Historical Plaques of
Niagara Region

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Location: Butler's Burial Grounds, Niagara-on-the Lake

Born in New London, Connecticut, Butler settled in the Mohawk Valley, New York, in 1742. Commissioned in the British Indian Department in 1755, he served in the Seven Years War. At the outbreak of the American Revolution , he was compelled to leave his estates and was ordered to Fort Niagara. In 1777 he organized the Loyalist Corps known as Butler's Rangers. By the end of war, this Unit with British Regulars and Indian Allies, had effectively contributed to the establishment of British control south of the Great Lakes. The Rangers were disbanded in 1784, and led by their former commander, many settled in the Niagara Peninsula. Butler remained active in Indian Affairs until his death at Newark (Niagara-on-the-Lake).

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture and Recreation.


Location: Butler's Burial Grounds, Butler St., Niagara-on-the-Lake



On the 8th of July, 1813, an outpost of the invading force, encamped near Fort George, was defeated by a band of Six Nations and Western Indians led by Chiefs John Norton and Blackbird and interpreters Michel Brisebois, Louis Langlade and Barnet Lyons. Lieutenant Samuel Eldridge and 22 soldiers of the 13th United States Infantry were killed and 12 taken prisoners.

Le 8 juillet 1813, une bande d'Indiens des Six-Nations et d'Indiens de l'Ouest, conduite par les chefs John Norton et Blackbird et les interprètes Michel Brisebois, Louis Langlade et Barnet Lyons battirent un détachement américain de la force d'invasion campé près du fort George. Le lieutenant Samuel Eldridge et 22 fantassins du 13e Régiment d'Infanterie des États-Unis furent tués et douze autres faits prisonniers.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: On the shore of Lake Ontario, Queen St.,



On the 25th May, 1813, the American Fleet and the Batteries at Fort Niagara across the river began a devastating two-day bombardment of Fort George. On the 27th a large American force was landed and after a brief engagement in which his outnumbered garrison sustained heavy casualties, Brigadier-General John Vincent made an orderly withdrawl towards Burlington. The capture of Fort George left the Americans in control of the Niagara Frontier, but Vincent's troops a week later won a decisive victory at Stoney Creek, preventing the Americans from gaining the whole peninsula.

Le 25 mai 1813, la flotte américaine et les batteries du fort Niagara, commencèrent à bombarder le fort George. Le 27, de nombreuses troupes américaines débarquèrent. Après un bref engagement, au cours duquel sa garnison, bien inférieure en nombre, subit de lourdes pertes, le brigadier-général John Vincent se replia sur Burlington. La capture du fort laissait les Américaines maîtres de la région frontalière du Niagara. Une semaine plus tard, les troupes de Vincent remportèrent une victoire décisive à Stoney Creek, empêchant ainsi les Américains de prendre possession de toute la péninsule.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake

Following the introduction of English Civil Law into this province in 1792, legislation was passed in 1797 authorizing the establishment of the "Law Society of Upper Canada". A founding meeting was held in "Wilson's Hotel" in this community on July 17th, 1797. It was attended by ten practitioners, including the Attorney General, the Hon. John White who was appointed treasurer, the Society's principal Officer. One of its major functions was the regulation of admission to the province's legal profession and later it became responsible for the training of lawyers. In 1832 the Society moved into its newly-constructed quarters "Osgoode Hall" at York (Toronto), where the Society continues to regulate and control Ontario's legal profession.

Erected by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board
Department of Public Records and Archives of Ontario


Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake

Known at various times as Butlersburg, West Niagara and Newark its first permanent settlers including Butler's Rangers and other loyalists arived about 1780. The first five sessions of Upper Canada's Legislature met here under Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe between September 17th, 1792, and June 3rd, 1796. The town was captured by American forces May 27th, 1813. It was the administrative and judicial center of the Niagara District and Lincoln County until 1866.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board


Location: At Ft. George National Historic Park, Niagara-on-the-Lake

Constructed by order of Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe 1796-99, Fort George served as the headquarters for Major-General Brock in 1812. In May, 1813, it was bombarded and captured by the Americans who constructed fortifications of their own on the site. These in turn were retaken by the British in December 1813. In 1815 Fort George was described as "tumbling into ruins" and ordered abandoned. The present works are a reconstruction done in 1937-40, and represents the fort as it was in 1799-1813. Only the magazine of the original fort remains.


Construit sur l'ordre du lieutenant-gouverneur Simcoe (1796-1799), le fort George servit de quartier général au major-général Brock en 1812. En mai 1813, il fut bombardé et capturé par les Américaines qui construisirent leurs propres fortifications sur l'emplacement même du fort. Les Britanniques les reprirent à leur tour en décembre 1813. En 1815, le fort était considéré comme «tombant en ruines» et on décida de l'abandonner. Les bâtiments actuels ont été reconstruits en 1937-1940 et représentent le fort tel qu'il était en 1799-1813. Du fort original demeure la poudrière.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: Along the Niagara River Gorge

In the early morning of December 19th, 1813, a force under Colonel John Murray, consisting of detachments of the 100th and 41st Regiments. Royal Scots, Royal Artillery and Canadian Militia embarked in bateaux at the foot of this ravine. Crossing silently to a point above Youngstown, New York, they attacked Fort Niagara killing or capturing its American garrison.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board


Location: Along the Niagara River Gorge

Soldier, politician, diplomatist and colonizer, de Puisaye was born at Mortagne-en-Perche, France, about 1755 and enlisted in the French Army at 18. Elected to the States General in 1789, he supported reform but, alarmed by the course of the Revolution, later organized resistance on behalf of the Royalists. Outlawed, he sought refuge in England and in 1795, as Lieutenant-General, led an ill-fated expedition to Quiberon, Brittany. Three years later, with some fourty other emigres, he arrived in Upper Canada and established a short-lived settlement in the Markham-Vaughan region. In 1799 he purchased a farm here on which he lived until he moved to England in 1802. There he died in 1827.

Erected by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board
Department of Public Records and Archives of


Location: On the Niagara River Parkway, Niagara-on-the-Lake

Manned by Captain Samuel Hatt's 5th Lincoln (Militia) Regiment and a small party of the Lincoln Militia Artillery under Lieutenant John Ball, and consisting of one 24-pounder cannon mounted within a crescent-shaped earthwork, this Battery was engaged in the Battle of Queenston Heights on the 13th of October, 1812. Commanding the Niagara river, its continuous fire harassed the Americans crossing from Lewiston, provided cover for the British when they were first repulsed from the heights, and supported later attempts to regain them.


Manoeuvrée par le capitaine Samuel Hatt, du 5e Régiment Lincoln (milice) et un détachement de l'artillerie de milice Lincoln sous les ordres du lieutenant John Ball, ce canon de vingt-quatre livres était mis en batterie en forme de demi-lune. Elle fut utilisée à la bataille de Queenston Heights le 13 octobre 1812. Assurant la maîtrise de la Niagara, son tir continu harcela les Américaines qui traversaient la rivière à Lewiston, couvrit les troupes britanniques repoussées des hauteurs et appuya leurs tentatives ultérieures pour les reprendre.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: Queenston

Born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, Laura Ingersoll came to Upper Canada with her father in 1795, and settled in this area. About two years later she married James Secord, a United Empire Loyalist, and within seven years they had moved to this site from nearby St. David's. From here during the war of 1812, Laura Secord set out on an arduous 19-mile journey to warn the local British commander, Lieutenant James Fitzgibbon, of an impending American attack. The courage and tenacity displayed on this occasion in June 1813 places her in the forefront of the province's heroines. Mrs. Secord's house, a simple frame building, was restored (1971-72) and remains as a memorial to the exceptional act of patriotism.

Erected by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board
Archives of Ontario


Location: Queenston, right beside the above plaque

This marker was placed in 1901, by the Women's Literary Club of St. Catherine's to honour Laura Secord and was re-dedicated in 1972 by members of the club on the occasion of their 80th annual pilgrimage.


Location: Queenston, across from the Laura Secord Homestead

By 1808 the Rev. Elkanah Holmes, a missionary from the United States, had organized the first Baptist congregation in Queenston. Following the war of 1812 the congregation declined, was reorganized in 1831 and between 1842 and 1845 erected the rough-cut limestone structure as its church. It is an early and interesting example of the Gothic Revival style in this province. The church had closed by 1918 and in 1928 was sold to the Women's Institute, which occupied the building until 1954. In 1970 it was aquired by Dr. Djamal Afrukhteh who donated it to the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. After a fund-raising campaign by the Queenston Community Association, the building was renovated and in December, 1972, was officailly opened as the Queenston Library and Community Center.

Erected by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board,
Ministry of Colleges and Universities


Location: Queenston

Following the loss, after the American Revolution of the Niagara River's east bank, a new portage around Niagara Falls was established in the 1780s' with Queenston its northern terminous. Wharves, storehouses and a block-house were built. Robert Hamilton, a prominent merchant considered the village's founder, operated a thriving trans-shipment business. Known as the "Lower Landing" it was named "Queenston" by Lieut.-Governor Simcoe. During the war of 1812 the village was badly damaged. Here lived such well-known figures as Laura Secord and William Lyon MacKenzie. Despite loss of commerce following the opening of the Welland Canal in 1829, Queenston later served as a terminous for the province's first horse-drawn railway. Queenston was incorporated into the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake in 1970.

Erected by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board,
Ministry of Colleges and Universities


Location: Queenston Heights

Queenston Heights is part of the Niagara escarpment. A height of land which extends 725 kilometers across Ontario from Niagara Falls to Manitoulin Island. Over 430 million years ago, a shallow tropical sea covered most of central North America. Sediments and coral reef on the seabed were compressed into dolomite, a hard type of limestone which was more resistant to erosion then the bedrock of the adjacent lands after the water retreated. The cliffs of the escarpment are the exposed floor of the ancient sea. The escarpments rugged terrain, home to a wide variety of plants and wildlife forms a natural corridor through both urban and rural areas. In 1990, the United Nations designated the Niagara Escarpment a World Biosphere Reserve.

Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture, Tourisim and Recreation


Location: The Niagara River Gorge


An ancient river, pre-dating the Wisconsin Glacier, flowed through the channel of the Whirlpool Rapids and the Whirlpool draining glacial Lake Erie. After the retreat of the glacier, when the present river broke through the rock barrier at Thompson Pointe it re-excavated the Whirpool and the Whirpool Rapids Gorge.

Erected by the Niagara Parks Commission


Location: Niagara Falls

Stamford Township Hall designed by Drummondville's noted architect, John Latshaw, was constructed by local contractors Messrs. Dutton and Brown, for $8,000 and was completed in December, 1874. The Masonic Lodge rented the upper floor, the municipal offices occupied the ground floor, and the local fire department located their firefighting apparatus in the basement. The hall also contained the local jail, while the hall's stage and auditorium were used for concerts, plays, meetings and socials from 1882. When the Village of Drummondville became the Village of Niagara Falls. The village council also shared the hall with the township until 1904, at which time the Village of Niagara Falls united with the neighbouring town of Niagara Falls (formerly the Town of Clifton) to form the new city of Niagara Falls. The township continued to use the hall until 1963 when it amalgamated with the City of Niagara Falls. The city engineering department occupied the building until 1970 when it relocated to the new City Hall in 1971. The City of Niagara Falls established the Lundy's Lane Historical Museum, which is operated by the City of Niagara Falls Board of Museums.

This memorial drinking fountain, commemorating the long and beneficent Reign of Queen Victoria, was erected by the grateful citizens of Stamford Township and the Village of Drummondville, in 1901. Originally located on the northwest corner of Lundy's Lane and Main Street (The Historic Portage Road), the fountain was relocated to this site in 1923 due to increasing traffic at that busy intersection.

Erected by the Lundy's Lane Historical Museum, 1990.


Location: At Allanburg Bridge in Allanburg on H-Way #20,Thorold

Originally conceived in 1818 by its promoter, William Hamilton Merritt, to divert trade from the Erie Canal and New York and built under private auspices, the canal was opened to traffic in 1829. After additional work in 1833, the canal with 40 wooden locks linked Port Colborne on Lake Erie and Port Dalhousie on Lake Ontario and brought prosperity to its environs by permitting the export of Upper Canadian staples through New York. In 1841 reconstruction was begun by the Canadian Government to improve the canal's military and commercial value.


Dès 1818, William Hamilton Merritt concut l'idée de ce canal pour détourner le commerce du canal Érié et de New York. Des intérêts privés en assurèrent la réalisation et on l'ouvrit en 1829. De nouveaux travaux, en 1833, permirent de relier Port Colborne, sur le lac Érié, et Port Dalhousie, sur le lac Ontario, au moyen de quarante écluses de bois. Il amena la prospérité à la région en permettant aux produits du Haut-Canada de passer par New York. En 1841, le Gouvernement canadien entreprit la reconstruction du canal pour en accroître la valeur militaire et commerciale.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada

The following 2 plaques were sent in by Marie Walpole


Location: The stone and the plaque are located at Black Creek on the Niagara Parkway. The plaque was unveiled October 31, 1998

The border between Canada and the United States of America has witnessed many migrations of people. At times, however, the migration was primarily from south to north. That was the troubled days just prior to the American Revolutionary War and during the uneasy decades when the new republic was being formed. During the last two decades of the eighteenth century, many people, motivated by loyalty to the British Crown and fearing some aspects of the course being set by the new United States, sold prosperous farms in Pennsylvania and moved their possessions by conestoga wagon to Ontario. They entered the river at Black Rock, N.Y. and probably landed at or near this point. Many were German speaking people known as Pennsylvania Dutch. They came from Lancaster and neighbouring counties in Pennsylvania and settled in the Fort Erie area, Jordan, Vineland and Kitchener-Waterloo. Their unconquerable courage and inflexible faith, together with hard work and much sacrifice, helped to establish many of the churches and farming and business enterprises in this and other areas of the province of Ontario.

This marker was erected by persons who, in 1997 celebrated the 200th anniversary of their foreparents journey from Pennsylvania to Ontario by re-enacting their trek.


Location: This plaque is located on the Niagara Parkway and
Thompson Road on the outskirts of Fort Erie



On Dec. 7, 1837, William Lyon Mackenzie's "Patriot" forces were defeated north of Toronto by Loyalist militia and he fled toward the United States. Travelling little used routes in order to avoid government forces which were scouring the countryside, he reached this vicinity on December 11th. Capt. Samuel McAfee, who owned this property at the time, provided Mackenzie with a boat to cross the Niagara River. While the rebel leader was embarking, Col. James Kerby arrived with a detachment of militia, but the McAfee family distracted his attention until Mackenzie gained the safety of the American Shore.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board.

