and was an important military trans-shipment point. The attacking force commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Clark of the 2nd Regt. Lincoln Militia, surprised the U.S. garrison and encountered little resistance. They captured a gunboat, two bateaux, a small brass cannon and a substantial quantity of small arms and supplies. While re-embarking they were attacked by local American militia but suffered no casualties. Erected by the Archeological and Historic Sites Board of Ontario"
Fort Chippawa 1791
"The fortifications which stood on this site were built in 1791 to protect the southern terminus of the Niagara Portage road and served as forwarding depot for government supplies. Known also as Ft. Welland, the main structure consisted of a log block house surrounded by a stockade. During the War of 1812, several bloody engagements were fought in this vicinity including the bitterly contested Battle of Chippawa July 5, 1814 and possession of the fort frequently changed hands. A barracks storehouse, officers' quarter and earth works were added in 1814-15 but shortly thereafter Ft. Chippawa was abandoned and fell into decay. Erected by the Ontario Archeological and Historic Sites Board"
The Battle of Chippawa (National Historic Site - bronze plaque on stone on Trail near pedestrian entrance to Chippawa Battlefield Park)
"Here on 5 July 1814 an American army under Major-General Jacob Brown launched the first major invasion of Canada during the War of 1812. The Americans defeated a British and Canadian force commanded by Major-General Phineas Riall consisting of regulars, militia and Aboriginal warriors. During the engagement about 200 men were killed and 500 wounded. After four months of heavy fighting, with major action at Lundy's Lane, Fort Erie and Cooks Mill, the invaders were forced back to the United States. Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada" (relocated in 2000) (complete text also in French)
Battle of Chippawa (Memorial Cairn in Chippawa Battlefield Park, on the Niagara Parkway south of Chippawa - plaques on all four sides)
"Battle of Chippawa 5 July 1814 In memory of all those who fought on this ground, many of whom are buried nearby, and to commemorate the peace that has prevailed between Canada and the United States since that time. This monument was erected and dedicated by The Niagara Parks Commission. October 2001. Brian E. Merrett, Chairman, The Niagara Parks Commission"
"Dedicated to the memory of the soldiers of the Left Division, United States Army, who fought here on 5 July 1814 Regiment of United States Light Dragoons, Major Jacob Hindman's Battalion, United States Corp of Artillery, 9th United States Infantry Regiment, 11th United States Infantry Regiment, 17th United States Infantry Regiment, 19th United States Infantry Regiment, 22nd United States Infantry Regiment, 23rd United States Infantry Regiment, 25th United States Infantry Regiment, 5th Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment"
"Dedicated to the memory of the warriors of the First Nations allied with Britain and the First Nations allied with the United States who fought here on 5 July 1814."
"Dedicated to the memory of the soldiers of the Right Division, British Army in North America, who fought here on 5 July 1814. 19th Regiment of Light Dragoons, Captain James Maclachlan's Company, Royal Regiment of Artillery, 1st Battalion, 1st (Royal Scots) Regiment of Foot, 1st Battalion, 8th (King's ) Regiment of Foot, 100th (Prince Regent's County of Dublin) Regiment of Foot, Troop of Provincial Royal Artillery Drivers, and the 2nd Lincoln Regiment, Militia of Upper Canada from the Niagara Peninsula, which at the Battle of Chippawa, suffered the highest casualties lost by a Canadian militia unit in a single engagement during the War of 1812."
Chippawa Battlefield Park Walking Tour - Panels 1 - 6. Plexiglass panels, green/blue/orange/brown freestanding in a row. Chippawa Battlefield approx. 15 yards from monument, west side of Niagara Parkway just north of entrance to Legends on the Niagara Golf Complex.
