Today we learned just how close we came to being French! Old Fort Niagara, at the mouth of the Niagara River and Lake Ontario is the longest continuously occupied military site in the country. It began as a French military post in the late 1600s. After several failed attempts, the French formed a lasting alliance with the five nation Iroquois confederacy and were given permission to build a peaceful settlement at this site in 1726. In order to fool the Iroquois, what they called the French Castle was in fact a major fortress capable of withstanding significant attacks. The British captured the fort in 1759 and the Americans took over in 1796. Interestingly, 20 years after we declared independence.
The original structures are still standing today, after having been restored. The most important fact that we learned was get there early. At 10:00 AM we pretty much had the place to ourselves. At 2:00 PM there were seven international tour buses parked outside and it was had to tell what county we were in.