The next plaque was sent in by Shirley Passmore


Location: Highway 3 at Ridgeway, Ontario




In abiding memory of the officers and men of the Queen's Own Rifles, 13th Hamilton Battalion, Caledonia and York Rifle Companies of Haldimand, who fought here in defence of their country against Fenian Raiders, on 2nd June, 1866.

A la mémoire des oficiers et des soldats du Queen's Own Rifles, du 13e bataillon de Hamilton, des compagnies Caledonia and York Rifle de Haldimand qui ont combattu ici même pour la défense de la patrie contre les Féniens le 2 juin 1866.

Historic Sites Monument Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: At the Brock Monument, Queenston

To view the Stone Marker that points out Sheaffe's path to victory click the thumbnail


1763 - 1851

On October 13, 1812, following Isaac Brock's death in a preceding assault, Major-General Sheaffe assumed command and led a successful attack which dislodged an invading American force from Queenston Heights. Born in Boston, Mass., Sheaffe was commissioned in the British army in 1778 and fought in the American Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. Arriving in Upper Canada in 1812, he served as Administrator of the province 1812-13, and returned to England in the latter year. He was created a baronet in 1813, attained the rank of general in 1838 and died in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board


Location: At the Brock Monument, Queenston

THE "COLORED CORPS" 1812 - 1815
When the War of 1812 began, people of African descent in the Niagara peninsular feared an American invasion. They were anxious to preserve their freedom and prove their loyalty to Britain. Many joined the militia; others offered to raise their own militia company. Authorities responded by forming a "Colored Corps" of about thirty men commanded by white officers. Based in the Niagara region throughout the war, it fought at Queenston Heights in October 1812 and at the siege of Fort George in May 1813. The corps was disbanded soon after the peace, but had nonetheless set a precedent. Black units were a feature of the Canadian military until the First World War.

Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture, Tourisim and Recreation


Location: On corner of stone wall surrounding Brock's Monument, Queenston

In the early morning of 13 October 1812, American troops under Major-General Stephen Van Rensellaer crossed the Niagara River and took possession of Queenston Heights. Major-General Isaac Brock hurried from Fort George to lead a small force against the invaders and was killed in an attempt to regain the heights. In the afternoon, Major-General Roger Hale Sheaffe with his force of British regulars, militia and Indians from Fort George strengthened by reinforcements from Chippawa, took the hill from the west flank, capturing 958 prisoners. This celebrated victory ended the American offensive of 1812.


A l'aube du 13 octobre 1812, les troupes américaines du major-général Stephen Van Rensellaer traversèrent la rivière Niagara et s'emparèrent des hauteurs de Queenston. Le major général Isaac Brock, arrivant à la hâte du fort George avec un détachement, fut tué en essayant de les reprendre. L'après-midi le major-général Robert Hale Sheaffe arriva du fort George avec une force composée de soldats britanniques, de miliciens, d'Indiens, et des renforts de Chippawa. Il prit la colline par le flanc ouest et fit 958 prisonniers. Cette célèbre victoire mit fin à l'offensive américaine de 1812.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: On the Blvd. between Clifton Hill and the Falls, Niagara Falls


1626 - c. 1705

Born and educated in Belgium, Hennepin was ordained a Recollet (Franciscan) friar in France. He was an adventurer at heart and undertook priestly duties in several European countries before being sent to New France as a missionary in 1675. In 1679-80 he accompanied Cavelier de La Salle on his exploration of the Mississippi River. Back in France, Hennepin published a lively account of his travels, Description de la Louisiane (1683), which enjoyed widespread popularity in Europe. Despite exaggeration and self-glorification Hennepin painted a striking picture of 17th-century North America. His book contains the first recorded description of "the Wonders of that prodigious Cascade", Niagara Falls.

Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture, Tourisim and Recreation


Location: On the Blvd. between Clifton Hill and the Falls, Niagara Falls

First chairman of the Niagara Parks Commission (1885-93) Gzowski was born in Russia of Polish parents. Forced to emigrate, following participation in the Polish Rising of 1830, he came to Canada in 1841. An exceptionally able engineer, he first served as a government construction superintendent. He later organized a company which built the Grand Trunk Railway from Toronto to Sarnia, 1853-7, and the International Bridge across the Niagara River at Fort Erie in 1873. He was a founder of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers in 1887. A colonel in the Canadian militia, he was appointed Honorary Aide-de-Camp to the Queen in 1879 and knighted in 1890. Gzowski served as Administrator of Ontario 1896-97.

Archaeological and Historic Sites Board of Ontario

The next plaque was sent in by JoAnne Dymond


Location: Main St. W. & St. Andrews Ave., Grimsby

On this land donated by Robert Nelles, United Empire Loyalist, the pioneers of this community built a log church in 1794. It was replaced by a frame structure which was completed by 1804. The present stone church was erected 1819-25 and consecrated by Bishop C.J. Stewart in 1828. The first three incumbents were the Rev. W. Sampson 1817-22, the Rev. A.N. Bethune 1823-27, and the Rev. G.F.R. Grout 1827-49. In this churchyard are buried many members of the Loyalist familes who founded The Forty (Grimsby).

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board

The next plaque was sent in by Peter D.A. Warwick


Location: Yates Street, near St. Paul St. W., St.Catharines

Louis Shickluna 1808-1880
A prominent Canadian shipbuilder, Shickluna was born in Malta, where he worked before emigrating to North America. By 1835 he was engaged in ship construction at Youngstown, New York. Three years later, attracted by the traffic stimulated by the Welland Cnaal's completion in 1833, he purchased a shipyard on the Canal at St.Catharines. Shickluna steadily expanded his operations, which contributed significantly to the commercial prosperity of the region. Between 1838 and 1880 he directed the construction of over 140 schooners, barkentines, steamers and other vessels designed primarily for service on the Great Lakes, thereby promoting the development of inland navigation in Canada. Following Shickluna's death, his son, Joseph continued to operate the St.Catharines shipyard until 1892.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry Of Culture & Recreation

The following 2 plaques were sent in by Mike & Sue Cook


Location: In King's Bridge Park, Chippiwa

At daybreak on July 5, 1813, a British and Canadian force, consisting of some 35 militia and a small detachment of the 49th Regiment, embarked in this vicinity to attack Fort Schlosser. This American depot (now within Niagara Falls, New York) was situated at the southern terminus of the Lewiston Portage, and was an important military trans-shipment point. The attacking force, commanded by Lieut.-Col. Thomas Clark of the 2nd Regiment, Lincoln Militia, surprised the U.S. garrison and encountered little resistance. They captured a gunboat, two bateaux, a brass cannon and a substantial quantity of small arms and supplies. While re-embarking, they were attacked by local American militia, but suffered no casualties.

Archaeological and Historic Sites Board of Ontario


Location: In the park on the north bank
of the Welland River, Chippiwa

The fortifications which stood on this site were built in 1791 to protect the southern terminus of the Niagara portage road, and serve as a forwarding depot for government supplies. Known also as Fort Welland, the main structure consisted of a log blockhouse surrounded by a stockade. During the War of 1812 several bloody engagements were fought in this vicinity including the bitterly contested Battle of Chippawa, July 5, 1814, and possession of the fort frequently changed hands. A barracks, storehouse, officers' quarters and earthworks were added in 1814-15, but shortly thereafter Fort Chippawa was abandoned and fell into decay.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board

The following 31 plaques were sent in by Buddy Andres,
General Manager for Parks Canada, Niagara, Hamilton & Toronto Region


Location: at Welland Canals Centre, lock 3, Government Rd., St. Catharines


1793 - 1862

Born of a Loyalist family in the state of New York, Merritt became a pioneer merchant and industrialist on Upper Canada's Niagara frontier. In 1818 he began to promote construction of the Welland Canal, of which he became the first general manager (1824-41). Active in provincial politics from 1832 to 1862 as MLA, President of the Executive Council (1848-50) and Commissioner of Public Works (1850-51), he devoted his considerable energies to the economic development of the province through advocacy of such measures as the improvement of the St. Lawrence navigation and limited reciprocal free trade with the United States.

Issu d'une famille loyaliste newyorkaise. Merritt devint un des premiers commerçants et industriels de la région frontalière du Niagara dans le Haut-Canada. En 1818, il commença à promouvoir l'aménagement du canal Welland dont il fut le premier directeur général (1824-41). Député provincial de 1832 à 1862, président du conseil executif (1848-50) et commissaire des Travaux publics (1850-51), cet homme dynamique se consacra à l'essor économique de la province en appuyant des mesures comme l'amélioration de la navigation sur le St-Laurent et un libreéchangisme restreint avec les États-Unis.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of CanadaA
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: at Beaver Dams Park in downtown Thorold

Following their repulse at Stoney Creek the Americans sent a force from Fort George to destroy a British advanced post at Beaver Dams. Warned of their approach by an Indian scout and by Laura Secord, a force of Indians from Caughnawaga and the Grand River, led by Captains Dominique Ducharme and William Kerr, ambushed the attackers near here on 24 of June 1813, and compelled them to surrender to Lieutenant James Fitzgibbon of the regular British army. After this defeat the Americans did not again venture out in force, leaving the British in control of the area.

Après leur déconvenue à Stoney Creek, les Américains envoyèrent des troupes du fort George pour détruire l'avant-garde de Beaver Dams. Avertis par un éclaireur indien et Laura Secord, un groupe d'Indiens de Caughnawaga et de la rivière Grand, dirigé par les capitaines Dominique Ducharme et William Kerr, tandit une embuscade aux assaillants et les obligea à se rendre au lieutenant James Fitzgibbon, de l'armée britannique. Cette défaite du 24 juin 1813 mit un terme aux incursions américaines dans la région, qui est alors, restée aux mains des Britanniques.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: Lyons Creek Rd., in Cook's Mills (Welland East)

In October 1814 an American army advanced from Fort Erie toward the British line along the Chippawa River. Lieutenant-General Drummond ordered a reconnaissance towards Cook's Mills on his right flank in hopes of finding the Americans vulnerable to attack. On the 19th a heavy skirmish took place, involving men of the Glengarry Light Infantry and the 82nd, 100th and 104th Regiments, supported by a gun and rockets. The British-Canadian force withdrew, but the Amercians abandoned Cook's Mills the following day and on the 21st joined the general retreat to Fort Erie.


En octobre 1814 une armée américaine avança du Fort Érié vers la ligne britannique le long de la Rivière Chippawa. Le Général de division Drummond chercha du côté de Cook's Mills sur sa droite espérant découvrir une faiblesse chez les Américains. Le 19 eut lieu une escarmouche importante avec les soldats de l'Infanterie Légerè de Glengarry et des 82e, 100e, et 104e Régiments, avec l'appui d'un canon et de fusées. La force canadienne-britannique se replia, mais les Américains abandonnèrent Cook's Mills le lendemain et le 21 se joignirent à al retraite générale vers le Fort Érié.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: at the Court House Bldg., Welland


1853 - 1939

Born in Bertie Township, Cruikshank worked as a journalist and translator before being commissioned in the 44th Welland Battalion in 1877. Rising to the rank of Brigadier-General in 1915, he commanded Military District 13 before becoming Director of the historical section of the general staff (1917-20). Chairman of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada from its creation in 1919 until his death, he was the author of many papers and several books on Ontario and Canadian history. He was elected F.R.S.C. in 1905 and awarded the Tyrrell Gold Medal for historical research in 1935. He died at Ottawa.

Né dans le canton de Bertie, Cruikshank fut journaliste et traducteur avant de devenir officier dans lee 44e Régiment de Welland en 1877. Promu brigadier-général en 1915, il commanda le 13e district militaire puis dirigea la section d'histoire de l'état-major (1917- 1920). Premier président en 1919 de la Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada, il écrivit de nombreux ouvrages sur l'histoire de l'Ontario et du Canada. Membre de la Société royale du Canada en 1905, il reçut en 1935 la médaille Tyrrell. il mourut à Ottawa.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: inside Fort Erie, Fort Frie

Three fortifications occupied this site. The first (1764-1779) and second (c. 1783-1803), located at lower levels, were abandoned when ice and water inundated the works. The third Fort Erie, built between 1805 and 1808, was repaired in January 1814 but was captured by an invading American army in July of that same year. The Americans used it as a base for subsequent operations, retreated here after their defeat at Lundy's Lane, survived a siege by the British in August and September, and destroyed the fort on November 5, 1814. It was rebuilt by the Niagara Parks Commission in 1937-1939.

I1 y eut trois forts successifs à cet endroit. Le premier (1764-1779) et le deuxième (cir. 1783-1803), sitéus en contrebas, furent abandonnés après avoir été envahis par les glaces. Le troisième fort Érié, construit de 1805-1808, fut réparé en janvier 1814. Le 3 juillet de cette année, des forces américaines s'en emparèrent et en firent leur base d'opération. Il s'y replièrent après leur défaite à Lundy's Lane et y soutinrent avec succès le siège des Britanniques en août et septembre. Les Américains rasèrent le fort Érié le 5 novembre 1814. La Commission des parcs du Niagara l'a reconstruit de 1937 à 1939.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: inside Fort Erie, Fort Erie



On the night of 12 August 1814, as a prelude to a British attack on Fort Erie, an expedition was mounted against three armed American schooners anchored off the fort. Captain Alexander Dobbs, R.N., embarked with 70 seamen and marines in six batteaux which had been portaged from Frenchman's Creek, and by a ruse got close enough to cut the hawsers and board and capture the OHIO and SOMERS. The third vessel, PORCUPINE, escaped. Dobb's victory was the last naval action fought on the Great Lakes in the War of 1812.