Chippawa Battlefield Panel 1 Background to a Battle
On these fields and the surrounding woods 4,000 American, British, Canadian and Native forces fought the first major battle of the Niagara campaign of 1814. When the last shots died away on Samuel Street's farm, more than 800 lay dead and wounded. Since 18 June 1812, when the United States declared war on Great Britain, a small force of British Regulars, Canadian Militia and Native Warriors had turned back seven American invasions of Canada. On 3 July 1814, Major General Jacob Brown, commanding a well trained force of 4,500 troops, crossed the Niagara River from Buffalo, New York and quickly captured Fort Erie. The next day, Brown ordered Brigadier General Winfield Scott to take his brigade and the U.S. Dragoons (1400 men) north, along the River Road and secure the bridge over the Chippawa (Welland) River, 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) north of this spot. Scott pushed the rear guard of the British forces along the river road, only to find the bridge destroyed and the British forces in a strong position on the north side of the river at Fort Chippawa. He returned to Street's (now Ussher's) Creek to camp for the night. Just before midnight, Scott was joined by Major General Brown who was followed by Brigadier General Eleazer Wheelock Ripley's Second Brigade of U.S. Regulars with the U.S. Artillery (1,200 men) and Brigadier General Peter B. Porter's 3rd Brigade of state militia and allied native warriors (500 militia and 400 warriors). Native Warriors served along side the British forces and American forces at Chippawa. They were considered excellent reconnaissance troops and marksmen. Their fierce reputation in battle was considered an asset by commanders on both sides.
Chippawa Battlefield Panel 2 Opening Strikes July 5, 1814 3:00 p.m.
At dawn 5 July 1814, parties of Canadian-Militia and British allied Native Warriors scouted the American camp. They began sniping from the bushes on the north side of Street's Creek and this continued throughout the morning. Around noon, General Brown ordered General Porter to take some of his men and end this harassing fire. At about 2pm, Porter led his New York and Pennsylvania Militia and allied Warriors into the woods to the west, crossed the creek and drove the scouting parties through the woods towards the Chippawa River. General Brown rode to Ussher's Farm, where a forward company of the 21st U.S. was posted, in order to monitor Porter's progress. He noticed the tempo of fire in the woods change to disciplined volleys as British regular light infantry joined the battle. When Porter's troops reached the edge of the woods near the Chippawa River they found themselves within a few yards of the British army drawn up in the line of battle. Porter's men quickly withdrew to the cover of the woods. Muskets The smoothbore flintlock musket was the standard weapon of both armies. They fired a ball almost 3/4 of an inch across out to 300 meters (328 yards) but were only accurate to 75 meters (82 yards). If a soldier stood he could fire his muzzle loader four or five rounds a minute. The battle lines at Chippawa stood for the fastest rate of fire and the two lines faced off at less than 75 paces at the range when the musket fire becomes accurate. Cannons The smoothbore cannons on both sides were using canister or case shot. Effective out to 400 meters (437 yards) each blast of a gun could unleash dozens of iron shot the size of golf balls. U.S. gunners won this battle by bringing their cannons (7 guns) against the British line and raking the length of the red coated line from both flanks.
Chippawa Battlefield Panel 3 Advance to Contact July 5, 1814 3:30 p.m.
Major General Phineas Riall, the British commander, had repaired the bridge over the Chippawa and ordered his own Regular light infantry, the local Canadians of the 2nd Lincoln Militia and a force of Native Warriors, to clear out the now scattered American skirmishers. The remainder of Riall's brigade 1st, 8th and 100th Regiments of Foot (1,400 men) marched south along the river road toward General Brown and his outpost. Brown could not see the British troops through the strip of trees just south of Chippawa but he could see the dust kicked up by the British and he ordered Scott's brigade into action. As Riall's brigade formed for battle with their artillery along the river road, Scott's men crossed Street's Creek under fire from the British guns. Scott's troops, dressed in their grey work jackets, did not falter and pushed straight up the river road to Ussher's. They turned onto the farm lane leading into the area of cleared fields both armies called the plain, formed into line facing the British and advanced about 50 meters (54 yards). Grey Jackets The U.S. Infantry at Chippawa matched the musketry of their red coated adversaries. To this day the Gray Jackets of Winfield Scott's brigade live on in the dress uniforms at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Chippawa Battlefield Panel 4 Battle on the Plain July 5, 1814 4:30 p.m.
