Readers, for the first time in three years, I stepped away from our friend Emmett, the year 1905, and all things work- and research-related for over a week.
I stepped way back, in fact; all the way back to the War of 1812!
My family and I visited Niagara Falls, Ft. Niagara, and Ft. George, across the Niagara River, in Ontario. It was a vacation filled with history, and (surprise), my kids loved it.
First, there were the amazing falls.
Atop the walkway access to the falls. Horseshoe Falls at the top of the photo, American Falls on the left.
The American-side tourist boat, the Maid of the Mist, is blue. The Canadian-side tourist boat, the Hornblower, is red.
Ready to hit the falls!
I tried to take more photos as we were approaching the falls, but the power of the water and the wind together were incredible, and my phone was getting really wet. The force of the wind and water reminded me of being in a hurricane. The whole experience was great — especially since it was 95 degrees that day.
After the boat ride and a walk up steep wooden stairs alongside the American Falls.
The next day, we drove up to Ft. Niagara. We had a picnic on Lake Ontario, and then spent the day lost in the War of 1812.
My sons playing on the rocky beach of Lake Ontario.
The gatehouse to Ft. Niagara.
A view of the castle at Ft. Niagara from the watch tower. All of these buildings are original to the fort, and are well maintained.
Across the river is Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. A beautiful little town.
Incredibly well maintained.
The plaque on the castle wall.
Preparing to fire the cannon. This was done with much ceremony, and a great history lesson by the reenactors.
King George’s loyal soldiers doing target practice at a barrel at Ft. Niagara, New York. These brave souls were wearing period costumes of all natural fibers (i.e., wool, primarily, and cotton) in stifling 95-degree heat. The redcoats said that only gunpowder, and no actual ammunition involved, because their insurance company didn’t like them to use musket balls.
The next day was spent on the Canadian side, at Ft. George.
The kids playing on the cannon outside of Ft. George, Ontario.
Ft. George. The buildings were rebuilt during the depression as a Canadian Make Work project; the wood was brought in from old forests in the northernmost provinces, and all of the work was done by hand — only one building on the site is original, as the fort was burned by the U.S. forces as they took the fort from the British.
Fort George musicians and historians discussing the fort and their duties during the War of 1812. The soldier in red translated for French-speaking guests.
My son dressed up as one of King George’s soldiers. This was a great hands-on, educational visit for kids of all ages.
Now that I’m back in the office — and in the 21st century — I’m ready to get back to work!