Avant d'attaquer le fort Érié, les Britanniques prirent d'assaut trois goélettes américaines armées et ancrées près du fort. Dans la nuit du 12 août 1814, le capitaine Alexander Dobbs, de la Marine royale, embarqua avec 70 matelots et fusiliers marins dans six bateaux amenés du Frenchman's Creek. Usant de ruse, il s'approcha suffisamment des goélettes OHIO et SOMERS pour en couper les amarres, monter à leur bord et s'en emparer, pendant que la troisième, la PORCUPINE, réussissait à s'échapper. C'était la fin des batailles navales sur les Grands Lacs durant la guerre de 1812.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: inside Fort Erie, Fort Erie
First of 2 plaques mounted on a cairn

19th LIGHT DRAGOONS, 6th, 
8th (KINGS) 41st, 82nd, 
89th, 103rd, 104th, AND 
      - 1814 -


Location: inside Fort Erie, Fort Erie
Second of 2 plaques mounted on a cairn

                        103rd REG'T
                        104th REG'T
                        ROYAL SCOTS
   "          TORRENS    8th  REG'T
   "    J.M.  WRIGHT    82nd  REG'T
  "     NOEL,           ROYAL SCOTS
  "     BARSTOW           8th REG'T


Location: on the Niagara River Parkway just north of Fort Erie

In an effort to regain the initiative lost at Queenston, the Americans planned a general invasion for 28 November 1812. Before dawn advance parties crossed the Niagara River to cut communications between Fort Erie and Chippawa and to silence the British shore guns. The attackers failed to destroy the bridge over Frenchman's Creek and the batteries they had overrun were soon retaken by British reinforcements. After confused fighting the advance parties returned to the American shore. The main assault failed to materialize. The fiasco ended American hopes for victory on the Niagara Frontier in 1812.


Pour tenter de reprendre l'initiative perdue à Queenston, les Américains planifièrent une invasion générale pour le 28 novembre 1812. Avant l'aube, l'avant-garde traversa le Niagara pour rompre toute liaison entre Fort-Érié et Chippawa et faire taire les canons britanniques. Les assaillants ne purent détruire le pont du ruisseau Frenchman et les batteries conquises furent bientôt reprises par les renforts britanniques. Après un combat décousu, l'avant-garde regagna la rive américaine. L'attaque principale venait d'échouer. Pour les Américains, tout espoir de triomphe au Niagara, on 1812, s'était éteint.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: on the Niagara River Parkway just south of Chippawa



Here, on 5 July 1814, an American army under Major-General Jacob Brown launched the last major invasion of Canada during the War of 1812. The Americans defeated a British and Canadian force commanded by Major-General Phineas Riall consisting of regulars, militia and Aboriginal warriors. During the engagement, about 200 men were killed and over 500 hundred wounded. After four months of heavy fighting, with major action at Lundy's Lane, Fort Erie and Cook's Mills, the invaders were forced back to the United States.

C'est ici que, le 5 juillet 1814, l'armée américaine dirigée par le major-général Jacob Brown lança sa derniére grande offensive en sol canadien lors de la guerre de 1812. Les forces britanniques et canadiennes, regroupant des soldats, des miliciens et des guerriers autochtones sous le commandement du major-général Phineas Riall, perdirent cette bataille qui se solda par quelque 200 morts et 500 blessés. Toutefois, quatre mois de luttes et de combats acharnés à Lundy's Lane, a Fort Érié et à Cook's Mills, repoussrènt les envahisseurs et forcèrent leur retraite vers les États-Unis.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: on the Niagara River Parkway just south of Chippawa

The British used Navy Island from 1761 to 1764 as a shipyard in which to build the first British decked vessels to sail the upper lakes. These were essential in maintaining the supply lines westward during Pontiac's uprising, 1763-4. Thereafter the island remained undisturbed until 14 December 1837 when William Lyon Mackenzie, after being defeated at Toronto, led a "Patriot" army from Buffalo to occupy it. Swift reaction by local militia and British regulars prevented his moving to the mainland and on 14 January 1838, facing a hopeless situation, he abandoned the island.


De 1761 à 1764, l'île Navy servit de chantier pour la construction des premiers navires pontés anglais qui devaient maintenir dans la zone supérieure des Grand Lacs les lignes de ravitaillement vers l'ouest pendant la révolte de Pontiac. Rien ne vint troubler le calme de l'île avant que William Lyon Mackenzie, défait à Toronto, n'y menât ses patriotes de Buffalo, le 14 décembre 1837. Les réguliers britanniques et la milice bloquèrent aussitôt l'île; le 14 janvier 1838, le chef des rebelles, jugeant la situation désespérée, quittait les lieux.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: at Lundy's Lane Cemetery, Lundy's Lane
and Drummond Rd., Niagara Falls



This was the sight of the bloodiest battle of the War of 1812. On the afternoon of 25th July, 1814, Lieutenant-General Gordon Drummond with about 2800 men engaged the invading American army which had recently been victorious at Chippawa. The armies were evenly matched and the six-hour battle lasted until darkness and heavy losses put an end to the fighting. Each force had lost over 800 men. Although each claimed victory, the Americans had failed to dislodge Drummond fron his position. They withdrew the next day, ending their offensive in Upper Canada.

Ici se déroula la bataille la plus sanglante de la guerre de 1812. L'aprés-midi du 25 juillet 1814, le lieutenant-général Gordon Drummond, avec environ 2800 hommes, engagea le combat contre les troupes américaines fortes de leur victoire à Chippawa. Les forces étaient égales. La bataille dura six heures. La tombée de la nuit et l'importance des pertes mirent fin au combat. De chaque côté on avait perdu plus de 800 hommes. Les deux camps revendiquaient la victoire, mais les Américains n'étant pas parvenus à déloger Drummond de sa position, ils se retirèrent le jour suivant. Ainsi se termina leur offensive dans le Haut-Canada.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: on a cairn in Stamford Green Park, Portage Rd. &
St. Paul Ave., Niagara Falls

Following the cession of the east bank of the Niagara River to the United States in 1783, the British authorities felt compelled to transfer the portage road around Niagara Falls to the west bank of the river. Opened in 1789 by a group of private traders led by Robert Hamilton, the road between Queenston and Chippawa, which passed to the east of this monument, became the official government route in 1791. Until the completion of the Welland Canal in 1829 and the building of railways in the 1850s, it was the principal link in trade, travel, and war between Lake Ontario and the upper lakes.


Après avoir cédé la rive est du Niagara aux États-Unis en 1783, les Britanniques furent forcés d'aménager un portage de l'autre côté. Ouverte en 1789 par Robert Hamilton et son group de commerçants privés, la route entre Queenston et Chippawa, à l'est de ce monument, devint la route officielle en 1791. Jusqu'à l'achèvement du canal Welland en 1829 et la construction des chemins de fer dans les années 1850, elle demeura la principale voie de communication des commerçants, des voyageurs et des combattants entre le lac Ontario et la zone superiéure des Grand Lacs.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: inside Brock's Monument, in Queenston Heights Park, Queenston

In enduring memory of Sergeant Charles Merryweather and Privates Thomas Haynes and David Jones of the Forty-First regiment of foot, Privates Richard Frickleton, Thomas Gee, Martin Hall, Thomas Levins, John Merrick, William Newman, John Smith and Richard Wade of the Forty-Ninth regiment of foot, Private Henry Cope of the second regiment of York Militia, Private Thomas Smith of the Third Regiment of York Militia, Ayanete and Kayentatirhon, Cayuga Chiefs, Ta Kanentye, Onondaga warrior, Kayarawagor and Sakangonguquate, Oneida warriors, killed in action here, 13 October 1812.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada


Location: inside Brock's Monument, in Queenston Heights Park, Queenston

Wording of plaque inside Brock's Monument

Underneath are deposited the remains of the lamented Major General Sir Isaac Brock, K.B. who Fell in Action near these Heights on the 13th October 1812 and was interred on the 16th October at the bastion of Fort George, Niagara, removed from Thence and reinterred under a Monument to the eastward of the site on the 13th October 1824 and in consequence of that Monument having received irreparable injury by a lawless act on the 17th April 1840. It was found requisite to take down the former structure and erect this Monument, The Foundation Stone being laid, and the remains again reinterred with due solemnity on the 13th Oct. 1855.


Location: inside Brock's Monument, in Queenston Heights Park, Queenston

Wording of plaque inside Brock's Monument

Beneath are deposited the mortal remains of Lieut. Colonel John McDonnell P.A.D.C. & aidecamp to the lamented Major General Sir Isaac Brock, K.B. who fell mortally wounded at the Battle of Queenston on the 13th October 1812 and died on the following day. His remains were removed and reinterred with due solemnity, on the 13th October, 1853.


Location: inside Brock's Monument, in Queenston Heights Park, Queenston

Wording of plaque inside Brock's Monument

A Monument was originally erected, on this spot, by a grant from the Parliament of the Province, and subsequently destroyed in the year 1838. The present Monument was erected chiefly by the Voluntary contributions of the Militia and Indian Warriors of the Province, aided by a grant from the Legislature; the authority for erecting the same being delegated to a committee consisting of the following Gentlemen.
Sir Allan Napier McNab, Bart. Bhairman
Sir John Beverley Robinson, Bart.
Sir James Buchanan Macaulay, KN'T.
The Honorable Mr. Justice McLean.
The Honorable Walter H. Dickson.
The Honorable William Hamilton Merritt, M.P.P.
              Thomas Clark Street, Esquire.
Colonel, The Honorable James Kirby.
Lieut. Colonel Daniel Macdougall.
David Thorburn, Esquire.
Lieutenant Garrett, late 49th Regiment.
Colonel Robert Hamilton.
Captain H. Munro, Secretary.
T. G. Ridout, Esquire, Treasurer.
William Thomas, Architect.
John Worthington, Builder.


Location: in Queenston Heights Park, Queenston



This small redoubt, or square fortification, and the U-shaped advance battery, named in honour of Sir Gordon Drummond, were built in the late spring of 1814 to defend the main portage road from Chippawa to Queenston. The earthworks enclosed a blockhouse which sheltered 100 men. After the British defeat at the battle of Chippawa, these men abandoned Fort Drummond and joined Major-General Riall's forces retiring to Fort George on 10 July 1814. For two weeks the fort and surrounding heights were held by American forces. When they retreated to Lundy's Lane, the British reoccupied Fort Drummond.

Nommées en l'honneur de sir Gordon Drummond, cette petite redoute ou fortification carrée et la batterie avancée en U furent construites tard au printemps 1814 pour défendre la principale route de portage entre Chippawa et Queenston. Les ouvrages de terre protégeaient un fortin qui abritait 100 hommes. Après la défaite des Anglais à la bataille de Chippawa, les troupes du fort se joignirent à celles du major général Riall et se retirèrent au fort George le 10 juillet 1814. Les Américains occupèrent le fort et les hauteurs environnantes pendant deux semaines. Lorsqu'ils retraitèrent jusqu'à Lundy's Lane, les Anglais revinrent au fort Drummond.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: on the old Court House Building, Niagara-on-the-Lake


1817 - 1906

Born in England, Kirby emigrated to the United States in 1832 and to Canada in 1839. Having lived in Quebec and Montreal, he settled in Niagara where for 20 years he edited the Niagara Mail and was Collector of Customs. His prinicipal fame rests upon a novel about old Quebec, The Golden Dog (1877), which has been published in thirty editions and which was translated into French by Pamphile Lemay. He died at Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Né en Angleterre, Kirby émigra aux États-Unis en 1832 et vint au Canada en 1839. Après avoir vécu à Québec et à Montréal, il s'établit à Niagara où. pendant vingt ans, il dirigea la publication du Mail et fut receveur des douanes. Sa renommée tient surtout au roman Le Chien d'or, qu'il écrivit en 1877 et qui traite du Québec ancien. Ce livre, qui a connu de nombreuses éditions, a été traduit en français par Pamphile Lemay. William Kirby est mort à Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: on the old Court House Building, Niagara-on-the-Lake



This is the third and only surviving court house erected for the former Niagara District. Constructed between 1846 and 1848, it was designed by the prominent Toronto architect, William Thomas, in the fashionable neoclassical style favoured for 19th century public buildings. It is an excellent example of a mid-19th century mulitpurpose civic structure. Though the courts were moved to nearby St. Catharines in 1862, this building has continued to play an important role in the life of this historic community, at one time as the town hall and latterly as the founding home of the Shaw Festival.

Cet édifice est le troisième palais de justice de l'ancien district de Niagara et le seul qui existe encore. Il a été construit entre 1846 et 1848 et conçu par le grand architecte torontois William Thomas, dans le style néo-classique de nombreux bâtiments administratifs du XIXe siècle. Celui-ci constitue une excellente illustration de la polyvalence des constructions municipales de cette époque. Après la réinstallation des cours de justice à St. Catharines, en 1862, le bâtiment devint l'hôtel de ville de Niagara et continua de jouer un rôle de premier plan au sein de cette ville historique. C'est ici notamment que fut créé le festival Shaw.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: on the corner of King & Queen Sts.

The Niagara Apothecary is a fine example of a Confederation era commercial establishment and pharmacy. Although the building probably dates to the 1820's, it was extensively renovated in 1866 when it was taken over by an apothecary. At this time the Italianate windows were installed and the interior fitted up as a drug store. Until it closed in 1964 it was one of the oldest and one of the longest continuously operating pharmaceutical practices in Canada.

La Pharmacie de Niagara est un bel exemple d'une pharmacie et d'une petite entreprise de l'ère de la Confédération. Érigé probablement dans les années 1820, l'édifice fut restauré en 1866, date où l'on installa les fenêtres de style italien et on en fit une pharmacie. Jusqu'à sa fermeture en 1964, ce fut l'une des pharmacies les plus anciennes et l'une des plus actives du Canada.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: on a monument at Navy Hall on Ricardo St.


(1752 - 1806)

Simcoe was born in Northamptonshire and educated at Oxford. He joined the British army in 1771, and from 1777-81 commanded the Queen's Rangers, a Loyalist corps in America. After the Loyalist influx had led to the creation of a separate province of Upper Canada in 1791, Simcoe was named its first Lieutenant-Governor. During his five years of office the province's basically British and monarchical character and institutions took shape. After he left Canada in 1796 he held a succession of military and colonial offices, and died in Exeter shortly after being appointed Commander-in-chief for India.

Né à Northamptonshire et éduqué à Oxford, Simcoe s'enrôla dans l'armée en 1771. De 1777 à 1781, il commanda les Queen's Rangers, unité loyaliste d'Amérique. L'arrivée massive des Loyalistes provoquant la création d'une nouvelle province en 1791, Simcoe fut le premier lieutenant-gouverneur du Haut Canada et, pendant son mandat, il imprima aux institutions de la province un caractère britannique et monarchique. Après son départ, en 1796, il occupa divers postes dans l'armée et dans les colonies britanniques. Il mourut à Exeter, peu de temps après sa nomination comme commandant en chef des Indes.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: at the intersection of Melville & Ricardo St. Niagara-on-the-Lake

In 1777 John Butler of New York raised a force of Rangers who, with their Iroquois allies, raided the frontiers of New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey throughout the American Revolutionary War. From their base at Fort Niagara they successfully maintained British military power on the frontiers and seriously threatened rebel food supplies. When Fort Niagara became overcrowed in the autumn of 1778, Butler built near here a group of barracks to house his rangers and their families. Disbanded in June 1784, they were among the first Loyalists to settle in the Niagara peninsula.