British General Riall was convinced that the greater part of Brown's army was still surrounding Fort Erie. He did not know the Fort had surrendered and he was facing the entire U.S. division. Still, the number of men deployed on both sides was virtually the same: 6 British guns verses 7 U.S., with each side mustering about 1400 regulars, 200 militia and 300 warriors. Confident in the abilities of his regulars, Riall advanced towards the waiting grey-coated line. The Redcoats pushed to within 75 meters (82 yards) of the American line and a vicious stand up? fire fight ensued: standing being the quickest means of loading a musket. The British artillery guns were now screened by their own infantry. The 11th U.S. Infantry advanced obliquely to the left to fire into the flank of the British brigade. Scott ordered Towson's artillery gunners to enfilade or fire across the front of the British line. The 25th U.S. Infantry, under fire from British artillery, advanced into the woods against the British light troops. Once the light troops were cleared, the 25th turned to fire into the British flanks, preventing the King's 8th from joining the main British line with the 1st Royal Scots and 100th Regiment. Redcoats: The famous redcoat was known around the world as the symbol for the hardest fighting and most disciplined troops. In virtually every engagement against enemy troops in the open, British infantry prevailed in a stand up fire fight.
Chippawa Battlefield Panel 5 Final Stages July 5, 1814 5:30 p.m.
As the battle raged, more American artillery deployed to the middle of the plain between the 11th U.S. and the lone 25th U.S. company, less than 100 meters (109 yards) from the British line. General Brown then led Ripley's brigade across Street's Creek to the west in an effort to envelop the entire British Force. However, the creek was chest deep, the undergrowth thick and Ripley's men never did join the fight on the plain. Meanwhile, with point blank canister raking his line, the enemy's combined 9th / 22nd Infantry standing their ground and the 25th U.S. preventing his line from deploying, General Riall ordered a withdrawal. The British troops slowly moved back, firing as they retired. They were cover by the 19th Light Dragoons and the guns of Fort Chippawa until the brigade crossed the Chippawa River and once again destroyed the bridge, temporarily leaving some Native allies on the American side. For the first time during the War of 1812, the U.S. Army had defeated equal number of British Regulars in open battle. Brown reported 58 killed, 241 wounded and 19 missing. Riall listed 148 killed, 321 wounded and 46 missing. Although difficult to estimate, the combined Native Warrior casualties from both sides exceeded 100 killed and wounded. The soldiers killed during the Battle of Chippawa were buried the next day, on the battlefield by the Americans. Militia Citizen soldiers served on both sides at the battle. They were often supplied cast off regular army uniforms or they simply made do with civilian attire. Male citizens in Canada and the U.S. from age 16 to 60 were expected to perform military service.
Chippawa Battlefield Panel 6 The Aftermath.
In the days following the battle, General Brown's victorious troops advanced another 25 kilometers (18 miles) north to Fort George before retiring back to Niagara Falls when more British troops arrived in the area. They met the British forces again on 25 July along another farmer's lane where 1,800 more men were killed and wounded. Following the bloody Battle of Lundy's Lane the American forces passed the field and graves of the Battle of Chippawa as they withdrew to Fort Erie. The U.S. Army successfully defended Fort Erie through a six week siege during which another 3,200 troops became casualties. After being reinforced with another 5,000 men, the U.S. Army again advanced to Chippawa. This time they tried to cross the Chippawa River 12 kilometers (9 miles) west of here and this attempt was checked by Canadian and British troops at the Battle of Cook's Mills on 19 October 1814. The U.S. forces again returned to Fort Erie. With winter coming on, they blew up the Fort and on 5 November 1814 went home. The Treaty of Ghent was signed 24 December 1814, formally ending the War of 1812.
Present Day Battlefield
In 1995 the surrounding 300 acres (121 hectares) of land was acquired by The Niagara Parks Commission to preserve this pristine battlefield. The memorial cairn, erected in 2001 by the Niagara Parks, is dedicated to the Regiments and First Nations warriors who fought the Battle of Chippawa and commemorates the lasting peace between Canada and the United States. The monument is constructed of cobblestones donated by Fort Niagara (Youngstown New York) and the cannon balls are from Fort George (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario), both key sites in the War of 1812.
