Fort Niagara

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Picture of Fort Niagara

Fort Niagara
Youngstown, NY

The history of Old Fort Niagara spans more than 300 years. During the colonial wars in North America a fort at the mouth of the Niagara River was vital, for it controlled access to the Great Lakes and the westward route to the heartland of the continent. With the completion of the Erie Canal in 1825, however, the strategic value of Fort Niagara diminished. It nonetheless remained an active military post well into the 20th century.

The three flags flown daily above the parade ground symbolize the nations which have held Fort Niagara. Each competed for the support of a fouth nation: the powerful Iroquois Confederacy. The French established the first post here, Fort Conti, in 1679. Its successor, For Denonville (1687-88) was equally short lived. In 1726 France finally erected a permanent fortification with the construction of the impressive "French Castle." Britain gained control of Fort Niagara in 1759, during the French & Indian War, after a nineteen-day seige. The British held the post throughout the American Revolution but were forced, by treaty, to yield it to the United States in 1796. Fort Niagara was recaptured by the British in 1813. It was ceded to the United States a second time in 1815 at the end of the War of 1812.

Picture of Sir William Johnson
Sir William Johnson led the mixed British and Indian force that captured Fort Niagara in 1759. Photo from the book, Encyclopedia of American Indian Wars, by Jerry Keenan.

This was Fort Niagara's last armed conflict, and it thereafter served as a peaceful border post. The garrison expanded beyond the walls following the Civil War. Fort Niagara was a barracks and training station for American soldiers throughout both World Wars. The last army units were withdrawn in 1963. Today, the U.S. Coast Guard represents the only military presence on the site.

Old Fort Niagara was restored between 1926 and 1934. It is operated today by the Old Fort Niagara Association, Inc., a not-for-profit organization, in cooperation with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Admission fees, Museum Shop sales, grants and donations provide support for operation of the site. Membership in the Old Fort Niagara Association is open to all.


January through June
Adults: $8.50
Children (6 to 12 years old): $5.00
Children (under 6 years old): FREE
July through December
Adults: $10.00
Children (6 to 12 years old): $6.00
Children (under 6 years old): FREE

Discount Admission

Senior Citizens
AAA/CAA members with a valid card
NYS Parks Master Pass coupon
Guests of Old Fort Niagara Association Members

January through June
Adults: $7.50
Children (6 to 12 years old): $4.50
July through December
Adults: $9.00
Children (6 to 12 years old): $5.00

Group Admission

Special admission rates are available to groups of 12 or more persons. Advance reservations are not required, but additional benefits can be made available to groups who schedule a visit more than two weeks in advance. Please telephone Old Fort Niagara at 716.745.7611 for more information.


Open 9:00am daily, all year around.

Closed January 1; U.S. Thanksgiving; December 25.

The last admission each day is one-half hour prior to closing time.

January 9:00am 4:30pm
February 9:00am 4:30pm
March 9:00am 4:30pm
April 9:00am 5:30pm
May 9:00am 5:30pm (6:30pm on weekends)
June 9:00am 6:30pm (7:30pm on weekends)
July 9:00am 7:30pm
August 9:00am 7:30pm
September 9:00am 7:30pm through Labor Day
  9:00am 5:30pm after Labor Day (6:30pm on weekends)
October 9:00am 5:30pm
November 9:00am 4:30pm
December 9:00am 4:30pm
Communities and Related Links
Old Fort Niagara Web Site
Niagara Falls, USA
Niagara Falls Canada

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