Recrutés par John Butler, les Rangers attaquèrent avec leurs alliés iroquois les frontières de New-York, de la Pennsylvanie et du New-Jersey durant la Révolution américaine. Stationnés au fort Niagara, les Rangers maintinrent la puissance militaire britannique sur ces frontières. À l'automne de 1778, Butler érigea près d'ici des baraques pour loger ses Rangers ainsi que leurs familles. Une fois démobilisés, en juin 1784, les Rangers furent parmi les premiers loyalistes à s'établir dans la péninsule de Niagara.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: on Niagara-on-the-Lake Historical Museum building, Castlereagh St.,



To obtain land on which to settle Loyalists and dispossessed members of the Six Nations of the Iroquois, Guy Johnson in May 1781 and John Butler in May 1784 negotiated treaties with representatives of the Mississauga and Chippawa people of this region. The Crown thereby acquired title to a tract stretching from the Niagara River to the mouth of Catfish Creek. These two cessions were later confirmed and delineated by a third treaty negotiated by John Graves Simcoe, Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, and certain Mississauga chiefs at Navy Hall in December 1792.

En vue d'obtenir des terres à l'intention des Loyalistes et des expropriés des Six Nations, Guy Johnson, en mai 1781, et John Butler, en mai 1784, négocièrent des traités avec des représentants des Mississaugas et des Chippawas de la région. La Couronne devint ainsi propriétaire d'un territoire s'étendant du Niagara jusqu'à l'embouchure du ruisseau Catfish. Un traité négocié au Navy Hall par John Graves Simcoe, lieutenant-gouverneur du Haut-Canada, et les chefs mississaugas en décembre 1792 confirma les dispositions des deux premiers traités et délimita la propriété acquise.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: at Fort Mississauga, Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Course,

This tower and earthwork are all that survive of the barracks, guardroom, and cells of Fort Mississauga. Built between 1814 and 1816 to replace Fort George as the counterpoise to the American Fort Niagara immediately opposite, it was garrisoned until 1826. Repaired and rearmed following the Rebellion of 1837, it continued to be maintained until 1854 in response to border disputes with the United States. It was manned during the tense years of the American Civil War and the Fenian scare of 1866, but by 1870 it was no longer considered of military value.


Cette tour et ces parapets sont les derniers vestiges des casernes, de la salle de garde et de la prison du fort Mississauga. Érigé entre 1814 et 1816 en remplacement du fort George pour faire face au fort américain Niagara, le fort abrita une garnison jusqu'en 1826. Il fut réparé et réarmé après la Rébellion de 1837, puis entretenu jusqu'en 1854, à cause des querelles de frontières avec les Américains. Des troupes y séjournèrent pendant la guerre de Sécession et l'invasion des Féniens en 1866; mais en 1870 toute activité militarie y avait pris fin.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: at Fort Mississauga, Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Course,



The first lighthouse on the Great Lakes was built of stone at Point Mississauga in 1804 by John Symington, under orders from Lieutenant-Governor Peter Hunter. Demolished in 1814 to make room for this fort, its materials with debris from the ruined town of Niagara, were incorporated into this tower.

En 1804, John Symington, sur l'ordre du lieutenant-gouverneur Peter Hunter, construisit le premier phare des Grand lacs à Point Mississauga. Ce phare, qui était en pierre, fut démoli en 1814 pour faire place à ce fort. Les matériaux dont il était fabriqué et les débris de la ville du Niagara en ruines servirent à ériger la tour du fort Mississauga.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: in Simcoe Park, Niagara-on-the-Lake



The first session of the Legislative Assembly held at Newark (Niagara-on-the-Lake), 17 September to 15 October 1792, introduced a limited form of representative government to the newly created province of Upper Canada. The elected assembly formed part of the first legislature under the administration of John Graves Simcoe, Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada. Statutes of the first session established English property and civil law, and trial by jury. In 1797 the seat of government was moved to York (Toronto).

La première session de l'assemblée législative, tenue à Newark (Niagara-on-the-Lake) du 17 septembre au 15 octobre 1792, instaura une forme limitée de gouvernement représentatif dans la nouvelle province du Haut-Canada. Ce corps élu faisait partie du premier parlement constitué sous l'administration du lieutenant-gouverneur John Graves Simcoe. Les lois adoptées au cours de cette première session implantèrent le droit anglais pour les questions civiles et de biens, et le procès devant jury. En 1797, le siège du gouvernement fut déplacé à York (Toronto).

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: in cemetery on H-Way 55 between John & Mary Sts.,



Inspired by the abolitionist sentiment emerging in the late 18th century, Lieutenant-Governor J.G. Simcoe made Upper Canada the first British territory to legislate against slavery, which had defined the conditions of life for most people of African ancestry in Canada since the early 17th century. The Act of 1793 did not free a single slave, but prevented their importation and freed the future children of slaves at age twenty-five. Faced with growing opposition in the colonies, slavery declined. The Imperial Act of 1833 finally abolished slavery in the British territories in 1834.

Inspiré par l'abolitionnisme de la fin du XVIIIe siècle, le lieutenant-gouverneur J.G. Simcoe fit du Haut-Canada le premier territoire britannique à légiférer contre l'esclavage, état de la plupart des personnes d'ascendance africaine au Canada depuis le début du XVIIe siècle. La loi de 1793 n'affranchit pas un seul esclave, mais elle empêcha désormais d'en importer et décréta l'affranchissement à l'âge de vingt-cinq ans des enfants nés d'esclaves par la suite. Face à une opposition croissante dans les colonies, l'esclavage déclina. La Loi impériale de 1833 abolit enfin cette pratique dans les territoires britanniques en 1834.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: in Queenston Heights Park, Queenston



OCTOBER 13th. 1812.


Location: at Grimsby Waterworks Park, Grimsby



Here at the Forty Mile Creek, on 8th June, 1813, American forces, retreating after the Battle of Stoney Creek, were bombarded by a British flotilla under Sir James Lucas Yeo.

Indians and groups of the 4th and 5th Regiments Lincoln Militia joined in the attack and created such confusion in the enemy ranks that they abandoned this position and retreated to Fort George.

Ici, à Forty Mile Creek, le 8 juin 1813, des forces américaines qui se repliaient après la bataille de Stoney Creek furent bombardées par une flotille britannique sous les ordres de Sir James Lucas Yeo.

Des Indiens et des groupes des 4e et 5e Régiments de la milice Lincoln participèrent à l'attaque et semèrent une telle confusion dans les rangs ennemis que ces derniers abandonnèrent leur position et se replièrent au fort George.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: at the Library Bldg., Lincoln


1870 - 1937

Born at Beamsville and educated at Victoria College and the University of Toronto, Locke taught at Toronto, Chicago and Harvard Universities and was Dean of Education at Chicago and at MacDonald College before becoming Chief Librarian of the Toronto Public Libraries. In that position, he transformed a small institution into one of the most respected library systems on the continent. Sometime President of the American Library Association, one of the founders of the Arts and Letters Club, he was a gifted speaker and the author of books and articles on literary, historical, and professional themes. He died in Toronto.

Né à Beamsville, George Herbert Locke fit ses études à Toronto. Il enseigna aux universités de Toronto et de Chicago et à Harvard, et fut doyen des facultés d'éducation de Chicago et de MacDonald College. Dirigeant général des bibliothèques publiques de Toronto, grâce à lui, il les transforma en l'un des systèmes les plus réputés du continent. Président de l'American Library Association, il fut l'un des fondateurs du Arts and Letters Club. Bon orateur Locke a aussi écrit des livres et des articles sur des sujets littéraires, historiques et techniques. Il mourut à Toronto.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada

The next 4 plaques were sent in by Joe Wilson


Location: Fonthill

A distinctive religious denomination similar in doctrine and practice to Mennonite assemblies, the Brethren in Christ Church emerged in Pennsylvania during the 1770s. It was established in Upper Canada in 1788 when Johannes Wenger (John Winger), who later became a bishop and Jacob Sider formed a congregation here in the Short Hills. The denomination advocated adult conversion and baptism and rejected secular pleasues, fashionable dress and political and military involvement. A small tightly knit religious group because of these strongly-held views the Brethren in Christ Church grew slowly, drawing its members popularly known as Tunkers, primarily from German-speaking rural communities. By the end of the 19th century however, it was firmly established in Welland, York, Waterloo and Simcoe Counties.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture and Communication


Location: between Fonthill and Thorold, in a valley
known as Short Hills or St. John's

Failing to seize power by force in Toronto on December 5, 1837, William Lyon Mackenzie was led to the United States by Samuel Chandler, a wagon maker from St. Johns. On June 12, 1838, "A Patriot Army" of some 29 armed Americans and Upper Canadians, including Samuel Chandler, left Grand Island in the United States to invade Canada. Early on June 21, 1838, the "Patriot Army", now about 50 men, rushed Osterhout's Inn on this site where 10 Queen's Lancers were posted to keep the peace in St. Johns and the Short Hills. The Lancers were captured, but later released unharmed. Chandler and other ringleaders were hunted down and tried for treason in Niagara (Niagara-on-the-Lake). James Moreau was hanged; the others were sentenced to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania), the British Empire's penal colony then. This incident was one amongst many that would ultimately lead towards the peaceful establishment of responsible government in the late 1840's.

This plaque erected by the St. Johns Centre Inc. 1988


Location: 2984 Holland Rd., St. Johns

A sawmill built in 1792 on nearby Twelve Mile Creek by Benjamin Canby, an early entrepreneur, formed the nucleus of a settlement, which by 1799 was called St. Johns. Other enterprising businessmen, notably John Darling and John Street, developed several mill-sites and the flourishing community soon became the Niagara District's leading mill-centre. A post-office was established in 1831, by which time the village contained numerous operations, including a woollen factory, foundry, tannery, and several saw and grist-mills. The completion of the Welland Canal and the rapid emergence of industries on that waterway hampered the further growth of St. Johns, and the decline was accelerated by the bypassing of the Short Hills area by the Great Western and Welland Railways, completed between 1853 and 1859.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture and Recreation


Location: St. Johns


Samuel Birdsall may have
kept his school here in 1804.
This old schoolhouse was
closed forty years later.

The building was restored
in 1973 by the Niagara South
Board of Education.

The following plaque was sent in by Buddy Andres,
General Manager for Parks Canada, Niagara, Hamilton & Toronto Region


Location: at 5674 Peer St., Niagara Falls


An important community icon, this chapel bears witness to the early black settlement of the Niagara region and marks the role of the church in assisting newly arrived Underground Railroad refugees. It was constructed on Murray Street in 1836 and was later rolled on logs to this site. In 1983 the chapel, part of the British Methodist Episcopal Church of Canada, was named for Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943), a parishioner who became an internationally renowned musician and composer of North American sacred music.

Symbole social par excellence, cette chapelle évoque l'établissement des premiers Noirs dans la région de Niagara et le rôle de l'Église concernant l'accueil des réfugiés du chemin de fer clandestin. Érigée en 1836 dans la rue Murray, elle fut par la suite transportée sur billots jusqu'à son site actuel. En 1983, cette chapelle de la British Methodist Episcopal Church of Canada reçut le nom de Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943) en l'honneur de son plus célèbre paroissien qui devint par son talent de musicien et de compositeur une figure internationale de la musique sacrée nord-américaine.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: Park adjacent to Town Hall, Main St. W. at Livingston Ave., Grimsby

- 1790 -
Near this site on April 5, 1790, was held the earliest known session of a municipal government in what is now Ontario. This 'town meeting' of Township No. 6, later named Grimsby, dealt with such matters as the height of fences and the registration of livestock marks. While magistrates, appointed by the Crown, still exercised the more important functions of municipal adminstration, this marked a beginning of local self-government by elected representatives of the people.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board


Location: Former home, 126 Main St. W., Grimsby

A Loyalist from the Mohawk Valley, New York, Nelles came to Canada during the American Revolution and from 1780 to 1784 served in the Indian Department. Following hostilities he settled near the Grand River but by 1792 had moved to this area. Nelles built mills and a store on nearby Forty-Mile Creek and soon became a prominent merchant. About 1798 he constructed a Georgian-style stone manor on this site. Modified by later additions, notably the erection of the Neo-classical porch in the 1820's, the house served as a Nelles's residence during his lengthy career as a justice of the peace, member of the legislative assembly, and commanding officer of the 4th Lincoln Militia.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture and Recreation


Location: In Centennial Park, just east of the Burial-Ground, Grimsby

This nearby burial-ground, one of few representative sites known to have survived relatively intact in Ontario, was used by the Neutral Indians, a confederacy of Iroquoian tribes which occupied the area around western Lake Ontario before 1655. The remains of over 373 individuals were carefully interred here in 31 single graves and 24 multiple graves. Revered by the Neutrals, these remains were typically accompanied by a variety of wares, including carved combs, pipes, pottery, beads, and mid-seventeenth century European trade goods. The burial-ground, discovered in 1976, provides an invaluable record of late Neutral burial-customs and material culture. The remains were reinterred in 1977.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture and Recreation


Location: Near the Jacob Fry House at the Museum of the Twenty, Main St., Jordan

Following the American Revolution, Mennonites living in Pennsylvania began to come to the Niagara Peninsula in search of good farm land. A small group settled on land west of Twenty Mile Creek in 1786. Then, in 1799, Jacob Moyer, Abraham Moyer and Amos Albright scouted land in the vicinity of Vineland and Jordan and secured a 1,000-acre tract. They returned later that year with a number of families. Others joined them the next year. These industrious German-speaking people soon developed a flourshing agricultural community. In 1801 they organized the first Mennonite church congregation in Canada, with Valentine Kratz as minister. Several Mennonite communities in other parts of Ontario were founded by members of this first settlement.

Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Recreation


Location: at the Museum of the Twenty, Main St., Jordan

A fine example of a Regional house of squared log construction with a central chimney. The wing of brick filled frame was added in 1830. The house was moved three miles to this site, restored, and presented to the Jordan Historical Museum of The Twenty by a group of dedicated citizens in May 1960. This historical building was restored as part of the design of the Jordan Museum to develop the natural magnificence of the historical district of the Twenty, and to display its charms for the benefit of not only those who are residents of the area but also to you as our welcome quests we extend our warmest hospitality.


