May 19, 2010

Weekend in Niagara ~ Sunday

Sunday morning, we headed to Niagara on the Lake. The short drive there from St. Catharines was spectacular. We took Lakeshore Road which has a lot of orchards along it and the trees were in full bloom. It was a sea of beautiful colors and flowers...(duh, I didn't take any pictures).

Niagara on the Lake


This photo taken from Queen's Royal Park in Niagara on the Lake, looking across the Niagara River at Fort Niagara in Youngstown, New York. This is the point where the Niagara River and Lake Ontario meet. Imagine in 1812, the Americans and British lobbing shots at each other across this river.

HISCOTT House


This is the former home of Richard HISCOTT, Sergeant in the 76th Regiment of Foot of the British Army. Richard is my 4th great-grandfather and headed one of the founding families of the town of Niagara. The house is a designated heritage property, circa 1817 and is located at 78 Prideaux Street, Niagara on the Lake. I'll go back and take another picture when the street construction is finished and the bright orange fences are gone.

St. Mark's Anglican Church and Cemetery


St. Mark's Anglican church, founded in 1792 is the oldest Anglican church in Ontario. It was the church of my HISCOTT family and the churchyard cemetery contains the graves of many of my relatives and ancestors. The church was used extensively by both the British and the Americans during the war of 1812. According to the St. Mark's website, the Americans occupied the building in 1813, dug rifle pits in the cemetery surrounding it and gutted the interior before leaving.

While walking around the cemetery in the churchyard, we spotted some prying eyes on us. This foxy little guy would take a few steps, stop and stare at us, take a few more steps, stop and stare and on and on until he finally decided to run off. I don't think I've ever seen a fox running wild before and really didn't expect to see one in the middle of a town.


Fort George National Historic Site of Canada


We decided to go on a walking tour of Fort George, a National Historic Site of Canada. The fort was built by the British between 1796 and 1799 to guard the strategic river mouth from an American invasion. This fort played a pivotal role in the War of 1812. After heavy fighting between Fort George and Fort Niagara on the American side of the river, the Americans took over and occupied the fort during the summer and fall of 1813. They eventually abandoned the fort and returned to Fort Niagara.

The fort has since been completely re-constructed to re-create it's pre-1813 appearance. The only original structure that survived the War of 1812 is the Powder Magazine. It would take several hours to tour the entire fort. It is very large and contains many buildings to go through, battlements and great views of the Niagara River. You can do it on your own or take advantage of a guided tour by staff in period costume.

Niagara Historical Society Museum


It was getting late in the day but we stoppped at the museum because there were a few items I wanted to see and take photos of. I started chatting with the curator and discovered that the items I wanted to see were in their inventory but not actually on display.

After more chatting and a pile of questions from me, he did a search on their database using my HISCOTT surname and found that they have about 80 items tied to that name, some of which were photographs. Photographs that I didn't have. I do now though *grin*. The museum has a research room so I'm going to set aside some time in the future to go there and check out these 80 items they have.

After leaving the museum, we got the phone call about Mom so we quickly headed home to get ready to go to Winnipeg.