Recently I was at Fort Erie, across from Buffalo, New York. It sits on the shores of Lake Erie, near the mouth of the Niagara River.
From it you can see the gorgeous Art Deco building that is Buffalo City Hall. The City Hall was designed by architect John Wade and finished in 1932. There are triumphant arches and columns and reliefs and sculptures and mosaics and a bat signal on the roof.
Fort Erie was originally built in 1764 during Pontiac’s Rebellion. Pontiac of course had been overtaking the cart market which the British did not appreciate. Soon after, the Brits sold Jaguar to Ford who sold it to the Tatas, a group of entrepreneurial strippers and a couple hundred years after the Fort was built, Pontiac ceased productions.
Okay, that may not be quite what happened.
However at one point during the War of 1812, the Fort did blow up..
What happened was that the British were led by a general so inept, his subordinate officers including his own nephew settled their affairs and gave away valued property before following his battle plans. They knew they were doomed.
They were right. It turned out that firing a cannon over top of a large powder magazine was not a great idea. The explosion threw the two tonne cannon over one hundred yards. Hundreds died or were wounded and more than 500 soldiers simply disappeared in the initial blast and the ensuing fires.
General Drummond, the man responsible for the whole mess had a road named after him in Niagara Falls.
It’s still there if you’d like to go stomp on it.
The tour was quite interesting.
We found out that some people during the 1800’s used old suits of armor as a sort of tactical vest. Pretty clever, not comfortable but clever.
They shot off some muskets which was fun to watch.
They did not however let me use the cannon.
This is an acrylic of the monument marking the grave site of 153 soldiers. 150 British and 3 Americans. 8×10 inches.
©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2015
Please click here for available prints.