Location: 3394 Portage Rd. N., Niagara Falls

One of the province's oldest Anglican churches, St. John's was begun in 1825, during the pastorate of the Reverend William Leeming, and consecrated three years later. It was erected under the auspices of Lieutenant-Governor Sir Peregrine Maitland, who had a summer residence nearby, with additional financial support and gifts of land and furnishings donated by Robert Henry Dee, a retired officer of the Commissariat Department, John Beverley Robinson, Attorney-General of Upper Canada, and other civic and military officials. Picturesquely set facing Stamford Green, the simple, rectangular structure is enhanced by Gothic-style windows and a square battlemented belfry. St. John's remained in continuous religious use until 1957 when a new church was completed and, though somewhat altered, it retains its original character.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Citizenship and Culture


Location: 1324 York, Rd., St. David's

On July 18th, 1814, during the final American campaign on the Niagara frontier, Major-General Peter B. Porter sent a detachment of militia from the United States encampment at Queenston to attack St. Davids. This force, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Isaac W. Stone, was joined later by a small group of American regulars. Despite opposition from the 1st Lincoln Militia, the enemy captured the village, looted it and burned most of the buildings. Stone was severely censured for this destruction of private property and summarily dismissed from the United States army.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board


Location: at Mackenzie House, 1 Queenston St., Queenston

This influential journal of radical reform was first published on May 18, 1824, at Queenston, by William Lyon Mackenzie. A native of Scotland, Mackenzie had immigrated to Upper Canada in 1820 and three years later settled here and opened a general store. Within a year he had established a printing office in his home on this site, but in November, 1824, moved to York (Toronto). Because of Mackenzie's frequent attacks on the "Family Compact", supporters of this group raided The Colonial Advocate's offices and damaged the press on June 8, 1826. The courts awarded Mackenzie damages and he soon resumed publication. Mackenzie severed his connection with the paper, now called The Advocate, in 1834, and the last issue appeared that November.

Erected by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board,
Ministry of Colleges and Universities


Location: in front of Laura Secord Public School,
Walnut & Queen St., Queenston

1796 - 1852
This pioneer historian, author and soldier was born in Queenston. His family moved to Amherstburg about 1802, and at the outbreak of the War of 1812 Richardson joined the British army. Retired on half pay in 1818 in London, England, he published the epic poem "Tecumseh" and the celebrated historical novel "Wacousta" which established his literary reputation. In 1838 Richardson returned to Upper Canada where he published two weekly newspapers, "The New Era" (1841-42) and "The Canadian Loyalist" (1843-44). His later works "Eight Years in Canada" and "The War of 1812" provide invaluable historical information. In 1848 he moved to New York City where he died in poverty.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board


Location: Queen St. & Dee Rd., Queenston

An outstanding example of Classical Revival architecture, this stately home was begun in 1833 and completed some two years later. It was erected by Alexander Hamilton (1794-1839), Sheriff of the Niagara District and fourth son of the powerful Upper Canadian businessman, Robert Hamilton, and it possesses a formal elegance befitting the affluence and prominence of the Hamilton family. Constructed of fine quailty grey stone, Willowbank is distinguished by four pairs of tall white pillars surmounted by a handsome portico. The classic proportions of the structure are enhanced by its majestic setting in spacious grounds on a rise over-looking the village of Queenston. Owned by the Hamilton family until 1934, Willowbank remains little altered from its original appearance.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Citizenship and Culture


Location: On the grounds of the house, Niagara River Parkway,
between Niagara-on-the-Lake and Queenston

One of the oldest brick houses in Ontario, this handsome Georgian structure was built about 1800. Originally a farm house, it was the home of Gilbert Field (1765-1815), a United Empire Loyalist who was in possesion of the land by 1790. During the War of 1812 the house was used by British forces and was subjected to a brief bombardment from an American battery. Though damaged, it was one of the few homes in the area to survive the hostilities. It remained in the Field family until about 1925, after which it passed through various hands. In 1968 the Ontario Heritage Foundation acquired the property to ensure its continued preservation and twelve years later the Field House was returned to private ownership with a protective covenant.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture and Communications


Location: on the grounds of the house, Niagara River Parkway,
between Niagara-on-the-Lake and Queenston

This house was built in 1800 by James McFarland on land purchased about 1795 by his father, John McFarland (1757-1814) who was described as "His Majesty's boat builder". One of the Niagara District's finest residences, it was used during the War of 1812 as a hospital by both British and United States forces. A British battery was emplaced behind the house to command the river. In 1813 John McFarland was taken prisoner by the Americans following their capture of Fort George. When he returned in 1814, much of his property had been destroyed and the house badly damaged.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board


Location: 43 Castlereagh St., Niagara-on-the-Lake

1799 - 1800
On July 20, 1799, the first edition of the "Canada Constellation", Upper Canada's earliest independent newspaper, was published at Niagara by Gideon and Silvester Tiffany, two brothers who had come from the United States. Gideon had at first held the post of King's Printer of Upper Canada and, with Silvester, edited the government-sponsored "Upper Canada Gazette". Suspected of American sympathies, the Tiffanys lost their government support in 1797 and were succeeded by Titus Geer Simons. Their subsequent efforts to operate the "Canada Constellation" without government aid were thwarted by limited population and the difficulty of collecting subscriptions. The last issue appeared about July, 1800.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board


Location: 43 Castlereagh St., Niagara-on-the-Lake

This building, the first in Ontario to be constructed for use solely as an historical museum, was begun in 1906 and completed the following year. Its erection was due largely to the dedicated efforts of Miss Janet Carnochan, founder, and for thirty years curator of the Niagara Historical Society. Previously the Society had used a room in the Town Hall to preserve objects of this early Loyalist region. Donations were received from the federal and provincial governments, local municipalities, British regiments once stationed in the area, and private citizens. The museum was officially opened June 4, 1907, by Sir William Mortimer Clark, Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board


Location: 43 Castlereagh St., Niagara-on-the-Lake

For more than 30 years Janet Carnochan, a native of Stamford, Ontario, taught elementary and secondary school at Niagara-on-the-Lake, but she made her greatest contribution to the community as an historian rather than as an educator. A distinguished historical preservationist, Carnochan founded and was first president of the Niagara Historical Society, 1895-1925, and laboured tirelessly to safeguard and promote the rich heritage of Niagara. She wrote and edited numerous historical works including The History of Niagara and successfully campaigned for the construction of Memorial Hall, the first building erected for the purpose of a museum in Ontario. In 1949, when the town's former high school was incorporated into this complex, it was renamed Janet Carnochan Hall as a tribute to her efforts and dedication.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Citizenship and Culture


Location: in Simcoe Park, Picton & King St., Niagara-on-the-Lake

1792 - 1805
The first organization devoted to the improvement of agriculture in Ontario was founded at Niagara. Its original name, the Agricultural Society of Upper Canada, reflected Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe's hope that it would become a province-wide organization. Its members, mostly merchants, politicians, clergymen and gentlemen farmers, met regularly for dinner and discussion. They imported new varities of fruit trees to the Niagara peninsula in 1794 and sponsored the province's first agricultural fair in Queenston in 1799. The society folded in 1805 and left its collection of reference books to the Niagara Library. Although the society was short-lived, its scientific approach to farming anticipated the work of regional agricultural societies run by farmers after 1826.

Ontario Heritage Foundation,
an agency of the Government of Ontario


Location: in Queen's Royal Park, opposite 84 King St.,

The Upper Canada Gazette or American Oracle, first newspaper in what is now Ontario, was published in the town of Niagara. Its first issue, edited by Louis Roy, appeared April, 18, 1793.

On this site was published the Gleaner which from 1817 to 1837, under the editorship of Andrew and Samuel Heron, was one of the most prominent newspapers in Upper Canada.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board


Location: 41 Byron St., Niagara-on-the-Lake

One of the earliest Anglican churches in the province, St. Mark's was begun in 1804 to serve a congregation organized twelve years earlier. Its first rector, the Reverend Robert Addison, chaplain of Upper Canada's first Legislative Assembly, numbered among his parishioners Lieutenant-Governor John Simcoe, Lieutenant-Colonel John Butler and Major-General Isaac Brock. Completed in 1810, the church was used by the British as a hospital in 1812 and by the Americans as a barracks in 1813. Burnt by the latter, the nave was rebuilt by 1822 and the church consecrated six years later. In 1843 the structure was altered by the addition of the transepts, chancel and the present Gothic Revival pulpits. Further interior alterations were made in 1892 and 1964.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture and Recreation


Location: Former home, 130 Front St., Niagara-on-the-Lake

In this house, built in 1818, William Kirby, F.R.S.C., historian, novelist, poet and editor of the Niagara Mail, lived from 1857 to 1906. His historical romance, The Golden Dog, stimulated interest in Canada's history and won for him international renown.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board


Location: 323 Simcoe St., Niagara-on-the-Lake

Presbyterians formed a congregation at Niagara in 1794 with John Dun as resident minister. Within a year they had built a church, and by 1802 a schoolhouse. American troops burned the church during the War of 1812, claiming that British soldiers had used the steeple as an observation post. The congregation held services in the schoolhouse until 1831 when, under the leadership of the Reverend Robert McGill, they built this church. Restored but little altered, St. Andrew's is a splendid example of Greek Revival architecture. The church's interior, classically Georgian in design, retains the original high pulpit and box pews.

Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Recreation


Location: Rye & Cottage St., Niagara-on-the-Lake

1817 - 1866
Here stood the court-house and gaol of the Niagara District. Erected in 1817, they were considered to be among the finest public buildings in the province. Robert Gourlay, the radical reformer, was imprisoned and tried for sedition here in 1819. In 1837 an escaped American slave, Moseby, threatened with return to his master, was forcibly resuced here by local negroes abetted by other residents of Niagara. The courts moved elsewhere in 1847, and the gaol closed in 1866.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board


Location: adjacent to 494 Mississauga St., Niagara-on-the-Lake

- 1830 -
Here stood a Baptist church erected in 1830 through the exertions of a former British soldier. John Oakley, who although white, became pastor of a predominantly negro congregation. In 1793 Upper Canada had passed an act forbidding further introduction of slaves and freeing the children of those in the colony at twenty-five. This was the first legislation of its kind in the British Empire. A long tradition of tolerance attracted refugee slaves to Niagara, many of whom lie buried here.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board


Location: at the Old Court House Building,
26 Queen St., Niagara-on-the-Lake

On June 8, 1800, the Niagara Library, the first circulating library in Upper Canada, was established to diffuse knowledge among area subscribers. Financed by this group, library services were begun in 1801 with some 80 works for circulation, many on religion and history. Under the management of Andrew Heron, a merchant, the collection was steadily enlarged, and in 1805 the books of the Niagara Agricultural Society were added. The library operated successfully until the occupation of Newark (Niagara-on-the-Lake) by American forces in 1813, when numerous volumes were lost. By 1818 financial support for the library had seriously declined, and in 1820 the holdings were incorporated in a new subscription library, begun two years earlier by Heron, then a publisher and book-seller.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture and Recreation


Location: 26 Queen St., Niagara-on-the-Lake

On September 17, 1792, Colonel John Graves Simcoe, Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, opened in this community, then the capital, the first provincial parliament. The legislature consisted of an appointed Legislative Council and an elected Legislative Assembly. Its opening marked the introduction of a form of representative government into this province. Previously, both the French and British regimes had been directed by a royal governor advised by an appointed council of officials and prominent citizens. This first parliament held all its sittings in "Newark", as Simcoe had re-named Niagara, but the second was summoned to meet in 1797 at York (Toronto), the new seat of government.

Archaeological and Historic Sites Board of Ontario



The Parish of St. Vincent de Paul is the direct successor of the many and often interrupted missionary endeavours in the Niagara area since 1826. At first concerned with the native peoples, later French and then English-speaking priests came as chaplains for the troops stationed at Fort Niagara and Fort George.

The first permanent parish with a resident priest was established here in 1826 to serve the pastoral needs of the growing number of Catholics in the Niagara Peninsula and the west-central part of the Province. Though the area of its pastoral jurisdiction was soon reduced, St. Vincent de Paul remained very much a spiritual home to Catholics from both sides of the Niagara River for many years.

Bishop Alexander Macdonell of Kingston blessed the frame church with its Gothic windows on November 9, 1835. The Most Reverend Thomas J. McCarthy, Bishop of St. Catharines, blessed the restoration of the original church and the polygon-shaped addition to the front of the building on July 25, 1965. Today St. Vincent de Paul, an example of early church architecture in Canada, remains the oldest surviving Catholic Church still used for regular worship in the Province of Ontario.

This plaque was blessed and dedicated by the Most Reverend Thomas B. Fulton, D.D., Bishop of St. Catharines, on Sunday, December 1, 1985.

An historic plaque of the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Catharines


Location: 7820 Portage Rd. S., Chippawa

A frame church was built here following the arrival in 1820 of an Anglican missionary, the Reverend William Leeming. It was burned on the night of September 12-13, 1839, by supporters of William Lyon Mackenzie who crossed the Niagara River from New York State. The present church was designed by John Howard and built with the aid of private subscriptions and government assistance. The corner-stone was laid in 1841 by Bishop John Strachan. Among the well known persons who worshipped here were: Jenny Lind, the famous singer, in 1851; Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), in 1860; and Laura Secord, a parishioner, who died in 1868.