Battle of Chippawa - July 5, 1814. Brass and green plaque on stone on grounds of Legends on the Niagara
Facing east from this spot, you can look out over the Chippawa Battlefield where, on July 5, 1814 during the War of 1812, an invading American army defeated a British force. Both armies consisted of regulars, militia and Native warriors. The battle was part of the last large scale American invasion of Canadian soil. Twenty days later this invading army again met the British forces at Lundy's Lane, in what is now Niagara Falls, Ontario. After a long bloody battle the Americans withdrew to Fort Erie and eventually returned to the United States. The War of 1812 ended with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in December 1814. The stone monument seen in the distance was erected by The Niagara Parks Commission in 2001 to commemorate the participants of this battle. Brian E. Merrett, Chairman, Niagara Parks
Black Creek, south of Fort Erie
Navy Island (National Historic Site - bronze plaque on stone, on river side of the Niagara River Parkway north of the entrance to Legends on the Niagara)
"The British used Navy Island, from 1761 to 1764 as a shipyard in which to build the first British decked vessels to sail the upper lakes. These were essential in maintaining the supply lines westward during Pontiac's uprising, 1763-4. Thereafter the island remained undisturbed until 14 December 1837 when William Lyon Mackenzie, after being defeated at Toronto, led a "Patriot" army from Buffalo to occupy it. Swift reaction by local militia and British regulars prevented his moving to the mainland and on 14 January 1838, facing a hopeless situation, he abandoned the island. Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Government of Canada " (text also in French)
Slater's Dock (tablet on boulder on west side of Parkway across from north end of Navy Island)
"In 1894 the Niagara Falls Park and River Railway extended its tracks to Slater's Dock located at this point. Passengers discharged at the dock by steamboats from Buffalo then boarded the cars of this electric railway to travel to Queen Victoria Park or to the Queenston docks where they boarded a lake boat for Toronto. Erected by The Niagara Parks Commission"
The Destruction of the Caroline 1837 (opposite Navy Island)
"On the night of December 29-30 1837, some sixty volunteers acting on the orders of Colonel Allan Napier McNab, and commanded by Captain Andrew Drew, R.N., set out from Chippawa in small boats to capture the American steamer (Caroline). That vessel, which had been supplying William Lyon Mackenzie's rebel forces on Navy Island, was moored at Fort Schlosser, New York. There she was boarded by Drew's men, her crew killed or driven ashore, and after an unsuccessful attempt to start the engines, her capturers set the ship afire and let her sink in the Niagara River. This action almost precipitated war between Britain and the United States. Erected by Ontario Archeological and Historic Sites Board 1960."
Conestoga Wagon Trek (bronze plaque on stone on the river side of the Niagara River Parkway, near the boatramp at the intersection of Netherby Road)
"The border between Canada and the United States of America has witnessed many migrations of people. At two times, however, the migration was primarily from south to north. That was in the troubled days just before the American Revolutionary War and during the uneasy decades when the new republic was being formed. During the last two decades of the eighteenth century, many people motivated by loyalty to the British crown and fearing some aspects of the course being set by the new United States, sold prosperous farms in Pennsylvania and moved their possessions by conestoga wagons to Ontario. They entered the Niagara River at Black Rock N.Y. and probably landed at or near this point. Many were German speaking people known as Pennsylvania Dutch. They came from Lancaster and neighbouring counties in Pennsylvania and settled in the Fort Erie area, Jordan, Vineland, the Markham area and Kitchener-Waterloo. Their inconquerable courage and inflexible faith, together with hard work and much sacrifice helped to establish many of the churches and the farming and business enterprises in this and other areas in the province of Ontario. This marker was erected by persons who, in 1997, celebrated the 200th anniversary of their foreparents' journey from Pennsylvania to Ontario by re-enacting their trek."