Archaeological and Historic Sites Board of Ontario


Location: Niagara River Parkway, 2 kms. south of Chippawa,
opposite Navy Island

On the night of December 29-30, 1837, some 60 volunteers acting on the orders of Col. Allan Napier MacNab, and commanded by Capt. Andrew Drew, R.N., set out from Chippawa in small boats to capture the American steamer "Caroline". That vessel, which had been supplying William Lyon Mackenzie's rebel forces on Navy Island, was moored at Fort Schlosser, N.Y. There she was boarded by Drew's men, her crew killed or driven ashore, and after an unsuccessful attempt to start the engines, her captors set the ship afire and left her to sink in the Niagara River. This action almost precipitated war between Britain and the United States.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board


Location: In Cummington Sq., near the former Town Hall, Chippawa

In 1792-94 a village grew up near Fort Chippawa on Chippawa Creek at the end of the new portage road from Queenston. In 1793 the creek was renamed the Welland River, but the village, where a post-office was opened before 1801, remained "Chippawa". It was largely destroyed 1813-14 when British and American forces fought for control of the Welland River. Portage traffic revived after the war and continued until Chippawa became an outlet for the original Welland Canal from 1829 to 1833. A horse-powered railway, the first in Upper Canada, was built to Niagara Falls in 1837-39. Chippawa was incorporated as a village in 1849, and in 1970 became part of the City of Niagara Falls.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board,
Department of Public Records and Archives of Ontario


Location: In the park on Derby Rd. & Queen's Circle, Crystal Beach

On the night of August 12, 1814, seventy seamen and marines, led by Captain Alexander T. Dobbs, R.N., embarked in this vicinity to attempt the capture of three armed U.S. schooners lying off American-held Fort Erie. One of the six boats used had been carried some 25 miles from Queenston, while the others were brought overland from Frenchman's Creek. Masquerading as supply craft, the force boarded and seized the "Somers" and "Ohio", the "Porcupine" alone escaping. Two of the attackers, including their second-in-command, Lieutenant Copleston Radcliffe, R.N., were killed. This daring exploit was the last naval action fought on the Great Lakes during the War of 1812.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board


Location: at City Hall, 239 King St., Pt. Colborne

In 1831 the Welland Canal Company selected Gravelly Bay as the sourthern terminus of their waterway connecting Lakes Ontario and Erie, and in 1833 asked the permission of Lieutenant-Governor Sir John Colborne to name the site "Port Colborne". The Hon. William H. Merritt, president of the Canal Company, had streets laid out on both sides of the canal in 1834 and, with several partners, built a grist-mill by 1835. Initially the community's economy depended largely on the canal, but from the 1850's Port Colborne developed as a wheat-shipping point, railway junction and industrial centre. In was incorporated as a village in 1869 and council first met on January 17, 1870.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board,
Department of Public Records and Archives of Ontario


Location: In Pt. Robinson Park, Pt. Robinson

Port Robinson the southern terminus of the original Welland Canal, opened in 1829, was named for John Beverley Robinson, chief justice of Upper Canada. The village grew rapidly when hundreds of Irish immigrants laboured on the "Deep Cut" between Allanburg and this site. A company of Negro soldiers stationed here about 1843-51 enforced order along the canal. Port Robinson benefited from frequent canal improvements, and trade and industry, including a shipyard and drydocks, flourished. In 1856 Merrittsville (Welland) became the administrative centre for Welland County. Later, Port Robinson's development was slowed when the shipyards were closed. After about 1880, when its inhabitants totalled some 800, there was a decline in population and business activity.

Archaeological and Historic Sites Board of Ontario


Location: Former Mill building, Pine St., Thorold

Believed to have been one of Upper Canada's largest flour mills, this substantial limestone structure was erected in 1846-47 by Jacob Keefer. It was constructed on the Second Welland Canal, a channel which has since been filled in, and used that waterway as a source of power as well as a means of transport. Solidly built and functional in design, the structure possesses the massive exterior walls and symmetrical facade which were distinctive features of contemporary industrial architecture. Throughout its history the mill has had a series of owners including the prominent Howland family, the Hedley Shaw Milling Company, and more recently the Maple Leaf Milling Company. Although no longer in operation, it remains an excellent example of the province's early milling technology.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Citizenship and Culture


Location: In the Battle of Beaverdams Historic Park, Sullivan Ave., Thorold

British by birth - January 13, 1910,
Canadian by conviction, World
War ll veteran, noted photographer.
Over 25 years dedicated municipal
service on the Board of Education,
Plublic Utilities Commission and
Municipal Council with one term as
Reeve. His leadership spearheaded
the campaign to create, construct
and pay for this beautiful Battle
of Beaverdams Park begun in 1975
-completed in 1980.


Location: In the Battle of Beaverdams Historic Park, Sullivan Ave., Thorold

John Bean was born in Attercliffe, Ontario, on September 8, 1901. He attended Stratford Collegiate Institute in Ontario and Northwestern College before transferring to the University of Michigan, where he earned his degrees and spent the rest of his life doing reserch and teaching for twenty-eight years. His example inspired many students to continue in the field of physiology.

John did extensive research, and became a world leader in the field of oxygen poisoning, particularly during World War ll, when the subject had extensive applications in undersea operations.

He wrote and co-wrote hundreds of articles which were published in medical journals over the years, some of which are still being used as references and quoted to-day.

John belonged to several organizations and committees, both on a professional and non-professional level.

He continued to do research and work part-time after retiring in 1972, right up till his death in 1987.

The citizens of Thorold are grateful to John Bean for leaving a generous bequest in his will to the City of Thorold for the beautification of the Battle of Beaverdams Park.


Location: In the Battle of Beaverdams Historic Park, Sullivan Ave., Thorold

During the construction of the original Welland Canal, 1824-1829, a number of communities sprung up along its length. Here, on land belonging to George Keefer, a village known as Thorold had developed by 1828. A large flouring mill was built on the canal and the Thorold Township post office was moved from Beaverdams to the new settlement by Jacob Keefer. By 1831 two sawmills were in operation and in 1835 the village contained 370 inhabitants. During the 1840's the building of the Welland Mills, then one of the largest flour mills in Canada, and the establishment of Ontario's first cotton factory, stimulated the community's growth. It was incorporated as a Village in 1850, as a Town in 1875 and as a City in 1975.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture and Recreation


Location: Centennial Park, Albert St. W., Thorold

The first cotton goods produced in this province were being manufactured in Thorold in 1847. The mill, a joint stock company founded by local citizens, included Jacob Keefer as president and James Munro as secretary, and was located near here. About twenty looms, driven by water power, produced unbleached sheetings, scrim and cotton batting. The factory operated till about 1849. A few years later, after a period of renewed activity under different ownership, it was destroyed by fire. This cotton mill was the forerunner of what later developed into an important provincial industry.

Archaeological and Historic Sites Board of Ontario


Location: Marlatt's Rd., former Village of Beaverdams now part of Thorold

Early in the 1790's a group of settlers in this area had been converted to Methodism and formed a Class with in 1795, was included in the newly-established Niagara Circuit. Services were held in the home of a prominent local settler, Israel Swayze, and camp meetings took place on his property. This church, one of the oldest remaining Methodist chapels in the province, was built in 1832. The Reverend Egerton Ryerson, who later was principally responsible for the founding of this province's educational system, was the first minister to preach in the chapel. The building was renovated extensively in 1879 but regular services were discontinued about 1890.

Archaeological and Historic Sites Board of Ontario

The next 4 plaques were sent in by Ken Elliott


Location: Niagara Parkway across from Whirlpool Rd.


The Niagara River Recreational Trail at this point is laid along the former double track roadbed of the Niagara Falls Park and River Railway. From 1892 to 1932, before there was an auto route along the gorge, this electric railway carried millions of passengers from the boat docks at Queenston to Queen Victoria Park.



Location: Niagara Parkway at the whirlpool


The cut stone markers are the ends of a buried steel trestle that carried the tracks of the Niagara Falls Park and River Railway. It spanned the ravine created by Bowman's Creek which eroded the soft glacial debris of the buried gorge of a pre-glacial river. This buried gorge extends west 3.3 km (2 miles) to the Niagara Escarpment at St. Davids.



Location: Niagara Parkway at Service Road 30, Chippawa


In 1894 the Niagara Falls Park and River Railway extended its tracks to Slater’s Dock, located at this point. Passengers discharged at the dock by steamboats from Buffalo, then boarded the cars of this electric railway to travel to Queen Victoria Park, or to the Queenston docks where they boarded a lake boat for Toronto.



Location: Merritt Trail south of Glendale Ave & Mountain Rd., St. Catharines Between locks 15 and 16 of the 2nd Welland Canal

To view a photo of the JOHANSSON’S BAR click the Thumbnail

Before the era of power operated equipment, the Johansson’s Bar was used by stone massons to lever into place pieces of cut limestone, weighing up to one ton.

This Johansson’s Bar, which is of Swedish Origin, was used by the mainly Irish and Scottish work forces in the construction of the Second Welland Canal completed in 1850, and also the present Brock’s Monument at Queenston Heights erected in 1853.

Donated by
Walker Brothers Quarries Limited
September 29, 1983


Location: Niagara River Parkway & Dumfries St., Queenston Heights

1786 - 1997
A devout Wesleyan Methodist and a Major in the British Army throughout the War of Independence, George Neal left the United States in pursuit of religious freedom and civil security. Landing in Queenston in 1786, Major Neal determined to spread the Christian gospel through the new land, using bible classes to reach the people. The British Officer-in-Charge of the militia post in Queenston, believing that only clergy of the established Church of England should preach in the colonies, and fearing this as a means of spreading seditious propaganda and anti-British/Anglican feeling among the people, forbade him to preach and gave him thirty days to leave the country. Unfortunately, the Officer-in-Charge himself fell ill and died during the thirty day time period and Major Neal was permitted to stay. Major Neal joined with Christian Warner of the nearby village of St. David's and organized classes for the area. It is from these classes that Queenston United Church dates its founding. Erected as a Wesleyan Methodist meeting house, the white clapboard building was a simple, plain design, one room in size, entirely of frame construction and featured gothic style windows. Built in 1862 at a cost "not to exceed $700", the church was officially dedicated on January 25, 1863. In 1925, the Queenston Methodist Church became part of a Church Union movement, which led to the formation of The United Church of Canada. Located on the northeast corner of Queen and Dumfries Street, the church was renovated in 1939 to include a vestry, choir room and a large raised platform. A growing congregation necessitated the church be moved to its present site in 1958 and a basement auditorium, kitchen and extra rooms were added.

In 1997, the congregation of Queenston United Church decided to amalgamate with St. David's United Church. The members and Trustees of the former Queenston United Church generously donated this historic building and property to the Niagara Parks Commission.
Brian E. Merrett, Chairman
The Niagara Parks Commission
October, 1999


Location: Niagara River Parkway opposite number 15176


Brown's Inn was located here. Both the Canadian York Militia and the American Army bivouacked near here on separate occasions during the War of 1812. Adam Brown later added a store to his inn, and built a wharf on the river shore below, where sailing ships loaded settlers' produce, potash and lime destined for Montreal and overseas.



Location: Entrance to Victoria Lawn Cemetery, Queenston St., St. Catharines


1834 - 1862

Born a slave in Virginia, Burns escaped from servitude in 1854 and fled to Boston, where he was arrested under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Abolitionists came to his defence and serious riots ensued. This was the last trial of a fugitive slave in Massachusetts. Four months after his return to his owner in Virginia, he was sold to a North Carolina planter. However, in 1855 Burns was ransomed with money raised by the Rev. L. A. Grimes of Boston, and began studies at Oberlin College, Ohio. Burns came to Canada about 1860 where he served as pastor at Zion Baptist Church in St. Catharines. He is buried in this cemetery.

Archaeological and Historic Sites Board of Ontario


Location: Centennial Gardens, Oakdale Ave., St. Catharines

RICHARD PIERPOINT c.1744 - c. 1838
One of the first black settlers in this region, Pierpoint was born in Senegal. At the age of about 16 he was imprisoned and shipped to America where he became the slave of a British officer. During the American Revolution he enlisted in the British forces, thereby gaining his freedom, and served with Butler's Rangers. Disbanded at Niagara, "Captain Dick" settled near here. At the outbreak of the War of 1812 he joined the Coloured Corps and in 1821, recalling his militia service, he petitioned the government for passage home to Africa. Although his request was denied, the aged Pierpoint was granted land in present-day Fergus. Remarkably he filled the required settlement duties when over 80 and then apparently returned to this area.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Citizenship and Culture



SEPTEMBER 29, 1983
Captain Robert Scott Misener is one of Canada's pioneers in the vast Great Lakes shipping industry. Going to sea as a cabin boy at the age of 15, he became a captain and later a shipowner when, in 1916, he purchased a 1,000 ton wooden-hulled steamer called the "Overland". Thus he founded the group of companies that bear his name today. After a few years he bought his first steel-hulled vessel, the "Claremont". By 1948 his fleet numbered 33 ships. As the evolution continued through the 1950's and 1960's, his company became increasingly active in the transportation of commodities on the entire Great Lakes and St. Lawrence system and larger ships were added to the fleet.


Location: In Centennial Gardens Park, enter via Gale Cr. or
Oakdale Ave., St. Catharines

Lock number 6 of the original Welland Canal lies in the adjacent watercourse about 700 feet south-west of here. This first or "wooden" canal, constructed 1824-33 by the Welland Canal Company, ran from Port Dalhousie on Lake Ontario to Port Colborne on Lake Erie. William Hamilton Merritt was its chief promoter. With the opening of the canal as far as Port Robinson in 1829, lake boats reached Lake Erie via the Welland and Niagara Rivers. When completed in 1833, the 28-mile canal enabled vessels to pass directly from lake to lake through 40 small timbered locks. In 1841 the Province of Canada took full control of the canal from its private owners.

Erected by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board,
Archives of Ontario


Location: Municipal Building, 50 Church St., St. Catharines

Before this region was settled, several Indian trails intersected here at a ford in Twelve Mile Creek. They were improved by early settlers and a church was erected at the crossroads by 1798. A tavern soon followed and a settlement, known as St. Catharines or Shipman's Corners developed. After the War of 1812 the community expanded largely through the efforts of William Hamilton Merritt. He was the chief promoter of the first Welland Canal, built in 1824-33, which made St. Catharines a centre for water transportation and provided abundant water power for industry. Factories and mills were established and St. Catharines became a leading flour-milling and shipbuilding centre. It was incorporated as a Town in 1845 and as a City in 1876.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture and Recreation


Location: Municipal Building, 50 Church St., St. Catharines

Major Henry M. Arnold,
    90th Winnipeg Rifles,
    Capt. 2nd Special Service Battalion, R.C.R.I.,
    died Feb. 23rd, 1900, from wounds received in action at
    Paaredeburg Drift, South Africa, Feb. 18th, 1900.

Lieut. J. Edgar Burch,
    Adjt. 2d Dragoons, attached to 1st Battalion C.M.R.,
    on special duty, killed in action near Pretoria,
    South Africa, July 16th, 1900.

Private Archibald Radcliffe,
    1st Battalion C.M.R., 2d Troop, A. Squadron,
    Field Force, South Africa,
    killed near Belfast, S.A., Sept. 23rd, 1900.

Corp. Robert Irwin,
    19th St. Catharines Regt.,
    wounded at Houtuck, South Africa, May 1st, 1900,
    died in Bloemfontein, S.A., July 1st, 1900.


Location: Municipal Building, 50 Church St., St. Catharines

     Erected to the memory of

        Private Alexander Watson
                   90th Winnipeg Batt. Rifles.

     Canadian Volunteers,
     and his companion in Arms
     Who fell in battle during
     the Rebellion in the N.W.T.
     A.D. 1885

         "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori".