Frenchmen's Creek (National Historic Site - plaque on stone at intersection of Niagara River Parkway and Frenchmen's Creek)
"In an effort to regain the initiative lost at Queenston, the Americans planned a general invasion for 28 November 1812. Before dawn advance parties crossed the Niagara River to cut communications between Fort Erie and Chippawa and to silence the British shore guns. The attackers failed to destroy the bridge over Frenchmen's Creek and the batteries they had overrun were soon retaken by British reinforcements. After confused fighting the advance parties returned to the American shore. The main assault failed to materialize. The fiasco ended American hopes for victory on the Niagara Frontier in 1812. Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Government of Canada 1923." (text also in French)
The Ebenezer Community
"In 1852 this was the site of the Ebenezer community of 800 people. It had log houses, a wharf, store, blacksmith shop, sawmill, woollen mill, flour mill, tannery, cabinet shop and communal dining hall. Their best known product was high quality cotton denim dyed Ebenezer blue. In 1859 the community moved to Amana, Iowa. Erected by The Niagara Parks Commission"
Bert Miller (on a rock on the south-west corner of Cairns Crescent and the Niagara Parkway)
"Loyalist homestead of Albert Weathersone "Bert" Miller 1882-1973, a noted Ontario amateur naturalist who devoted much of his life to the collection and preservation of rare plants, shrubs, and trees of the Niagara peninsula. "All my efforts and whatever expense was involved have been rewarded by someone else enjoying what I have found." Erected by The Niagara Parks Commission"
Marina (bronze plaque on a stone cairn)
"Three different companies built many ships on this site during the years 1904 to 1930. This shipyard was known locally as the Bridgburg Shipyard. Four ocean cargo boats such as the "War Magic" and the "War Vixen" were built in 1917-1919. In 1965 the Niagara Parks began construction of this marina. Erected by The Niagara Parks Commission"
Mackenzie's Crossing 1837 (bronze marker in parking area at Thompson Road and the Niagara Parkway)
"On December 7th, 1837, William Lyon Mackenzie's "Patriot" forces were defeated north of Toronto by Loyalist militia and he fled towards the United States. Travelling little used routes in order to avoid government forces which were scouring the countryside he reached this vicinity on December 11th. Captain Samuel McAfee who owned this property at the time provided Mackenzie with a boat to cross the Niagara River. While the rebel leader was embarking Colonel James Kerby arrived with a detachment of militia but the McAfee family distracted his attention till Mackenzie gained the safety of the American shore. Erected by the Ontario Archeological and Historic Sites Board 1959."
McAfee Cemetery (just west on Thompson Road)
"McAfee Cemetery founded 1819 by a Society of Methodists who were United Empire Loyalists and pioneer settlers in the Township of Bertie, District of Niagara."
Sir Casimir Gzowski (south of the International Railway Bridge on the west side of the Niagara Parkway)
"Erected by the Association of Engineers of the Province of Ontario and the Engineering Institute of Canada, in honour of an outstanding Canadian Engineer, Sir Casimir Gzowski, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the completion of the International Railway Bridge across the Niagara River between the United States and Canada July 1973."
Freedom Park (bronze plaque on stone on the river side of the Niagara Parkway near Nichol's Marine in Fort Erie)
"From around 1830 to 1860, thousands of freedom seekers used the Underground Railroad to reach sanctuary in Canada - the "promised land". Many crossed the Niagara River from the United States to Fort Erie, including Josiah Henson and his family, who arrived on the 28th of October 1830. The book Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriett Beecher Stowe, was patterned after his life. The park has been created to celebrate their lives and to remind present and future generations of their struggle to be free. Brian E. Merrett, Chairman, The Niagara Parks Commission, October 28, 2000."
Fort Erie Ferry Landings (Freedom Park, Fort Erie)
Blue and brass Plaque, mounted on one of two grey stone pillars (left one). East side of Niagara Parkway facing road. "Throughout the 1800's there were many ferry landings competing for business along the Niagara River. The map below is a compilation of some of these locations. Ferry leases were granted to Col. John Warren Sr., John Warren Jr., Nelson Forsyth, Kenneth Mackenzie and Col. James Kirby. Colonel James Kirby was also collector of Customs during the mid 1800s and reported his frustration to the government that "ferry boats landed here and there and everywhere as might best suit them."