                Lt.-Col. A. T. H. Williams,
                    Battlefield Rifles, N.W.M. Police;

     Corp. W. H. T. Lowry,
     R. B. Sleish.                Const. P. Burke


Location: Municipal Building, 50 Church St., St. Catharines


    Capt. E. L. Brown, J. French, intelligence corps,
    at Duck Lake, Fish Creek, Cut Knife, Batoche;

    W. Cook, W. Phillips, c.co., I.S.C.;

    Private J. Watson, Bugler H. Foulkes, c.c.f. Guards;

    Private J. Rogers, Private Osgoode,
    10th Royal Grenadiers;

    Lieut. W. Fitch, Private T. Moore,
    90th Battl'n Rifles;

    Lieut. C. Swinford, Corp. J. Code,
    Private A. W. Ferguson, J. Hutchinson,
    W. Ennis, R. R. Hordisty, J. Fraser, G. Wheeler,
    Private T. H. Damanolley, Lieut. A. W. Keppen.


Location: In Memorial Park, St. Paul St. W., St. Catharines


1894 - 1915

Born in St. Catharines, Fred Fisher abandoned his studies at McGill University when World War I broke out and served with the 13th Battalion, First Division, Canadian Expeditionary Force. Fisher was awarded the Victoria cross for his exceptional courage in action near St. Julien, Belgium, on April 23rd, 1915, during the second battle of Ypres. Under very heavy fire he lead a machine-gun detachment covering the withdrawl of an artillery battery. Though his crew fell to enemy attack, Fisher held their position. He then returned to the garrison for more men and advanced again to the firing line. Killed in action the next day, Fisher has no known grave.

Ontario Heritage Foundation,
an agency of the Government of Ontario


Location: In Memorial Park, St. Paul St. W., St. Catharines

A pioneer in th field of transportation, Merritt was born in Bedford, New York, and settled at Twelve Mile Creek (St. Catharines) with his Loyalist family in 1796. He served with the provincial cavalry during the War of 1812, then operated mercantile and milling enterprises here. Primarily responsible for the construction of the first Welland Canal (1824-33), Merritt worked tirelessly to promote this ambitious venture, both by rasing funds and by enlisting government support. During his long tenure in the Legislative Assembly (1832-60) he championed free trade policies and various transportation projects. In particular he advocated building a comprehensive system of canals and railways linking inland waters with the ocean, a scheme which forshadowed the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway over 100 years later.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Citizenship and Culture


Location: In Memorial Park, St. Paul St. W., St. Catharines

(1795 - 1836)
On this site stood the Anglican chapel, St. Catharines (1795 - 1836), the first public building in the community. The name St. Catharines became associated with the community and the church. By 1797 a log school house was situated just east of this spot. The Parish included a cemetery and a parsonage. An assignment to the church dated Feb. 17, 1796 is the first documented use of the City's name and records the names of the 44 heads of the community's founding families and others from the surrounding area.

John Backhouse, John Hayner, Jacob Dittrick, Abraham Clendenin, Benjamin Froilick, Henry Smith, Zackariah Hayner, Richard Hayner, Albert Hayner, Adam Haynes, Cornelius Follock, John Decow, Robert Campbell, John Turney, John Brown, William Day, Obediah Hopkins, Peter Hopkins, Asa Waterhouse, John Willson Senr., Hugh Willson, John Kelly, Jonathan Nunn, George Couke, Jacob Upper, Anthony Upper, Petter Wever, George Hover, Stephen Seburn, Philip Metler, Andrew Hanseler, Jacob Bowman, George Keefer, Michael Teattor, Jacob Ball Jr., George Hartsell, John Stevens, Adam Hunt, John Dennis, John Bessey, James Newkirk, Francis Wever, Robert Bessey, Jabish Bessey

This plaque was erected by the St. Catharines Bicentennial Committee with the assistance of the Ontario Heritage Foundation, July 1, 1996.


Location: Front Gates, Ridley Rd. & Henrietta St., St. Catharines

One of Ontario's most prominent independent boarding schools this college, named for a 16th-century Christian martyr, was opened in 1889. It was established by Anglican churchmen to provide boys with a sound preparatory education and to instill in them enduring moral and spiritual values. Initially housed in a converted sanatorium, Ridley expanded steadily, adding a junior school, reputedly the first of its kind in Canada, in 1899 and moving all facilities to this site by 1905. It gained what is essentially its present form during an extensive building program undertaken in the 1920s. A traditional liberal arts institution, Ridley has developed a well-rounded program with athlectic and extracurricular activities. It became co-educational in 1973 and is renowned today for its many eminent graduates.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Citizenship and Culture


Location: Beneath the Podium at the end of Thistle Corridor,
Brock University, Glenridge Ave., St. Catharines

Resolutions by the Allanburg Women's Institute and the Welland County Council resulted in the founding of the Niagara Peninsula Joint Committee on Higher Education in 1958. The work of this group led to the establishment, in 1962, of the Brock University Founders' Committee headed by Dr. Arthur A. Schmon, who announced the selection of the DeCew Falls site in 1963. The University, chartered by a provincial Act, March 1964, was named after Major-General Sir Isaac Brock, military hero and civil administrator. Classes began in St. Paul Street United Church in September, 1964, and were moved to the Glenridge building two months later. In 1967 the Decew campus was opened and the University granted its first degrees.

Erected by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board,
Department of Public Records and Archives of Ontario


Location: In the park, Lock St., Port Dalhousie


Five Muir brothers built and repaired ships on this harbour site from 1850 until 1946. This Muir family left Ayrshire, Scotland in 1834 and settled in Howick, Quebec. The eldest brother, James, remained there with his parents and four sisters while six brothers moved to the Niagara Peninsula in Upper Canada. John and his family farmed in Niagara Township. Alexander, the driving force, William, Bryce, David and Archibald all became ships' captains and sailed the ships they built here. The names of the 14 ships they built started with the initial "A" and were known as the "A-Fleet". They carried cargo from Duluth, U.S.A. to Liverpool, England. Their first ships were constructed of wood and sails and progressed to steel and steam. The Muir Bros. Dry Docks was the longest continuous business in Port Dalhousie.
The Muirs were prominent in Port Dalhousie for over a century (1839 to 1948) and saw the community grow from 12 houses. The first three Welland canals had their northern entrance here which resulted in an industrious dry dock on this site. The Muir Bros. Dry Docks was a forerunner of the Port Weller Dry Docks which is situated on the fourth canal.


Location: At the entrance to the Henley Regatta Course Grandstand,
Main St., Port Dalhousie

The nearby waterway, a part of the first Welland Canal constructed in 1824-29, is the course used for the annual Royal Canadian Henley Regatta. Competitive rowing became popular in Canada during the 1860's and 1870's, and in 1880 the Canadian Association of Amateur Oarsmen was formed in Toronto. This body held an annual regatta for international oarsmen in various Canadian centres until, in 1903, Port Dalhousie was selected as the permanent site. This rowing event, inspired by the famous regatta held yearly at Henley-on-Thames in England, has become one of the largest in the world.

Archaeological and Historic Sites Board of Ontario


Location: At the entrance to the Henley Regatta Course Grandstand,
Main St., Port Dalhousie

In naming the grandstand "The Craig Swayze Memorial Grandstand", The Canadian Henley Rowing Corporation pays tribute to a man who dedicated 62 years of his life to the sport of rowing. Craig was a coxswain, oarsmen and coach. He served as president of the St. Catharines Rowing Club, Canadian Henley Rowing Corporation and Canadian Amateur Rowing Association. In his capacity as sports editor for the St. Catharines Standard he was extremely influential to the growth and success of rowing both in St. Catharines and throughout the world. For many years Craig managed the grandstand for all major events. It is therefore both fitting and proper that his name shall be carried forward in all future rowing events.
Dedicated the 13th day of August in the year 2000


Location: At the Mill in Ball's Falls Conservation Area, Regional Rd. 24,
just south of Vineland

By 1809 John and George Ball had constructed a four-storey grist-mill here on Twenty Mile Creek. Equipped with two run of stones, the mill provided flour for British Troops during the War of 1812. It was expanded during the 1840's and by the end of the decade was part of a complex which included sawmills and woollen factories. About that time George Peter Mann Ball laid out a village plot named Glen Elgin. His plans for an industrial community were thwarted, however, when the Great Western Railway by-passed the site in the early fifties. By 1900 the industries had declined and the grist-mill had been partially dismantled. Closed in 1910, the mill was acquired from the Ball family in 1962 by the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture and Recreation

The next plaque was sent in by Leo Darmitz


Location: On the walkway about 100 metres
north of the crest of the Horseshoe Falls


This is the site of the historic landmark, Table Rock, a shelf of bare rock 61 metres (200 feet) long, 18.3 metres (60 feet) wide. Once part of the crest of the Horseshoe Falls it was left isolated when the falls receded. Rock falls in 1818, 1828, 1829, 1850 and 1934 reduced its size. The remaining overhang was blasted off for safety reasons in 1935.


The next 4 plaques were sent in by Ken Elliott


Location: Off Merritt St. in St. Catharines part way up the escarpment. Enter the driveway to Scotty’s Auto Service, 215 Merritt St.

A timber lock with inside dimensions of 33.7 m (108 ft) by 6.6 m (22 ft) was constructed on this site between 1824 and 1827. The lock walls consisted of earth filled cribs 5.2 m (16 ft) thick and 7.6 m (25 ft) deep. This was the 24th lock of 39 that lifted ships from Port Dalhousie on Lake Ontario up the Niagara Escarpment to Port Robinson on the Chippawa Creek. From there they proceeded to the Niagara River and on to Lake Erie. Each lock lifted a ship an average of 3 m (10 ft). This canal opened in November of 1829 and operated in spite of considerable maintenance problems, until stone locks were completed just south of this site in 1845. Lock 24 of the first canal lay submerged in water or buried until it was excavated and studied in 1987 by the Welland Canals Preservation Association with the assistance of the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Culture.

The next plaque was sent in by Ken Elliott


Location: Along Clarence St., Queenston

To view a photo of the 'ALFRED'monument click the Thumbnail

Early in the morning of October 13, 1812, after galloping seven miles from Fort George, General Brock tethered his gray horse ‘Alfred’ here in the Village of Queenston in order to lead a charge on foot to repel the invading enemy. Brock was killed leading the attack.

Colonel Macdonell then took command until General Sheafe could arrive from Fort George with reinforcements. Macdonell rode ‘Alfred’ to lead another charge; he was mortaly wounded and ‘Alfred’ was killed, part of the price of saving Canada on that fateful day.
"they also serve who only stand and wait"

               Presented to                    Ralph Sketch,
       The Niagara Parks Commission              sculptor
    by Mr. and Mrs. Stewart G. Bennett             1976


Location: Along Clarence St., Queenston


October 13, 1812

Warriors of the Six Nations of Iroquois (Mohawks, Oniedas Onondagos, Cayugas, Senecas, Tuscaroras), mainly from the Grand River, fought as allies of the British in this historic battle with the Americans. Speaking distinctive dialects and with different religious beliefs, these Indians were drawn together for the battle by John Norton, a resourceful and courageous commander. Norton, a man of Cherokee and Scottish ancestry, was a Mohawk (Teyoninhokarawen) by adoption. With John Brant (Ahyouwaeghs), the youngest son of Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea), and John Bearfoot, a vetran of the American Revolutionary War, the Iroquois fought for their own survival as a people and in support of the British.
OCTOBER 12, 1980


Location: Along Clarence St., Queenston

To view a photo of the Brock Marker click the Thumbnail




Location: 92 Geneva St. St. Catharines

Salem Chapel, built in 1855, was an important centre of 19th-century abolitionist and civil rights activity in Canada. Harriet Tubman, the famous Underground Railroad conductor lived near here from 1851 to 1858 and is traditionally associated with Salem Chapel. Many of those aided to freedom became church members and put down roots in the local community. The auditory-hall design typifies the style associated with the Underground Railroad-related churches in Ontario.

La chapelle Salem, construite en 1855, fut au XIXe siècle un centre important de l'activité abolitioniste et des droits civiques au Canada. Harriet Tubman, célèbre conductrice du chemin de fer clandestin, a vécu de 1851 à 1858 près de ce lieu de culte qui lui est associé. Beaucoup de ceux qui furent secourus devinrent membres de cette congrégation et établirent dans la communauté locale. Le plan en auditorium est caractéristique du style des églises liées à l'histoire du chemin de fer clandestin en Ontario.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada

The next plaque was sent in by Les Kruger


Location: at Crystal Beach where the main entrance to the park used to be, Crystal Beach

Between this plaque and Lake Erie lies thirty seven acres of land which became the site of one of Canada's most popular tourist attractions, John E. Rebstock's success in establishing a religious campground in 1888 brought prosperity to the area. It grew rapidly into a recreational resort known as "Canada's Playground" and "Buffalo's Coney island". Turn-of-the-century patrons arrived by Lake Steamers, the S.S. Canadiana's last trip in 1956 ended this era.

Under the Hall family's ownership, the park prospered for decades, reaching it's peak during the mid-century "Big Band Era". Such greats as the Dorsey Brothers and Glenn Millers Orchestras played here in the world-famous Crystal Ballroom.

The park will be remembered for Hall's Candy Kisses and Suckers, the superb bathing beach and the many rides. Millions were thrilled on the Cyclone and Comet Coasters.

After years of decline, the park closed in 1989, except for the break wall and pier, subsequent demolition erased all traces of its existence.

A document video and artifacts reside in the Fort Erie Historical Museum.


Erected by the Crystal Beach video group: (the names I cannot make out)

The next plaque was sent in by the McRae Family;
Tom, Cathy, Sarah, Daniel, Matthew, Alexander and Nick


Location: at the site of the school, now the Leonard Nurses' Home,
178 Queenston Street, St. Catharines

Dr. Theophilus Mack (1820-1881) emigrated from Dublin to Upper Canada with his family in 1832. He received his medical education at the Military Hospital in Amherstburg and at Geneva College, New York. Settling in St. Catharines in 1844, he was instrumental in founding the General and Marine Hospital in this city. In 1874 Dr. Mack, understanding the need for trained and disciplined nurses, established the St. Catharines Training School and Nurses' Home, later renamed The Mack Training School for Nurses. This school, using the Florence Nightingale system with its emphasis on knowledge of hygiene and medicine, was the first of its kind in Canada. The Mack Centre of Nursing Education became part of the Niagara College of Applied Arts and Technology in 1973.