Bertie Street Ferry Landing c. 1796 - 1950 (Freedom Park, Fort Erie, ON)
Blue and brass Plaque, mounted on one of two stone pillars (right one). East side of Niagara Parkway facing road. "Over the centuries there have been many ferry landings along the Niagara River. Some were built by local merchants and some as government licenced landing points. The longest operating ferry dock was here, near the foot of present day Bertie Street. It was licenced to Henry Windecker c. 1796. This hub of activity was not only a crossing point to and from the United States, but was also the location of customs, immigration, vehicle registration, and a railroad terminus. During the mid 1800s fugitive slave were ferried here to freedom, as their last stop on the "Underground Railroad". During the early 1900s tourists could board the Fort Erie, Snake Hill and Pacific Railroad at this point, for a trip to Erie Beach Amusement Park. Ferry business declined following the opening of the Peace Bridge in 1927. The last crossing of people and vehicles to Fort Erie by ferry occurred Sept. 2, 1950, on a boat called the Orleans."
J.L. Kraft 1874-1953 (Freedom Park, Fort Erie)
Blue and brass plaque, freestanding between two buildings next to Ming The Chinese Restaurant on east side of Niagara Parkway. "Cheesemaker James Lewis Kraft was born on a dairy farm near Stevensville in 1874. He was educated locally and worked nearby at Ferguson's general store. In 1903, Kraft went to Buffalo then Chicago where he set up his own wholesale cheese business. Four of his brothers joined the company in 1909, opening a cheese factory in 1914. Kraft developed a revolutionary process, patented in 1916, for pasteurizing cheese so that it would resist spoiling and could be shipped long distances. The company grew quickly, expanding into Canada in 1919. Over the years, Kraft introduced many innovative products and used progressive marketing techniques to make his company one of North America's leading food producers. Kraft also supported the Baptist Church and was a strong proponent of religious education for young people."
Mather Arch (in the Park near the gateway to the Peace Bridge) Carved on south side of Arch:
This gateway was build by The Niagara Parks Commission in the year one thousand nine hundred and thirty nine. Commissioners Hon. T. B. McQueston K.C. Chairman Hamilton, Dr. Geo S. Snyder Vice Chairman Niagara Falls, Hon. Wm L. Houck B.S. Niagara Falls, Archie J Haines MPP Jordan, John C M German KC Toronto, Rose Harstone Hamilton, A.T. Whitaker Brantford, Donald McGillivray Port Colborne, C. Ellison Kaumeyer General Manager, Designed by Carl Borgstrom Associates, H.S.M. Carver, E.L. Sheppard
Carved in Stone on ground at front of monument: Let the peaceful surroundings of this Park be enjoyed by the People on both sides of the water to signify the blessings of lasting peace and that only friendship and goodwill shall bridge the frontier between these two nations.Memorial Statue: (On front under Soldier.) They gave their today for our to-morrow. World War I 1914-1918, World War II 1939-1945, Korea 1950-1953. Ypres to Mons. (Lists of names of Our Honoured Dead).
Brass Plaque on stone in garden: A memorial of friendship. This plaque marks the crossing from the United States of America into the Dominion of Canada of a delegation from the Associated country Women of the World and is dedicated to the rural women of this continent and entrusted to their perpetual care. Peace Bridge June 12, 1936.Mrs. Alfred (Madge) Watt, BME, MA, co-founder and first president of the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) dedicated this plaque to the rual women of this continent in a ceremony at the centre of the Peace Bridge on June 16, 1936. It was accepted by representatives of the New York State Federation of Home Bureaus and the Federated Women's Institutes of Canada on the occasion of the 1936 Washington DC Conference of the ACWW. With the cooperation of The Niagara Parks Commission, this plaque was re-dedicated during the 23rd Triennial Conference of the ACWW held in Hamilton, Ontario in June of 2001.
Brass & Black Plaque: "Let there be Peace". This plaque is placed by The Niagara Parks Commission in memory of Alonzo C. Mather for his contributions to friendship between Canada and the United States of American on the occasion of "Friendship Week" in the Town of Fort Erie. August 19, 1978.Brass & Black Plaque: Restoration of Mather Arch. Mather Arch was built through the vision and generosity of Alonzo C. Mather in tribute to the peace shared by Canada and the United States of America. This impressive memorial arch was originally dedicated in August 1940. Sixty years later, The Niagara Parks Commission undertook a major restoration of Mather Arch, as a millenium project., representing the Commission's commitment to the preservation and stewardship of heritage structures on its lands. This plaque was dedicated on August 26, 2000 to commemorate the restoration of this landmark to a renewed state of splendour. Brian E. Merrett, Chairman, The Niagara Parks Commission
Niagara's Freedom Trail (Photo. Plaque on stone on the Trail north of Old Fort Erie)
"An African-American Heritage Tour - The Crossing. At this former ferry crossing landing, hundreds of escaped slaves experienced freedom for the first time. 1796 to 1949 ferries were one of the main links between the two cities of Buffalo, N.Y. and Fort Erie, Ontario. During the first half of the 19th century they also provided the key to freedom in Canada for many escaping Blacks. The Underground Railroad was a secret system of stations and conductors which aided Blacks in their escape to the more tolerant northern States, or ultimately to the freedom of Canada. Fort Erie became a popular crossing for many Blacks, as it is one of the most southerly points of contact with the United States. Ferry operators aided escaped slaves and used a secret system of tokens to distinguish bona fide passengers from potential spies. The illustration shows one such ferry circa 1895. This plaque was provided by the Region Niagara Tourist Council. Photo courtesy of Buffalo & Erie Country Historical Society"
Great Lakes Agreement (bronze plaque on boulder on the river side of the Trail about 100 metres north of Old Fort Erie)
"In Commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between Canada and the United States 1972-1997."
Capture of the "Ohio" and "Somers" (bronze plaque right of the Gate inside the parade square of Old Fort Erie)
"On the night of 12 August 1814, as a prelude to a British attack on Fort Erie, an expedition was mounted against three armed American schooners anchored off the fort. Captain Alexander Dobbs, R.N. embarked with 70 seamen and marines in six bateaux which had been portaged from Frenchmen's Creek, and by a ruse got close enough to cut the hawsers and board and capture the OHIO and SOMERS. The third vessel, PORCUPINE, escaped. Dobbs' victory was the last naval action fought on the Great Lakes in the War of 1812. Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Government of Canada" (all text also in French)
Fort Erie (National Historic Site - bronze plaque left of the Gate inside the parade square of Old Fort Erie)
"Three fortifications occupied this site. The first (1764-1779) and second (c. 1783-1803) , located at lower levels, were abandoned when ice and water inundated the works. The third Fort Erie, built between 1805 and 1808, was repaired in January 1814 but was captured by an invading American army in July of that same year. The Americans used it as a base for subsequent operations, retreated here after their defeat at Lundy's Lane, survived a siege by the British in August and September, and destroyed the fort on November 5, 1814. It was rebuilt by The Niagara Parks Commission 1937-1939. Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. Government of Canada 1933." (text also in French)
Stone Memorial at Old Fort Erie (marking mass grave, erected in 1904)
(carved at top) Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori (It is sweet and glorious to die for one's country) (bronze plaque on centre pillar front and rear) "In memory of the officers and seamen of the Royal Navy, the officers, non-commissioned officers and privates of the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Royal Marines, 1st Royal Scots, 19th Light Dragoons, 6th, 8th (King's), 41st, 82nd, 89th, 103rd, 104th, and Dewatteville's Regiments, the Glengary Light Infantry and the incorporated militia who fell during the siege of Fort Erie, August and September, 1814." (engraved on base) "Here lie buried 150 officers and men who fell in the attack on Fort Erie on the 26th day of August 1814 and three of the defenders, men of the United States infantry, whose remains were discovered during the restoration of Fort Erie 1938 & 1939."