Erected by the Archeological and Historic Sites Board,
Ministry of Colleges and Universities

The next plaque was sent in by Johanna Abrahamse


Location: At 1292 South Pelham St. in Fonthill

Site of the former

Fonthill Nurseries (1837 - 1968)

managed over the years by

D'Everardo & Page; Edward Morris & Co.;
Morris, Stone & Wellington, and Wellington & Davidson

Considered one of the largest nurseries in Canada at the turn of the
century, this enterprise shipped nursery stock via agents throughout
North America. With its origins in the Pelham Nursery Co.,
the home grounds of the Fonthill Nurseries contained 195 acres,
but encompassed other farms for a total of more than 700 acres, where
over 250 local residents were employed in peak seasons. Also the site
of many local festivities, the nurseries were well known for their prize
winning shire horses, lush gardens and beautiful scenery.

Erected by the Pelham Historical Society - 2004

The next plaque was sent in by Judy Graham and John Cole


Location: At the Sir Edward Beatty House, 13 Sullivan Ave.
at the junction with Pine St., Thorol

1877 – 1943
Born in Thorold, Beatty attended the University of Toronto and Osgood Hall. In 1898, he joined the legal department of Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in Montreal and became the company’s first Canadian-born president at the age of 41. He led the CPR in head – to - head competition with Canadian National Railways and was responsible for building the Royal York Hotel in Toronto and the “Empress of Britain” luxury liner. He was knighted in 1935. During the Second World War, Beatty assisted the Canadian war effort by coordinating shipping and rail transport, until his health deteriorated in 1941. Before retiring from the CPR the following year, he helped establish Canadian Pacific Airways. A lifelong philanthropist, on his death in 1943 Sir Edward left half his estate to charity.

Ontario Heritage Foundation,
an agency of the Government of Ontario


Location: along the Niagara River Parkway near the East West Line North of
the McFarland House. GPS co-ordinates are: N 43° 13.734’ W 79° 03.547’

(1779 – 1852)

One of Ireland’s best loved and renown poets
and lyricists, Thomas Moore visited Niagara
during July 1804. Captivated by the scenic
splendor of the area and as a guest of
Col. Isaac Brock, Commander of Fort George,
Moore frequently found rest and creative
inspiration under a large Oak tree here on
the McFarland farm.
His poems and other writings about Ontario
helped to give the Irish and British a better
picture of this region and, subsequently,
played a roll in encouraging emigration to

"And I said, if there is peace to be found in the
world, a heart that is humble might find it here."

     Niagara                     Erected
     Parks                      July 2004


Location: In Ridgeway, on Ridge Road North near Hibbard Street, south of Dominion Road (Regional Road 1)

On June 1, 1866, Irish-American revolutionaries called Fenians invaded Canada as part of an attempt to strike at Britain and support the creation of an independent Irish republic. The next morning, Canadian militiamen from the Queen's Own Rifles, the 13th Battalion and the York and Caledonia rifle companies, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Booker, arrived here by train before marching on to battle the Fenian invaders. Contradictory orders and confusion on the battlefield coincided with a Fenian counterattack to cause the Canadians to withdraw. The Fenians retired to Fort Erie and returned to Buffalo that night. The Battle of Ridgeway shocked the country, spurring improvements to Canada's defences and helping to bolster the Confederation movement.

Ontario Heritage Trust, a not-for-profit agency of the Government of Ontario


Location: At the cemetery at the west end of Warner Road west of Concession 6 Road
south of York Road, Niagara-On-The-Lake

Born in Albany County, N.Y., Warner served in Butler's Rangers during the American Revolution, and settled in this vicinity shortly after the corps was disbanded in 1784. Converted to Methodism, Warner became the leader of one of the earliest "Methodist Classes" in the province. Services were held at his home, and in 1801 a simple frame chapel was erected on his property. It became known as the "Warner Meeting House" and was the first Methodist church in Canada west of the Bay of Quinte. This structure was replaced about 1870 by a new chapel. The adjacent "Warner Burying Ground" contains the graves of Christian Warner and other pioneer Loyalist settlers of this region.

Archaeological and Historic Sites Board of Ontario


Location: On the south side of Lake Street Armouries at the intersection of Lake St and Welland Ave., St. Catharines

Graham Thomson Lyall emigrated from Britain in 1911, eventually settling in Niagara Falls where he worked for the Canadian Niagara Power Company. In 1914, at the start of the First World War, Lyall enlisted in the 19th "Lincoln" Regiment at St. Catharines. Later, he joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force and fought at the Somme in 1916, Arras and Ypres in 1917, and Amiens in 1918. On September 27 and October 1, 1918, Lyall led his platoon against the enemy at Bourlon Wood and Blécourt, displaying exceptional valour and leadership, inflicting heavy casualties, and capturing 182 prisoners, 26 machine-guns, and one field gun. "For most conspicuous and skilful leading during the operations north of Cambrai", King George V presented Lyall with the Victoria Cross, the British Empire's highest decoration for valour.

Ontario Heritage Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario


Location: On the NE corner of Geneva Street and North Street, just south of Welland Avenue, St. Catharines

A legendary conductor on the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman became known as the "Moses" of her people. Tubman was born into slavery on a Maryland plantation and suffered brutal treatment from numerous owners before escaping in 1849. Over the next decade she returned to the American South many times and led hundreds of freedom seekers north. When the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 allowed slave owners to recapture runaways in the northern free states, Tubman extended her operations across the Canadian border. For eight years she lived in St. Catharines, and at one point rented a house in this neighbourhood. With the outbreak of the Civil War, she returned to the U.S. to serve the Union Army.

Ontario Heritage Foundation, Ministry of Culture and Communications


Location: On the east side of Niagara Parkway opposite Forsythe Street, Fort Erie

J.L. KRAFT 1874-1953
Cheese maker James Lewis Kraft was born on a dairy farm near Stevensville in 1874. He was educated locally and worked nearby at Ferguson's general store. In 1903, Kraft went to Buffalo then Chicago where he set up his own wholesale cheese business. Four of his brothers joined the company in 1909, opening a cheese factory in 1914. Kraft developed a revolutionary process, patented in 1916, for pasteurising cheese so that it would resist spoiling and could be shipped long distances. The company grew quickly, expanding into Canada in 1919. Over the years, Kraft introduced many innovative products and used progressive marketing techniques to make his company one of North America's leading food producers. Kraft also supported the Baptist Church and was a strong proponent of religious education for young people.

Ontario Heritage Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario


Location: On the south side of Ricardo Street, east of Melville Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake

Formed by local businessmen in 1831, the Niagara Harbour and Dock Company created a shipping basin here on the Niagara River by hiring hundreds of labourers to excavate a riverside marsh. By the late 1830s the company employed close to 400 workers and was operating one of the busiest ports and shipyards in Upper Canada. The local economy boomed as the business prospered, then lapsed into recession after financial problems crippled the company in the late 1840s. The company's industrial complex was used to build railway cars and steamboats in the 1850s and 1860s. This building, the Niagara Harbour and Dock Company office between 1835 and 1853, was restored in 1998.

Ontario Heritage Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario


Location: Upriver from the Falls, along the river sidewalk opposite the bus/limo parking lot near Table Rock House

In 1885, the Province of Ontario established The Niagara Parks Commission as part of an international effort to preserve the natural scenery around Niagara Falls. Originally, the commission included Colonel Casimir Gzowski, Chairman, John W. Langmuir and J. Grant Macdonald, and was responsible for making the park self-financing while keeping admission free to the public. The Commissioners acquired parkland along the Niagara River to create Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park, which opened on May 24, 1888. Beginning with a 62.2-hectare park, the Commission has grown to administer a world famous, 1720-hectare park along the full length of the Niagara River, nationally and provincially significant historic sites, botanical gardens, a horticultural school and recreation areas, while remaining financially self-sufficient.

Ontario Heritage Trust, a not-for-profit agency of the Government of Ontario


Location: On the south-west corner of Butler Street and John Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake

William and Susannah Steward House
William, an African American teamster, and Susannah Steward (also spelled Stewart) lived in Niagara from 1834 to 1847. The Steward home was part of Niagara's "coloured village", a vibrant community of former Canadian slaves, Black Loyalists and African American refugees. Later, the Stewards divided their lot for sale to Robert Baxter, a local black resident. In 1837, William Steward was one of 17 local Blacks who signed a petition asking Lieutenant Governor Sir Francis Bond Head to refuse to extradite Kentucky fugitive Solomon Moseby. Moseby was rescued from the Niagara Jail by more than 200 African Canadians. In 1847 they moved to Galt (now Cambridge) where they lived for the rest of their lives. The Stewards' modest cottage is an excellent example of local vernacular architecture. It serves as a compelling memorial to these hardworking people who contributed to the building of Niagara-on-the-Lake and to protecting Black American refugees in the region.

Ontario Heritage Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario


Location: On the east side of Niagara Parkway 3 km north
of York Road (Road 81) in Queenston

On March 14, 1793 Chloe Cooley, an enslaved Black woman in Queenston, was bound, thrown in a boat and sold across the river to a new owner in the United States. Her screams and violent resistance were brought to the attention of Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe by Peter Martin, a free Black and former soldier in Butler's Rangers, and William Grisley, a neighbour who witnessed the event. Simcoe immediately moved to abolish slavery in the new province. He was met with opposition in the House of Assembly, some of whose members owned slaves. A compromise was reached and on July 9, 1793 an Act was passed that prevented the further introduction of slaves into Upper Canada and allowed for the gradual abolition of slavery although no slaves already residing in the province were freed outright. It was the first piece of legislation in the British Empire to limit slavery and set the stage for the great freedom movement of enslaved African Americans known as the Underground Railway.

Ontario Heritage Trust, an agency of the Government of Ontario


Location: On the NE corner of Geneva St. and North St. 1 block south of Welland Ave., St. Catharines

Born on a Maryland plantation, Harriet Tubman escaped slavery to become one of the great heroes of the 19th century. The most famous "conductor" on the Underground Railroad, she courageously led many of the people she rescued from American slavery on dangerous, clandestine journeys to safety and freedom in Canada. Tubman helped these Black refugees settle after their arrival and played an active role in the fight to end slavery. She became the public face of the Underground Railroad in British North America, attracting attention and funding to the abolition movement.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: In Queenston, on the north side of Partition St. just east of the Niagara Parkway

This celebrated heroine of the War of 1812 is a renowned figure in Canadian History. Determined to warn the British of an impending attack on Beaver Dams, Secord set out from her home on June 22, 1813, on a dangerous mission. She traveled alone for over 30 kilometres behind enemy lines, struggling to make it to the De Cew farmhouse, where she informed Lieutenant FitzGibbon about the American plan. Later in the 19th century, a first generation of women historians championed Secord's courageous deed with the goal of uncovering and popularizing women's contributions to the history of Canada.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: On the west side of Queen St. between Regent and King Sts., Niagara-on-the-Lake

In 1778, Loyalist refugees began crossing from Fort Niagara to settle the west bank of the Niagara River. A town was laid out in a grid pattern of 1.6 ha blocks and grew quickly, gaining prominence as the first capital of Upper Canada from 1792 to 1796. Following Niagara's destruction during the War of 1812, the citizens rebuilt, mainly in the British Classical architectural tradition, creating a group of structures closely related in design, materials, and scale. Spared from redevelopment, the town's colonial buildings eventually became one of its greatest resources. Beginning in the 1950s, residents rehabilitated and restored the old structures, demonstrating an exceptional commitment to the preservation of local heritage and making a significant contribution to the conservation movement in Canada. This collection of residential, commercial, ecclesiastical and institutional buildings, many on their original sites close to the street, is the best-preserved in Canada built between 1815 and 1859. With its early buildings and grid street plan, this historic district recalls the era when Niagara-on-the-Lake was a prominent, prosperous Loyalist town.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: Overlooking The Commons from Butler's Barracks National Historic Site,

Brought to Canada in 1908, the Scout Movement, originally known as the Boy Scouts, became one of the largest and most influential youth organizations in the country, its membership reaching more than 280,000 in 1965. Through games and outdoor activities it promotes character-building, good citizenship, and self-reliance, reflecting the educational ideals and methods of Scouting. The 8th World Scout Jamboree held at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, in 1955, was the first of its kind to be held outside Europe. The event allowed Canadian Scouts to showcase their country, generating a favorable image of Canada on the international stage.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: On the lawn beside the parking lot at the Thorold Tourist Information Centre
Lock 7 Viewing Centre at Chapel Street South and the Welland Canal Parkway, Thorold

In 1912, the Ontario Paper Company was incorporated as a subsidiary of the Chicago Tribune newspaper under the direction of publisher Robert McCormick. A paper mill was constructed south of here on the banks of the Welland Canal. On September 5, 1913, its No.1 Paper Machine began producing newsprint for the Tribune. Without sufficient timber in southern Ontario, pulp wood was shipped here by water from Lake Superior and Quebec's North Shore. The mill, designed and managed by engineer Warren Curtis Jr., was an innovative combined pulp and paper operation that used hydro-electricity from Niagara Falls. Some early mill employees formed Local 101, International Brotherhood of Paper Makers, the first papermakers' union in Canada. In 1980, the company built a new mill at Thorold and the company was sold in 1996. The Ontario Paper Company Ltd. was committed to its employees and community, and was a technological leader. It pioneered modern operational practices, including the production of valuable chemical byproducts.

Ontario Heritage Trust, an agency of the Government of Ontario


Location: On the east side of the Niagara Parkway 1.2 km north of its
intersection with Upper Rapids Boulevard, Niagara Falls

Opened in 1906 to supply the Toronto market, this generating station was the first wholly Canadian-owned hydro-electric facility at Niagara Falls. Engineers adapted advanced European and American technologies to a difficult site in a bold and enterprising way. The station's palatial powerhouse was designed by the eminent Toronto architect E.J. Lennox to complement the scenic setting. Symmetrical, colonnaded and faced in limestone, it is an early and unusual application of Beaux-Arts design to an industrial site in Canada. Purchased by Ontario Hydro in 1922, the station operated until 1974.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada


Location: In Queenston, at the end of a long driveway beginning at the
intersection of Dee Road and the Niagara Parkway

Named after the magnificent willow trees that once graced its grounds, Willowbank is an elegant example of the great rural estates of early 19th-century Upper Canada. Built for local businessman Alexander Hamilton between 1834 and 1836, this manor house is distinguished by its sophisticated exterior design and imposing front portico. The property illustrates the Romantic fusion of Classical Revival architecture, then at its height in British North America, with a picturesque landscape. Willowbank stands as one of the finest country estates of its type in Canada.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada